The Federal Government invests $2.7 Million in Black Business Association of BC.
The Black Business Association of BC is announced as a recipient of the Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund.
VANCOUVER, August 16, 2021 – The Black Business Association of BC, a non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses through education, mentorship, and leadership development, receives $2.7 million in funding to deliver direct support and services to Black owned businesses in BC.
Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, was joined by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government and Chair of the Parliamentary Black Caucus, Marci Ien, Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, Dr. Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, and Sukh Dhaliwal, Member of Parliament for Surrey–Newton, to announce that the first round of organizations have been selected for the Black Entrepreneurship Program's National Ecosystem Fund.
Minister Ng announced that more than $2.7 million in Ecosystem funding has been allocated to the Black Business Association of BC to create and deliver a portfolio of business services for Black entrepreneurs, including programs for start-up, scale-up, market expansion and youth businesses. The funding will also enable the association to expand its online learning platform, create an incubator program, and open a physical business centre with skilled professional staff and contractors to support Black entrepreneurs.
The Ecosystem Fund is the backbone of the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund. These two programs will work hand in hand to provide the Black business community with access to capital and wrap around services to ensure their journey from ideation to launch and beyond, is fully supported.
After many months of planning, during which the government allowed the Black community leaders to develop strategies that would be impactful and meet the needs of the Black business community, we have been able to design programs that will directly support Black entrepreneurs through:
- · skills development,
- · supporting business plan writing
- · creating avenues to increase domestic and international market access
- · safe spaces for networking
- · supporting mental health for business owners and their staff
- · mentorship
- · driving youth engagement and interest in entrepreneurship
An economy is only as strong as the small businesses that work every day to bring their communities food, clothing, technology, services, and more. Businesses have had many challenges over the last 17 months. Now is the time to step up to ensure we support the sustainability of existing businesses. We must also celebrate small business and keep that flame alive for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
In the Black community, business and culture are often intertwined. Investing in a small business, is investing in a local family, who is investing in their community and supporting the economic stability of our economy. This is an opportunity for us to amplify the beauty of diversity. “I often say, knowledge supports understanding, understanding fosters empathy, and empathy is the foundation of an inclusive culture, that is even more relevant today as we work to build back better”, said Nerissa Allen, President of BBABC.
About the Black Business Association of BC
Co-Founded by Nerissa Allen and Clavia Alleyne, the BBABC provides tangible operational support to Black entrepreneurs and small businesses. Programs designed to engage and inspire new interest in entrepreneurship. With unemployment at an all-time high, giving people the tools to create and run a thriving business will not only uplift people and families individually, but also the community, and the Canadian economy as a whole.