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Halifax non-profit Tribe Network is looking for nominations for people to receive funding through its Black Entrepreneur Program.
Tribe received $2.89-million in federal funding last month, one of 10 such initiatives announced by Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Economic Development.
Nominations open on Monday, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and run through the spring.
“This commitment by the federal government will provide Tribe Network with the resources and capacity to identify and develop talented Black entrepreneurs and business owners in Atlantic Canada,” Tribe CEO and founder Alfred Burgesson said in a release.
“We know that Black entrepreneurs lack access to mentors, capital and the networks needed to succeed. We also want to ensure that Black entrepreneurs see themselves as founders, creators, and inventors. Tribe Network will work with the existing entrepreneurship and innovation partners and the Black community to bridge this gap.”
Tribe Network’s Black Entrepreneur Program is intended to provide access to funding, mentorship, coaching and entrepreneurship support, and services to Black entrepreneurs to start, build and accelerate their businesses.
In making her announcement, Ng said Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make important contributions to the Canadian economy, but face systemic racism and obstacles in starting and growing their businesses.
“The recipients joining our National Ecosystem Fund network are doing crucial work to support Black entrepreneurs across the country and building capacity to ensure success for years to come,” the minister said.
The Ecosystem Fund has allocated $92 million to 38 Black-led organizations across the country to provide mentorship, networking, financial planning and business training for Black entrepreneurs.
“When we look at poverty and the lack of resources and lack of education, and the lack of jobs, in our Black communities, I think a big part of it is because there’s not a lot of Black entrepreneurs,” said Nevell Provo, a Black Entrepreneur in Dartmouth. “So the more Black entrepreneurs we see, the more jobs we see in the community, the more resources in the community, the more hope in the community.
“When you look around the entrepreneurial ecosystem, there’s a ton of these incubators and accelerators and products that exist for people outside of the [Black] community. They exist for the community at large, but as Black people, we don’t always have the access, or the means or the credit history or the know-how to access these.”
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