What Canada’s $221 Million Black Entrepreneurship Program
 Means for Black People

Feb 12, 2021 Article by: Kyle Bernard

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The government of Canada and prominent Canadian financial institutions have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars over a span of four years to the Black Entrepreneurship Program—a program meant to aid Black entrepreneurs in accessing capital and other important business services.

Of the roughly $221 million, the federal government will contribute approximately $93 million. But what does the program entail? And more importantly, how does it affect Black-owned businesses?

The Black Book Directory touches on key points Black entrepreneurs need to know.

Money Well Spent

Millions of dollars will be allocated to the development and creation of a national network designed to give access to funds, financial products and services. Along with entrepreneurial training, millions more dollars will be used to give Black businesses access to higher loans for longer periods of time. We’ve listed a few important numbers below.

  • Up to $53 million to research and build a nationwide financial network
  • $33.3 million to develop a new fund to extend loans between $25, 000 and $250, 000
  • $6.5 million to create a Black-led data centre dedicated to Black entrepreneurship
  • As much as $128 million in additional lending from financial institutions
  • 200 Canadian CEOs pledged to take direct action against anti-Black systemic racism.

This initiative comes as a direct response to Black entrepreneurs who’ve felt the brunt of the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

An excerpt from Justin Trudeau’s announcement sums it up neatly, “This program will help support Black entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for Black-owned businesses, so they are well-positioned for our economic recovery.” The Black Entrepreneurship Program is not a solution to the structural racism Black businesses and their owners face in Canada. But it’s a step in the right direction. We hope Black-owned businesses take advantage.


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