Canada Prime Minister unveils $221 million program for Black entrepreneurs
Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, launched a new national program on Wednesday, wherein private and public funding for Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses will be facilitated. In the press conference, Trudeau stated that the new Black Entrepreneurship Program will help Canada inch one step closer towards mitigating systemic racism in the country.
“The pandemic has shone a light on the inequalities that disproportionately hurt Black Canadians and has underscored the need to restart our economy in a way that allows all Canadians an equal chance to succeed,” Trudeau told reporters. “That is why today – thanks in part to the leadership, advocacy and expertise of Black business owners and Black-led organizations – we are announcing Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program.”
“As we move forward, this program will help support Black entrepreneurs and create new opportunities for Black-owned businesses, so they are well-positioned for our economic recovery,” he added.
The official press release stated that the government will invest $93 million in the next four years and will also collaborate with Canadian financial institutions, to ensure that the funding touches $221 million. The plan is to split the funding to help three initiatives: a National Ecosystem Fund, a Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund and a Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. With these initiatives, funding and capital, financial planning services and sizable business loans can be availed. Moreover, the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, established by Black business and organization leaders, aims to obtain data to better comprehend the barriers faced by Black entrepreneurs, to better devise the program in the future.
“For too long, Black entrepreneurs and business owners have faced systemic barriers to their success, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on them,” Hon. Mary Ng — minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade — added. “With Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program, our government is taking real action to support Black entrepreneurs recovering from COVID-19 and empower them to start up, innovate, grow and succeed. We will continue to do whatever it takes to support all small business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.”
Moreover, Canada also plans on enhancing its Anti-Racism Strategy, by devising novel justice reforms and improving the support provided by the local community for Black youth.