BusinessDay

Canada to support Black-owned businesses with $2.8 million investment

The Government of Canada through its Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund has recently announced a $2.8 million funding to the Canadian Imperial Advantage (CIA) for the Black Business Advancement Project.

The aim of the fund is to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem and provide business training for Black business owners within Western Canada.

During the launch of the project fund, Bola Badmus, the project director for the Black Business Advancement said through the National Ecosystem Fund, the CIA will build a truly-supportive business ecosystem that helps black businesses transition smoothly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and incubate new businesses through the value chain from ideation to inclined profitability.

Similarly, Popoola Akande, the president of CIA noted that access to capital is a key factor for most businesses, especially SMEs, so they have made it their core offering to support the business network with credit advisory services.

“There are opportunities out there, change the way you think about business, think big and let’s do it”,” Akande added.

It is no longer news that the CIA, a community and economic development organization in Alberta, Western Canada has been making new waves and breaking new barriers in positioning black businesses including start-ups for greater economic opportunities, with a focus on building institutional capacity.

CIA is led by a team of Nigerian-born professionals and they are at the forefront of fostering an inclusive business ecosystem for black entrepreneurs to thrive without systemic barriers.

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Over the years, the agency thrives on strategic partnerships and collaborations to develop an inclusive business advancement framework that helps Black entrepreneurs gain access to capital as well as increase productivity and/ or efficiency through professional training, high-impact mentoring, capacity building and socio-economic empowerment.

Ayo Oladimeji, the executive director at CIA spoke said the project will increase the visibility, participation, and contribution of black entrepreneurs and business owners in the wider economic opportunities, which aligns with CIA’s plan to be the most progressive resource hub for black entrepreneurs and newcomers in Alberta and Western Canada.