On September 9th, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program that will help thousands of Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

According to the Prime Minister’s website, the program will include:

  • up to $53 million to develop and implement a new National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business organizations across the country. It will help Black business owners and entrepreneurs access funding and capital, mentorship, financial planning services, and business training.

  • up to $33.3 million in support through the new Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. The Government of Canada is also partnering with financial institutions, including RBC, BMO Financial Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, National Bank, TD, Vancity, and Alterna Savings, to make up to $128 million available in additional lending support.

  • up to $6.5 million to create and sustain a new Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub that will collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs’ barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth. The Hub will be run by Black-led community and business organizations, in partnership with educational institutions.

The Government of Canada will launch a call for proposals for Black-led organizations to join and help deliver the National Ecosystem Fund for Black entrepreneurs. More details, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, will follow in the coming weeks.

Canada’s Regional Development Agencies will deliver the National Ecosystem Fund, and work with selected partner organizations to assist them in implementing their services.

The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will be available through Black-led business organizations supported through the National Ecosystem Fund. Further details on eligibility requirements and how to apply for loans will follow from the Government of Canada. The initial commitments made by financial institutions are subject to final development of the Loan Fund.

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