Black business owners and entrepreneurs can now apply for loans up to $250,000 through the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE), which will adjudicate the funds as part of the federal government’s Black Entrepreneurship Program.
Announced yesterday, The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund will be comprised of $291.3 million of which $33.3 million comes from the federal government, $130 million from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and $128 million from RBC, BMO financial Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, TD, Vancity and Alterna Savings.
The funding will enable Black entrepreneurs to access financial support which will better position them for success in Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery, a release stated.
“The opening of the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund is a historic achievement to support Black business owners and entrepreneurs so they can start up, scale up and grow across Canada and around the world,” said Mary Ng, federal minister of small business, export promotion and international trade.
“As a critical piece of Canada’s first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program, the Loan Fund helps reduce barriers Black business owners and entrepreneurs face in accessing financing. Our government is proud to work with FACE and other Black community leaders to continue to address systemic racism against Black Canadians.”
According to the release, in order to qualify for a loan, eligible businesses must be majority owned by a Black Canadian and may include start-ups and existing for-profit small businesses in Canada, including sole proprietorships, social enterprises, partnerships or co-operatives.
In addition, applicants must have a business number, a business plan, and financial statements or projects for start-ups.
Tiffany Callender, president and CEO of FACE, said the announcement is an “example of what we are able to accomplish when we mobilize and join our efforts.
“In under a year, we have collectively managed to establish a major coast-to-coast program to support our entrepreneurs from a culturally appropriate perspective. It is an important day in the fight against systemic racism and eradicating the real economic barriers that the Black community has endured. We are planting the seeds of possibility and we will nurture them every step of the way and witness as the fruit of our labour blossoms.”
FACE chairperson Louis-Edgar Jean-François added that the “talents, ambition and determination of Black entrepreneurs can be propelled forward thanks to a funding program that is exclusively dedicated to them. It is a huge step towards recognizing the Black community’s contributions to Canadian prosperity.”
Black entrepreneurs can apply for loans through FACE’s Black Owned Business InterFACE (BOBi) accessible via facecoalition.com.