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MP Julie Dzerowicz Announces Support for Not-For-Profit, Black-led Organization in Toronto

August 16, 2021 – Toronto, ON – 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 (BEP)—an over $400 million
investment to support the long-term success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners.
Today, MP Julie Dzerowicz, the Member of Parliament for Davenport, on behalf of the
Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade,
announced that CaribbeanTales will receive $648,000 to deliver the National Ecosystem
Fund
in Toronto.
With this funding, CaribbeanTales will expand its existing established Creators of Colour
Incubator Program, to provide a national Black Incubator and Studio Access Program
(CBISAP), primarily focussed on supporting Black female media entrepreneurs. CBISAP will
support creators, filmmakers, and producers to start their own media companies, develop
studio skills, and produce pitch decks and proofs of concept for their projects. CBISAP will give
Black producers the necessary tools to participate in the mainstream Canadian media industry
and distribute their content nationally and internationally.
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.


Quotes


“Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs make significant contributions to the
Canadian economy and to communities around them but continue to face systemic barriers.
This investment to support Caribbean Tales in Toronto is an important step to support Black
entrepreneurs and business owners. The National Ecosystem Fund will support Black-led
business organizations across the country so that they can better access capital, and offer
mentoring, financial planning services, and business training to entrepreneurs and business
owners. This is just one part of our whole-of-government approach to taking action against
anti-Black racism.”
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and
International Trade


“Through the National Ecosystem Fund, CaribbeanTales will be able to expand existing
initiatives or create new ones and provide critical support, services, and resources to Black
Entrepreneurs and businesses in Toronto. This important investment is another example of our
government’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, while working to address systemic racism
against Black Canadians.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official
Languages


“For too long, our diverse artistic community has been underfunded. We know women and
racialized people have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Supporting
entrepreneurs–especially racialized women entrepreneurs–is critically important as we come
out of this pandemic. By increasing funding to diverse organizations doing great work at the
local level, our federal Liberal government is helping to build a more equitable country. In
Canada, we know that diversity is a strength– and by helping diverse communities share their
lived realities through their art and their stories, we are building stronger communities and a
stronger country.”
MP Julie Dzerowicz, the Member of Parliament for Davenport


“CaribbeanTales CT will expand its existing national incubator program to create the CT Black
Incubator Studio Program CBISAP that will focus primarily on providing access to Black female
creates and producers, helping them to start their own media companies complete pitch decks
with proof of concepts so that they can take a meaningful role in the Canadian media industry
and distribute their products nationally and internationally.
Frances-Anne Solomon, Founder/Director, CaribbeanTales Media Group


Quick facts


• The Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) 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 BEP’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 including:
o up to $53 million for the National Ecosystem Fund to support Black-led business
organizations across the country. It will help Black business owners and
entrepreneurs access funding and capital and provide them with mentorship,
financial planning services and business training. An additional $51.7 million for
the BEP was provided in Budget 2021.
o up to $291.3 million in support through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund,
which will provide loans of up to $250,000 for Black business owners and
entrepreneurs.
o 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 recently proposed in Budget
2021, FedDev Ontario continues to be a trusted partner to deliver targeted support in
Toronto.


Associated links



Minister Ng announces the launch of the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund –
https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economicdevelopment/news/2021/05/minister-ng-announces-the-launch-of-the-blackentrepreneurship-loan-fund.html


Minister Ng announces opening of applications for the Black Entrepreneurship
Program’s National Ecosystem Fund and Knowledge Hub – https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economicdevelopment/news/2020/11/minister-ng-announces-opening-of-applications-for-theblack-entrepreneurship-programs-national-ecosystem-fund-and-knowledge-hub.html


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