Being a small business owner comes with its fair share of challenges, but for Black entrepreneurs, these challenges are often compounded due to the persisting systemic biases that limit their access to education, funding opportunities, mentors and professional networks. Recognizing these inequalities and addressing barriers that impede the success of Black-owned businesses, is an important step towards leveling the playing field and creating an ecosystem where all entrepreneurs can thrive.
Today’s entrepreneurs need more than just capital and sound money management; they need holistic solutions that will help them overcome obstacles in their day-to-day and long-term scaling journey. While there’s no “one size fits all” solution – access to education, mentorship and ongoing entrepreneurship resources are critical in building the foundations business owners need to strategically maximize their capital investments in the long run. Given this, RBC’s Black Entrepreneur Program is focused on supporting entrepreneurs across every stage of their entrepreneurial journey with that holistic approach in mind. In addition to the equitable and inclusive financing solutions offered through the Black Entrepreneur Startup Program in partnership with Futurpreneur and RBC’s Black Entrepreneur Business Loan, our advisors provide educational community workshops, business planning resources, peer networking and mentorship connections and advice to help clients strengthen their business foundations and manage their finances more prudently.
Since the inception of this program, we’re proud to have provided capital support to more than 400 Black entrepreneurs in Canada, and our network of dedicated RBC Champions has connected with thousands of Black entrepreneurs in communities across the country to support their business planning education and funding journey to set them up for success. But we know there’s more to do, and that is why we’re continuing to foster an inclusive entrepreneurial journey for Black business owners through advice events, sponsorships and community engagements.
The RBC Black Entrepreneur Program is one of the many meaningful steps we’ve taken to ensure Black entrepreneurs have access to the critical resources they need to achieve their full potential. In doing so, we stand to gain valuable insights, perspectives and market innovations that can help drive Canada’s economic prosperity, while creating more inclusive and vibrant communities where diverse businesses and entrepreneurs operate.
Vice President Business & Professional Services, Commercial Banking Group, Royal Bank of Canada
Wayne is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of experience in the financial services sector where he has held a number of senior management positions in Canada and the Caribbean.
In his capacity as Vice President Commercial Banking, he is responsible for the leadership and performance of a senior account management team in the business & professional services industry serving the greater Toronto region. He served as RBC’s executive champion for the Black Cultural Markets from 2015-2020 including leadership of the Black History Month Student Essay Competition which provided over a hundred scholarships for students.
Originally from Montreal, Wayne’s career journey has included stops in Ottawa, the Cayman Islands and now Toronto. In his spare time he enjoys mentoring, community initiatives and playing tennis.