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Empowering Black Entrepreneurs in Canada

May 25, 2023

The success of Black business owners and entrepreneurs is crucial for Canada’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity. A recent webinar hosted by Innovation Canada brought together industry experts from organizations like the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce, the Black Business Initiative in Nova Scotia, and the Black Entrepreneurs & Businesses of Canada Society. Here are some valuable tips they shared for empowering Black entrepreneurs on their journey.


Find a Mentor:

Seeking guidance from a mentor who has walked a similar path can significantly shorten your learning curve as a business owner. Mentors can offer insights on various aspects, such as securing capital, pricing products, and building confidence. If you’re looking for mentorship opportunities, consider programs like the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce Mentor-Mentee match program (Canada-wide), Futurpreneur’s Black Entrepreneur Start-up Program (Canada-wide), the Black Business Initiative’s Training program with mentorship (Nova Scotia), or the mentoring and coaching services provided by the Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses of Canada Society (British Columbia).


Familiarize Yourself with Available Resources:

The Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce’s Building Black Businesses report highlights a challenge where many business owners rely on existing resources or seek financial support and advice from family and friends. While formal education like an MBA is not necessary, it’s crucial to understand your options before approaching banks or investors for funding. Fortunately, numerous free online resources can help you get started, such as the Business Development Bank of Canada’s financial literacy course, which covers topics like cash flow management, profit analysis, and capital raising.


Raise Capital:

Financial institutions and government-funded organizations now have dedicated budgets to support Black-led businesses. When applying for funding, emphasize if your business is at least 51% Black-owned or if your project aims to promote Black entrepreneurship in Canada. The Government of Canada’s Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP), launched in 2020, offers the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, National Ecosystem Fund, and Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. This program, in collaboration with Black-led business organizations and financial institutions, commits up to $350.8 million over four years to help Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs achieve long-term success. Additionally, organizations like the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce, the Black Business Initiative, and the Black Entrepreneurs & Businesses of Canada Society have exclusive lending programs for Black-led businesses. Reach out to them via email to explore their offerings further.


Market Your Business:

Having a great product is not enough if potential customers are unaware of its existence. If you’re unfamiliar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or need assistance with developing a robust market research plan, consider seeking external help. Accelerator programs offer specialized training and courses that can equip you with effective marketing strategies. These programs also provide access to professionals such as accountants and lawyers who can offer valuable guidance and support in various aspects of running a business.


Supporting the success of Black entrepreneurs is pivotal to Canada’s economic growth and future prosperity. By finding mentors, leveraging available resources, accessing funding opportunities, and implementing effective marketing strategies, Black entrepreneurs can overcome challenges and thrive in their business endeavors. The collective efforts of organizations like the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce, the Black Business Initiative, and the Black Entrepreneurs & Businesses of Canada Society play a vital role in empowering and elevating Black entrepreneurship across the country.

Are you a Canadian Entrepreneur looking for some extra support? Take our Business Survey to get started!