Futurpreneur™ announces new funding collaboration with RBC support young black entrepreneurs across Canada, in partnership with BDC
March 24, 2021 (Toronto, ON) – Futurpreneur Canada today announced a new funding collaboration with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to deliver the Black Entrepreneur Startup Program, building on its longstanding partnership with Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). This tailored version of its core Startup Program will increase its support of aspiring, young Black entrepreneurs launching successful, new businesses in communities across Canada.
Delivered nationally by a team with lived experience, the Black Entrepreneur Startup Program will foster greater equity and diversity among Canada’s entrepreneurs, with enhancements that will help address the systemic barriers to capital and other support that some aspiring young Black entrepreneurs face.
In addition to the mentorship and resources available through Futurpreneur’s core Startup Program, participants in the Black Entrepreneur Startup Program will gain access to more inclusive loan financing and a range of specialized programming and national networking opportunities, better equipping them to realize their ambitions of business ownership.
“Futurpreneur is committed to fostering the success of diverse, young entrepreneurs to drive inclusive economic prosperity nationwide. This new collaboration with RBC is an important step in advancing our Diversity & Inclusion commitments,” said Karen Greve Young, CEO, Futurpreneur. “We recognize that young Black entrepreneurs disproportionally face barriers to success that have nothing to do with the potential of their business idea, notably access to financing and mentorship. With RBC’s meaningful funding contribution, and building upon our proven co-lending partnership with BDC, this new program will address barriers and amplify the success of hundreds of young Black entrepreneurs.”
The program, delivered by Futurpreneur, will provide young, Black entrepreneurs age 18-39 across Canada with a comprehensive offering of $5,000–$60,000 in startup loan financing (up to $40,000 of which will be funded by RBC and up to $20,000 loaned by BDC), as well as up to two years of mentorship, opportunities to engage with a national network of Black entrepreneurs, leaders and community organizations at a range of entrepreneurship events, and a variety of relevant tools and resources. Participants who are keen to scale their businesses even further will also be eligible for up to $40,000 in follow-on financing funded by RBC, based on the first two years of successful business performance.
In recognition of the systemic barriers to credit faced by many young entrepreneurs, in particular those who identify as Black or Indigenous, Futurpreneur, with the generous support of RBC, is also launching a new credit information video series and accompanying resource guide. Available to all aspiring young entrepreneurs in its network, the videos and resource guide will help aspiring entrepreneurs gain a better understanding of how credit works, so they can make more informed decisions and put themselves on the path to opportunity.
“The Financial Services industry plays an important role in enabling economic recovery and prosperity, and small businesses are the engine of that growth,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal and Commercial Banking at RBC. “By providing access to capital, backed by dedicated advice and business services, the Black Entrepreneur Startup Program will help Black entrepreneurs finance, launch and manage their business ideas. Working alongside Futurpreneur, we believe this program is an important first step to making Black-owned businesses a meaningful part of Canada’s economic growth and future prosperity.”
“We know one of the biggest challenges facing Black entrepreneurs is access to capital to grow their businesses,” said Michael Denham, President and CEO, BDC. “As the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, we are committed to ensuring every business owner has the financing, advice, resources and networks needed to succeed. We are proud to expand our partnership with Futurpreneur to support Black entrepreneurs and we are here to listen, learn and act to help them reach their full potential.”
“This new collaboration will enable us to address some of the unique barriers and challenges faced by young Black entrepreneurs in our community,” said Kevin Garcia, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Futurpreneur. “This tailored version of our Startup Program was driven, in part, by the lived experience of members of our team, and will respond to the unique needs of the young Black entrepreneurs we support going forward. We recognize there is still a lot of work to do and look forward to building upon this solid foundation.”
How to apply
Starting today, Black entrepreneurs who are permanent Canadian residents or citizens aged 18-39 can learn more about the program and apply here: futurpreneur.ca/en/besp. Applicants will be contacted by Futurpreneur team members who will guide them through the application process.
About Futurpreneur Canada
Futurpreneur Canada has been fuelling the entrepreneurial passions of enterprising young Canadians since 1996. We’re the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentorship and resources to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. More than 13,000 young Canadian entrepreneurs, spanning every province and territory, have successfully launched their businesses with Futurpreneur’s support. Their main street businesses help drive Canada’s inclusive economic prosperity in communities from coast to coast to coast.
Futurpreneur is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
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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 than 75 years, BDC’s only purpose has been to support entrepreneurs in all industries and at all stages of growth. For more information and to consult more than 1,000 free tools, articles and entrepreneurs’ stories, visit bdc.ca.