Joel English-Dubois started Blue Ring Media back in 2020 after noticing the lack of marketing support available to Indigenous business owners located in rural Alberta. He, and his partner Kane, aim to remove barriers that impose challenges for new Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs by allowing business owners the time to focus on their business, while they support the marketing efforts.

We connected with Joel to ask him a few questions about his business, his journey in entrepreneurship, and his experience with Business Link’s Indigenous Services Team.

Blue Ring Media

Client: Joel English-Dubois, Blue Ring Media


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Tell us more about your business and what it is/does:

Blue Ring Media aims to remove barriers that impose challenges for new business owners and entrepreneurs. We offer a mix of digital and traditional marketing services, as well as share our years of expertise through consulting. We came up with this business idea through my friend and partner’s expertise with graphic and web design, as well as my education in management and marketing. By moving through our Business Model Canvas, it became clear that our aim was to support other Indigenous business owners. Why should an Indigenous business owner spend time and money coming to the city to get marketing support with their business, when we at Blue Ring Media can come to you!

Blue Ring is a partnership. Kane and I started the business after being friends for 15 years. It’s important to partner with someone that both people can complement each other’s strengths and opportunities! That is exactly what we do for one another in this business. My personal strength in networking has really driven our business in attracting new clients.

Blue Ring Media

What motivated you to take the first steps and start your own business?

Working with different organizations, it can be hard to remain true to yourself and your values – that goes for anyone. As Indigenous people, we struggle more understanding why making a dollar is more important than protecting our environment, among other organizational goals. By starting this business, we do not have to put our traditions, or morals aside while we clock in to get the job done, instead, we embrace learning from others.

What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success?

We were thrilled to be finalists in the 2020 Pow-Wow Pitch, and even win the regional award for Alberta. Our biggest success has been developing partnerships and connections with other organizations, by growing our network to this point we can support those organizations while doing our work.

Was your business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? How did things change for you/how did your business adapt?

Our business flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses began to move online and sought the need for an online presence. We are anticipating a slow-down in this area of our business in future years, but anticipate growing our offerings. In an effort to reach a larger audience we even launched Blue Ring Impact, our podcast that we offer to support other business owners through storytelling.

When did you come to Business Link and why?

We first came to Business Link as a way to grow our network by participating in the Peepreneur Sessions which we found extremely valuable to our business. If I would recommend a starting point for new business owners it would be to seek the support of Business Link’s services and programs. We also participated in Business Link’s first Pitch Competition in 2021, where we were not only honoured to participate but even more thrilled to win. We’ve worked closely with Holly Ajecoutay since 2018. Holly has been a great connection for our business and is so warm and welcoming to chat with.

What advice would you share with others who want to start or grow their own business?

The advice that I would share with others that want to start or grow their own business is to reach out for support, sometimes our own bias can lead the way of growth projections, or sales forecasting. Getting the support of a second eye will ensure you avoid that bias.

What’s coming up next for you?

Blue Ring Media is so excited for 2022, as we have exciting growth coming your way – we look forward to growing our services and supporting even more businesses!