Justin Trudeau stopped by The Weeknd's HXOUSE think-centre today to announce the $220 million initiative.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Black entrepreneurs at HXOUSE, The Weeknd's Toronto think-centre, to discuss plans for a new multimillion dollar initiative to support Black businesses in Canada. The talks took place as Trudeau announced a historic new national program that aims to provide Black Canadians with opportunities for funding and bank loans to launch their own businesses.
The Black Entrepreneurship Program is the first of its kind in Canada and is intended to help Black business owners and entrepreneurs recover from the financial and logistical setbacks exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The program will be allocating $53 million to roll out a new National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led businesses and $33 million to the new Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund to provide loan opportunities for Black business owners.
The government partnered with Canadian financial institutions to pledge $220 million to the new program, with $6.5 million going towards the establishment of a Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub to be run by Black business and community leaders that will document the financial and social obstacles Black entrepreneurs face.
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In a press conference from HXOUSE where he announced the new program, Trudeau made a point to acknowledge systemic racism and the glaring inequalities that the ongoing pandemic made evident. "I recognize there is much more to do on the justice system, much more to do on public safety and working with police and we will have more things to talk about," Trudeau said.