OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 23, 2022 /CNW/ – Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make important contributions to the Canadian economy, yet they continue to face systemic racism and obstacles in starting and growing their businesses. This has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is working to address long-standing barriers with its first ever Black Entrepreneurship Program—a $265 million investment to support the long-term success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, celebrated Black History Month by announcing new recipients of Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Fund support. She was joined by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board and Chair of the Parliamentary Black Caucus; Nadine Spencer, CEO of the Black Business and Professional Association; Tiffany Callender, CEO of the Federation of African Canadian Economics; and Arielle Kayabaga, Member of Parliament for London West.
Minister Ng announced that 10 more Black business organizations will receive investments totalling more than $23 million from the National Ecosystem Fund, which strengthens the entrepreneurship ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada. Leaders from these organizations joined the conversation with Minister Ng to share the work they are doing to support Black entrepreneurs from coast to coast to coast.
- The Tribe Network
- The Fabienne Colas Foundation
- Côte des Neiges Community Association Inc.
- Audace au Féminin
- Centre d’encadrement pour jeunes femmes immigrantes
- Réseau des Entrepreneurs et Professionnels Africain
- Orijin village
- The Afro-Heritage Association of Sudbury
- BIPOC Foundation
- Canadian Imperial Advantage
The Black Entrepreneurship Program is already delivering benefits to Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country. The Ecosystem Fund, with an overall investment of $100 million, has already approved funding of $92 million for 38 Black-led organizations across the country. These organizations provide mentorship, networking, financial planning and business training for Black entrepreneurs.
“Black entrepreneurs are critical to Canada’s economy. The recipients joining our National Ecosystem Fund network are doing crucial work to support Black entrepreneurs across the country and building capacity to ensure success for years to come.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
- The Black Entrepreneurship Program is a partnership between the Government of Canada, Black-led business organizations, post-secondary or other accredited educational institutions, and financial institutions. Program funding includes:
- up to $100 million for the National Ecosystem Fund, including $50 million from Budget 2021;
- $160 million for the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, which will provide loans of up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs; and
- up to $5 million for the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which will conduct qualitative and quantitative research and collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs’ barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth. Carleton University and the Dream Legacy Foundation have partnered to establish the Knowledge Hub.
- Canada’s regional development agencies are delivering the National Ecosystem Fund in regions across the country and working with selected partner organizations to assist them in implementing their services.
- Following a commitment in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada has also launched a procurement pilot program to open bidding opportunities for Black-owned/operated businesses to support opportunity and economic growth for Black Canadians.
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada