Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub gets $5m seed money

Mary Ng

Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make important contributions to the Canadian economy, yet they continue to face systemic racism and obstacles to 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 through its first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program—an investment of over $400 million to support the long-term success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners.

Last Monday, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced that Carleton University and Dream Legacy Foundation have been chosen to establish the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, the third pillar in the Black Entrepreneurship Program. Minister Ng made the announcement at Carleton University and was joined by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board and Chair of the Parliamentary Black Caucus, and Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre.

Once operational, the Knowledge Hub, created through a $5 million investment from the government, will conduct research and collect data on Black entrepreneurship in Canada and identify barriers to success as well as opportunities to help Black entrepreneurs grow their business.

 

The Hub will be an important component of Carleton University’s recently formed Innovation Hub, an incubator and accelerator that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship and contributes to the university’s equity, diversity and inclusion commitment. Dream Legacy Foundation is a Black-led not-for-profit philanthropic organization. Its vision is to ensure an inclusive market economy in which

Pako Tshiamala

systemic barriers are eradicated and the contributions of under-represented groups are amplified and valued.

In order to ensure a pan-Canadian reach, Carleton University and Dream Legacy Foundation will create regional hubs across the country. Each hub will be led by a recognized post-secondary institution and will work collaboratively with community organizations to co-develop research on Black entrepreneurship, including a mapping of the Black entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“Black Canadians have long been waiting to be included in initiatives that bolster start-up culture within our community, and Dream Legacy Foundation is grateful to partner with ISED and Carleton University to fill the data gaps that will enable and propel Black entrepreneurs in Canada today and for generations to come,” said Pako Tshiamala, Director of Communications, Dream Legacy Foundation.