Stronger Together: BDC launches six new partnerships to support Black entrepreneurs
Montreal, ON – March 9, 2021 – BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, is expanding its commitment to address anti-Black systemic racism and to support Black business owners by partnering with six new partners across Canada: Black Business Initiative (BBI) (Atlantic), Groupe 3737 (QC), Audace au Féminin (QC), Founders Fund (Ontario), Black Business Association of British Columbia (BBABC) (BC), and the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC).
“Our commitment is to ensure all entrepreneurs across Canada have access to the financing, advice, networks and resources they need to thrive,” said Michael Denham, President and CEO, BDC. “We know Black entrepreneurs are making valuable contributions to their communities and our economy and that they face unique challenges in growing their businesses. We are proud to work with these great partners so we can learn what Black business owners need and take action to help them reach their full potential.”
The first collaboration will be a three-part webinar series for Black entrepreneurs called Stronger Together. The goal of the webinar series is to deliver solutions to address the challenges research has shown are the biggest barriers for Black business owners. The topics include financial literacy, e-commerce and networking. The series will also have the added benefits of bringing together a diverse pool of entrepreneurs so they can learn from one-another and connect on their experiences and entrepreneurial journeys. Ongoing, the partners will collaborate on initiatives to support the Black business community and share information and insights.
“It’s important that we reach Black business owners across the country. By working with these regional and national partners, we can better understand the needs of entrepreneurs in each community,” added Laura Didyk, Vice President, Client Diversity, BDC. “We still have lots of work to do but we are committed to listening and learning and working together to help Black business owners, and our economy, thrive.”
Today’s announcement builds on BDC’s commitment to combat anti-Black racism and support Black business owners through many initiatives, including:
- Signed the BlackNorth Initiative’s CEO Pledge which includes hiring at least 5% within the student workforce from the Black community and having at least 3.5% of executive and board roles being held by Black leaders by 2025
- Supported the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce’s first study, Building Black Businesses in Canada
- Sponsored the Rise Up Pitch Competition which provided free workshops and resources to Black women entrepreneurs across Canada, plus $10,000 in capital to the winning entrepreneurs.
- Invited Black employees to participate in listening circles to learn how the bank can be more inclusive, then conducted mandatory internal learning programs with all employees including Inclusive Leadership for an Anti-Racist Workplace (leaders) and Being an Ally in an Anti-Racist Workplace (employees).
To learn more about or sign-up for the webinar visit our website.
BDC is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. It provides access to financing, as well as advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions. For more information, visit bdc.ca.