In a press conference in Toronto this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the creation of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, backed by a major investment from the federal government as well as Canadian banks.
“This morning I can announce that the Government of Canada, in partnership with Canadian banks is investing nearly $221-million to launch Canada’s first ever Black Entrepreneurship Program. The Government of Canada’s share will be nearly $93-million over four years as part of this program. The Black Entrepreneurship Program will help thousands of Black business owners through our economic recovery and into the months and years ahead. I’d like to take a moment to thank our partners for working with us to address an issue Black Canadians have faced for far too long.”—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
The announcement included a breakdown of the government funding for the program:
The program will include:
- up to $53-million to develop and implement a National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business organizations across the country. It will help Black business owners and entrepreneurs access funding and capital, mentorship, financial planning services, and business training.
- up to $33.3-million in support through the new Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. The government is partnering with financial institutions, including RBC, BMO Financial Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, National Bank, TD, Vancity, and Alterna Savings, to make up to $128 million available in additional lending support.
- up to $6.5-million to create and sustain a new Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub that will collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs’ barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth. The Hub will be run by Black-led community and business organizations, in partnership with educational institutions.
“Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is unwavering, and the new Black Entrepreneurship Program reflects this. This program was created through collaboration with Black-led organizations, because Black Canadians know what their communities need best. This is another step towards removing the systemic barriers that exist within our society to create a truly inclusive Canada.”—Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
For more details about the Black Entrepreneurship Program, please visit the Prime Minister’s website.
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