FedDev Ontario News Release:
Government of Canada invests close to $3 million to support Black entrepreneurs and businesses in Humber River-Black Creek
August 12, 2021 · Toronto, Ontario
Black-Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make important contributions to the Canadian economy, yet they continue to face systemic racism and obstacles in starting and growing their businesses. This has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is working to address long-standing barriers with its first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP)—an over $400 million investment to support the long-term success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners.
The Honourable Judy A. Sgro, the Member of Parliament for Humber River-Black Creek on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that the Black Creek Community Health Centre, in partnership with York University, will receive close to $3 million to deliver the National Ecosystem Fund in North York.
With the recommended funding of $2,999,431, The Black Creek Community Health Centre in partnership with York University, will launch an agri-food incubator, offering a full spectrum of ideation, entrepreneurship and acceleration supports to Black entrepreneurs seeking to establish or grow agri-food businesses.
The support is provided through the National Ecosystem Fund, which was created to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada. Federal Development (FedDev) for Southern Ontario is administering the Fund.
“Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make significant contributions to the Canadian economy and to communities around them, but continue to face systemic barriers. This investment is an important step to support Black entrepreneurs and business owners. The National Ecosystem Fund will support Black-led business organizations across the country so that they can better access capital, and offer mentoring, financial planning services, and business training to entrepreneurs and business owners. This is just one part of our whole-of-government approach to taking action against anti-Black racism.”
- The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
“Through the National Ecosystem Fund, the Black Creek Community Health Centre will be able to expand existing initiatives or create new ones and provide critical support, services, and resources to Black Entrepreneurs and businesses in North York. This important investment is another example of our government’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, while working to address systemic racism against Black Canadians.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario
“Today was a fantastic event that will offer great opportunities for Black Creek Community Health Centre and York University. It was also wonderful to meet the stakeholders of this program, and gauge how they can benefit our community. I’m excited to see the potential and impacts this funding will provide for everyone involved.”
- Honourable Judy A. Sgro, Member of Parliament, Humber River-Black Creek, announcing for Federal Development Southern Ontario
“This is an amazing accomplishment for our community! We are excited about this collaboration with York University, the Black Creek Community Farm and other partners because this community is starving for such opportunities. This program offers Black Entrepreneurs more than just financial literacy. This program challenges anti-Black racism and the systemic barriers Black people face in education and employment that result in poor health outcomes. The sky's the limit! I cannot wait to see this project take flight in the Black Creek Community”
- Cheryl Prescod, Executive Director, Black Creek Community Health Centre
“The Black Entrepreneurship Alliance will build on the Black Creek Community Health Centre’s leadership within the Black Creek community — as well as York’s historic strengths in business, innovation, and entrepreneurship — to provide educational support and training to Black entrepreneurs. We look forward to continuing our long history of partnership with the Black Creek Community Health Centre in providing increased access to education and opportunities for members of the Black Creek community — and creating a fairer, more equitable, and more prosperous city.”
- Amir Asif, Professor and Vice President of Research and Innovation, York University
- The Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) is a partnership between the Government of Canada, Black-led business organizations, post-secondary or other accredited educational institutions and financial institutions.
- Canada’s Regional Development Agencies deliver the BEP’s National Ecosystem Fund, and work with selected partner organizations to assist them in implementing their services.
- The Black Entrepreneurship Program is an over $400 million investment including:
- up to $53 million for the National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business organizations across the country. It will help Black business owners and entrepreneurs access funding and capital and provide them with mentorship, financial planning services and business training. An additional $51.7 million for the BEP was provided in Budget 2021.
- up to $291.3 million in support through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, which will provide loans of up to $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs.
- Up to $6.5 million for the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which will conduct qualitative and quantitative research and collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs’ barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth.
- Canada’s regional development agencies are on the ground helping businesses weather the effects of the pandemic. With the measures recently proposed in Budget 2021, FedDev Ontario continues to be a trusted partner to deliver targeted support in Southern Ontario
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade