Black entrepreneurs say access to capital among challenges to success, survey finds

Senator Colin Deacon

OTTAWA — A new survey of Black entrepreneurs in Canada says widespread barriers stand in the way of Black Canadians who are looking to start and grow businesses.

The survey of 342 Black entrepreneurs found three-quarters say their race makes it harder to succeed in business, with systemic racism, access to capital and the lack of a business network all cited as barriers to growth.

It found the top challenges are access to funding and financing, and only 19 per cent of those surveyed say they trust banks to do what is right for them and their community.

The survey, commissioned by the African Canadian Senate Group and Senator Colin Deacon, also found almost half of Black entrepreneurs are unable to pay themselves from their business.

Meanwhile, it found that networks and support are critical to empowering Black entrepreneurs and yet a majority say they do not know how to access supports or advice when challenges arise in their business.

Still, the survey says 87 per cent of Black entrepreneurs report that they are either very or somewhat optimistic about the future of their business.