Ecosystem Fund releases over $72 million dollars to Black community

Nadine Spencer

The Government of Canada continues to work closely with Black business owners and Black-led organizations across Canada to ensure the new Black Entrepreneurship Program reflects the realities and needs of Black Canadians.

Some of the big winners are Black Business and Professional Association, and Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce each receiving $5 million, while, and of great interest, the Toronto Carnival’s Festival Management Committee was granted $1.8 million.

The program builds on the Government’s work to address systemic racism against Black Canadians. This includes taking steps to advance Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, justice reforms, modern policing structures and standards, and enhanced local community supports for young Black Canadians.

The goal of the Ecosystem Fund is to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada. It will allow not-for-profit Black-led organizations to develop new services or expand those they already offer such as mentorship, networking, financial planning, and business training for Black entrepreneurs.

There were two stages under the first “Call for Concepts”. Eligible organizations are Black led regional and national organizations. They were required to submit high-level concepts first, and when they were selected, they worked with Regional Development Agency on their final proposals.

The Ecosystem Fund awarded funding to regional and national not-for-profit, Black-led organizations, which are expected to grow their services or deliver new programs to support the growth of the Black entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Other organizations getting support from the federal government are the Afro Caribbean Business Network Foundation – $1.3 million15,298.00; Black Creek Community Health Centre – $2. 99 million; Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region $2.99 million; CaribbeanTales – $ 648,000.00; Black Business Ventures Association –  $1.8 million; Black Canadian Women in Action Society of BC – $3 million; and OYA Black Arts Coalition – $3 million.

The Call for Concepts closed on December 21, 2020.