Canadian Prime Minister launches Black Entrepreneurship Program

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the country’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program on Wednesday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a town hall meetingOn Wednesday (Sept. 9), the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau unveiled a new national program that will foster private and public funding for Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses in Canada. During a press conference, Trudeau called the new Black Entrepreneurship Program a step toward addressing 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.

According to an official press release, the government will invest $93 million over the next four years into the program and partner with Canadian financial institutions for a total funding of nearly $221 million. The funds will be split into three initiatives: a National Ecosystem Fund, a Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund and a Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. These initiatives will provide resources and entrepreneur access to funding and capital, financial planning services and sizable business loans. Additionally, the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub — formed by Black business and organization leaders — will collect data to identify Black entrepreneurs’ barriers to success for future program insight.

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