Federation of African Canadian Economics spearheads project to bolster Black businesses across Canada

Tiffany Callender, CEO of FACE

The Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE) has announced a unique partnership with MNP, bolstering FACE’s commitment and mission to support Black business owners and entrepreneurs across Canada.

The Government of Canada announced, in May 2021, that FACE would be the legal entity designated to administer the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, a component of the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) – a partnership between the Government, Black-led business organizations, and financial institutions.

Effective May 31, 2021, the loan fund (which includes investments of $33.3m from the Government of Canada and a further $130M from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)) provides loans of up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

As an extension of the program, MNP, one of Canada’s largest national accounting, consulting and tax firms, has agreed to provide services that will include a pro bono element, as well as business training services, exclusively to any businesses that are granted access to the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund administered by FACE.

The partnership was formally announced at the end of BDC Small Business Week – an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has organized for over 42 years.

“This partnership is part of a desire to offer more than just loans,” said Tiffany Callender, CEO, FACE. “While access to capital is important, having access to resources, knowledge, and expertise like those offered by MNP will amplify the impact of this capital. I would like to thank MNP for believing in this mission and being part of the success of Black entrepreneurs from coast to coast.”

Established in 1958, in Manitoba, MNP has grown to more than 125 locations coast-to-coast across Canada and delivers a diverse range of professional services and specialized expertise in every sector and area of business in the Canadian economy.

“We are proud to support entrepreneurs, businesses and communities across Canada for more than 60 years. Community is embedded in our core values and is a fundamental part of who we are,” said Jason Tuffs, CEO, MNP.

“Our philosophy is that making a positive difference in our communities means giving not just financial resources but also our time, expertise and experience – that’s what authentic investment looks like and that is why we believed we could bring something truly valuable to the table, through our partnership with FACE. The work FACE is doing is focused on supporting Black Canadian communities across the entire country and we are proud to collaborate with FACE and contribute to their success.”

Scott Crowley, MNP’s Regional Managing Partner

Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make important contributions to the Canadian economy yet continue to face systemic barriers in starting and growing their businesses. This has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted the way all businesses operate.

“MNP’s extensive support, including training and education programs, will help to shape, influence and support generations of Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs,” added Scott Crowley, MNP’s Regional Managing Partner for Advisory and Consulting Services in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and MNP’s Partner Sponsor for its alliance with FACE.

“From the moment we first spoke with FACE, our objectives were completely aligned – providing Black business leaders with the resources that will help to create meaningful and lasting change for their businesses. Through our partnership we will be able to reach and support more of those organizations with their journey, strengthening both the business and social fabrics of our communities.”

The Federation of African Canadian Economics is a coalition of Black-led organizations dedicated to stimulating economic growth and creating generational wealth for Canadians of African Descent. In 2020 FACE was created to address the needs of Black business owners and entrepreneurs who were economically devastated during the pandemic.