Government of Canada supports the next generation of Black entrepreneurs through investment in Federation of Black Canadians

News release

FedDev Ontario invests over $1.3 million to support nearly 170 Black youth entrepreneurs and create 70 new jobs

February 21, 2023 – Scarborough, Ontario   

Black entrepreneurs grow Canada’s economic and cultural landscape. As we work to address the barriers to success that they face, the Government of Canada is proud to support projects that celebrate talented Black Canadians in our communities and help them succeed. Investing in the potential of Black Canadians is a priority for our government.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced an investment of over $1.3 million for the Federation of Black Canadians (FBC) so it can enhance its services to support and mentor more Black youth and young adult entrepreneurs.

With this investment through the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) Ecosystem Fund, the FBC will provide tools and resources to 170 Black youth entrepreneurs across multiple regions, including the Greater Toronto Area, Montréal and Edmonton, supporting them to successfully launch and grow their businesses. The impact of these resources and support is monumental as young entrepreneurs across the country will have a higher chance of success and opportunity to contribute to the Canadian economy.

As part of this project, the FBC will work in collaboration with University of Toronto Scarborough, the BRIDGE, the Black Founders Network and other partners to research and survey the Black community in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec to determine the needs, obstacles and structural challenges faced by Black youth entrepreneurs and design tailored programming based on findings. Programming will include a four-month entrepreneurial program focused on business planning, finance, risk management, legislation and commercialization to support the success of Black entrepreneurs.

Through this investment, FBC will also create a 12-month mentorship program that offers one-on-one mentorship opportunities with leaders from the Black community, focused on managing debt, technology, brand and business development, stress and mental health.

Today’s investment will support the creation of 70 full-time jobs and reinforce the Government of Canada’s commitment to uplifting Black entrepreneurs in Canada. Including today’s announcement, the Government of Canada has announced over $50 million for 23 Black-led not-for-profit organizations through the BEP Ecosystem Fund in southern Ontario. These investments play a crucial role for so many small businesses across southern Ontario as they provide the means necessary to help them to grow.


“The Federation of Black Canadians will provide a vital platform for young Black entrepreneurs to develop, launch and scale-up their businesses with the investment announced today. Our government recognizes the important role these services play, and we will continue to work to ensure the next generation of Black entrepreneurs have access to the tools, mentorship and resources they need to grow the economy, create good jobs and build thriving communities.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Support through the Federation of Black Canadians is going to make a difference for Black entrepreneurs and business owners here in the GTA and in communities across Canada – helping them to overcome barriers and achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations. This support through the Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Fund further demonstrates this government’s commitment to creating an inclusive economic future.”
– Gary Anandasangaree, Member Of Parliament For Scarborough—Rouge Park

“We are truly thankful for the opportunity to support young Black entrepreneurs through this funding provided by the Government of Canada through FedDev Ontario. This project speaks directly to our Economic Security Pillar and allows us to further inspire the current and next generation of entrepreneurs. Through our partnership with University of Toronto Scarborough, The Bridge and the Black Founders Network, participants will gain access to passionate facilitators and mentors, as well as a greater understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur and what goes into developing a business.”
– Christopher Thompson, Executive Director, Federation of Black Canadians 

Quick facts

  • Founded in 2017 in Ontario, the Federation of Black Canadians (FBC) is a Black-led, Black-focused and Black-serving not-for-profit organization aimed at advancing the social, economic, political and cultural interests of Black Canadians, with active hubs also located in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. The FBC delivers community programming, hosts workshops, conducts research projects, organizes community events and supports capacity building.

  • The Government of Canada is working to address long-standing barriers with its Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP)—an over $400-million investment to support the long-term success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners. Canada’s Regional Development Agencies deliver the BEP Ecosystem Fund, and work with selected partner organizations to assist them in implementing their services.

  • As of April 2022, across Canada, more than 1,100 participants have received support from funded not-for-profit organizations through the BEP Ecosystem Fund, delivered by the Regional Development Agencies. This includes almost 580 businesses, 34 not-for-profits and nearly 500 entrepreneurs. This support has resulted in the creation of over 100 jobs to date.

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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