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Black Entrepreneurship in Canada Cause for Concern

A major report on Black entrepreneurship in Canada published today revealed important findings on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs of African descent in terms of their businesses’ development and performance.

In light of these findings, the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE) expressed concern over the barriers to entrepreneurship, the feeling of exclusion and the eroding confidence of the Black entrepreneurs surveyed across the country.

A total of 342 of them pointed to systemic racism, access to capital and financing, and the lack of baseline business networks as the main barriers.

“While we’re not surprised by the survey’s findings, we’re still concerned about the ability of entrepreneurs of African descent to contribute to the country’s economic development. At the Federation of African Canadian Economics, we’ve been working for nearly a year to pinpoint these barriers and implement tangible measures to address them, including financing, as well as access to capital and business networks.

The fact remains that Black entrepreneurs’ prosperity isn’t the sole responsibility of the Black community. Rather, it must be taken on by the country’s entire business ecosystem, including the government, the business community, financial institutions, interest groups, as well as civil society. Now that we have data and objective findings, maintaining the status quo is no longer an option. In the coming days, we’ll have the opportunity to formally present baseline measures that will certainly address many of the concerns of Black entrepreneurs,” said Tiffany Callender, President and CEO of FACE.

The Canada-wide survey was conducted with the participation of the African Canadian Senators Group and Senator Colin Deacon, and carried out by Abacus.

Highlights:

  • Systemic racism has a major impact on Black entrepreneurs: 76% of surveyed entrepreneurs claimed their skin colour impedes their success
  • Access to capital is the biggest barrier for Black entrepreneurs, with access to financing, capital and sales claimed to be the biggest challenge by far. 75% of respondents said it would be difficult for them to secure $10,000 in financing to support their business.
  • Confidence in banks and other financial institutions has eroded: Only 19% of respondents said they trust their bank to do what’s best for them or their community. Entrepreneurs who consider themselves vulnerable are more suspicious of banks than those who claim to be more autonomous.
  • Access to business networks and support are critical for business development and growth: most Black entrepreneurs say they wouldn’t know how to get support or advice should their business face issues. The disparity of this information represents the widest gap between entrepreneurs who claim to be vulnerable and those who claim to be autonomous.
  • Black-led organizations are important: A total of 45% of Black entrepreneurs surveyed claimed that Black-led organizations were either essential or very important to their business, and 25% said these were relatively important.

SOURCE Fédération Africaine Canadienne de l’Économie

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