Minister Fortier announces support for Black-led not-for-profit organization in the National Capital Region

News release

August 13, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Government of Canada invests more than $830,000 to support Black entrepreneurs and businesses in the National Capital Region

Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make important contributions to the Canadian economy, yet they continue to face systemic racism and obstacles in starting and growing their businesses. This has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is working to address long-standing barriers with its first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program—an over $400-million investment to support the long-term success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners.

Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that the Africa Development Network (ADN) will receive $832,000 to deliver the Black Entrepreneuship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund in the National Capital Region and Montréal.

This funding will allow ADN and its partners to develop and establish a new incubator centre for Black Francophone entrepreneurs and businesses. The centre will offer supports such as one-on-one mentoring, Black industry advisors, and custom training for micro, small and growth companies. The project is expected to support 400 entrepreneurs and 200 Black-led businesses, as well as create 150 new jobs through the companies supported.

The support is provided through the National Ecosystem Fund, which was created to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada. In Ottawa, FedDev Ontario is administering the Fund.


“For years racism and discrimination have kept Black business communities from reaching their true potential. This funding will help eliminate barriers to success for entrepreneurs in the National Capital Region by helping companies grow and create more good local jobs. I commend the Africa Development Network on the important work they are doing.”
– The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance 

“This is a meaningful, historic step to correct a historic wrong: the systemic barriers in accessing financing faced by people of African descent. I believe that Black Canadians are one of the most entrepreneurial groups in the underground economy. When all financial doors were closed to them, people of African descent on this land have had to find creative ways to survive. The Black Entrepreneurship Program will simply enhance the capacity and creativity of Black entrepreneurs and create economic prosperity for all Canadians.”
– Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the President of the Treasury Board and to the Minister of Digital Government and Chair of the Parliamentary Black Caucus

“Receiving this funding under the Black Entrepreneurship Program means ADN and its partners will be able to provide coaching, mentoring and training to Black entrepreneurs in the National Capital Region and beyond. This support will help Black-led businesses overcome challenges to their growth and development and create jobs.”
– Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament for Nepean

“After years of hard work, ADN is very pleased to receive this financial support from the Canadian government for our national business development centre project. This funding will help Black entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses and so increase the number of Black-led businesses in Canada by the end of the project.”
– André Gallo Azambou, Chair of the Board of Directors, Africa Development Network

Quick facts

  • The Black Entrepreneurship Program is a partnership between the Government of Canada, Black-led business organizations, post-secondary or other accredited educational institutions, and financial institutions.

  • Canada’s regional development agencies deliver the Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund and work with selected partner organizations to assist them in implementing their services.

  • The Black Entrepreneurship Program is an over $400-million investment that includes:

    • up to $53 million for the National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business organizations across the country in providing Black entrepreneurs and business owners with access to funding and capital, mentorship, financial planning services and business training. An additional $51.7 million was provided in Budget 2021.
    • up to $291.3 million for the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, which will provide loans of up to $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs.
    • up to $6.5 million for the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which will conduct qualitative and quantitative research and collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs’ barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth.
  • Canada’s regional development agencies are on the ground helping businesses weather the effects of the pandemic. With the measures proposed in Budget 2021, FedDev Ontario continues to be a trusted partner to deliver targeted support in the National Capital Region. 

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Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

FedDev Ontario
Media Relations
Africa Development Network
Recipient’s media relations contact and information

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