Two Alberta Black-led organizations to receive $5.4 million in federal funding through the Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund supporting over 300 businesses and providing training for 100 Black entrepreneurs

February 16, 2022 – Edmonton, Alberta – Prairies Economic Development Canada

Black entrepreneurs in Alberta and across Canada make important contributions to the economy and their communities. Yet, they continue to face systemic racism and obstacles in starting and growing their businesses.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, met with two Black-led organizations to hear from them about their vision to support entrepreneurship and meet the needs of Black business owners across Western Canada and announced a federal investment of $5.4 million to help them turn that vision into a reality.

A healthy economy is one where everyone has equal opportunity to participate and thrive and where no one is left behind. The Government of Canada is continuing to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem for Canada’s Black entrepreneurs and business owners. The Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund supports not-for-profit Black-led organizations to develop new services or expand those they already offer. These organizations provide mentorship, networking opportunities, financial planning and training for entrepreneurs, enabling businesses to grow and create quality jobs.

The two organizations receiving funding are:

  • Canadian Imperial Advantage – Edmonton, Alberta – is receiving $2.8 million to establish and deliver the Black Business Advancement Program. This program will support entrepreneurship and meet the needs of Black entrepreneurs and business owners in central and northern Alberta. The program will provide expertise and knowledge to Black business owners to help them find and create business opportunities, access financing, and strengthen their businesses.
  • BIPOC Foundation – Lethbridge, Alberta – is receiving $2.6 million to establish a business accelerator program for Black entrepreneurs in Western Canada. The accelerator will be based in Southern Alberta and will use digital tools to provide programming across Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This initiative will provide early-stage entrepreneurs with foundational business and growth training. It will also connect Black business owners and entrepreneurs with investors.

These investments are expected to help support over 300 businesses to start and grow across Western Canada, as well as provide training for 100 Black entrepreneurs across Alberta.

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