Speaking at a recent Toronto’s HXOUSE innovation think center, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an aid program for Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs worth 221 million in Canadian dollars. He mentioned how the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected Black Canadians and “exacerbated” inequality in Canada.
The news follows a letter penned by the Parliamentary Black Caucus urging the Canadian government to address systemic racism immediately. “We need an economic recovery that’s inclusive and equitable for all Canadians…an investment in Black excellence is an investment in economic empowerment, and economic empowerment is an essential part of justice,” said Trudeau. The “Black Entrepreneurship Program,” first of its kind in Canada, will be spread over the next four years and see the development of funds and assistance platforms, with $93 million CAD in funds coming directly from the federal government, while Canadian financial institutions, including the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD, CIBC, and Bank of Montreal will be responsible for generating the rest.
The “National Ecosystem Fund” for Black-led business organizations across Canada’s development will be advanced by up to $53 million CAD helping its funding, mentorship, financial planning, and business training. The $33.3 million CAD “Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund” included in the program will also offer loans ranging from $25,000 and $250,000 CAD for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. Finally, $6.5 million CAD will be used to establish the “Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub” to create a data stream on Black entrepreneurship in Canada with a focus on shining a light on barriers to success for the Black community.
Listen to the Prime Minister’s announcement below.
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Prime Minister @justinpjtrudeau stoped by @HXOUSE today to announce monumental $221 Million dollar investment into Black Entrepreneurs 💪🏿💪🏿 The federal government is creating a new national program to help Black Canadians get business loans with national banks. In partnership with Canadian banks, $221 Million CAD to be invested into Black Entrepreneurship over the next 4 years. It will help entrepreneurs access funding, mentorship, financial planning and business training.