The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

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black e ntre pre neur journal issue ii

. winter/spring

History of

Black Owned Business

in Alberta

Working Capital

Entrepreneurial Spotlight

What is it? How to get it?

Tiramisu Bistro The Pastry Nerd

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Africa Centre’s Entrepreneurial Support initiatives aims at creating opportunity for building a larger business community in Alberta through leading a full-frontal assault on the systematic barriers that limit the prospects for aspiring Black entrepreneurs. Find out more at entrepreneurial-support africacentreyeg


780.455.5423 ext. 200


6770 129 Ave NW #106,

africacentreyeg Africa Centre

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issue ii

Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7

tab le o f


publishing team Greg Davis Publisher

Welcome Messages from the Executive Director and the Chairman of Africa Centre.

Taneya Rogers Editor

Joanne Pierce

Leadership Development The value of a business mentor, as told by Denise Ledi, an Executive Leadership Coach.

FACE Coalition Learn about financing opportunities for Black businesspersons and read their testimonials.

Technology For Small Businesses Making technology your partner when building and growing your business.

Historical Development of Black Businesses in Alberta/Western Canada Understanding how Canada’s policies have impacted the growth of Black entrepreneurship.

Entreprenurial Spotlight The stories of two entrepreneurs, Seble Isaac of Triamisu Bistro, and M’Dahoma of The Pastry Nerd.

Building While Black

Artistic Director

Tinuoluwa Olabimtan Designer

Ni Lo Photographer

africa centre Riyah Lakhani Joel Maweni Kojo Otoo

contributors Denise Ledi Nyssa Cromwell Michelle Davis Link Kabadyundi

Integrating Artificial Intelligence with the world of construction.

Outsiders Edge Media

The Business Advisory Implementation Development Services

P.O Box 542 Stn Main Edmonton T5J 2K8

Discover the newest program from the Black Business and Professional Association.

Working Capital

This issue was made with the support of :

What is it and why is it important to entrepreneurs? Find out from Finacial Coach, Michelle Davis.

Global News Developments around the globe.

The Black Canadian Business Empowerment Program is made possible thanks to support from the Government of Canada’s Black Entrepreneurship Program.

A strong, relevant and engaged African descent community in Alberta. africacentreyeg


780.455.5423 ext. 200


6770 129 Ave NW #106,

africacentreyeg Africa Centre

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issue ii

Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7

Welcome Note Sharif Haji, Executive Director

The beginning of a new year always feels like a fresh slate, and a time to act on the reflections and lessons of the past year. This second issue of the Black Entrepreneurs Journal feels extra special to us; it is symbolic of the success and positive feedback we have received from our community on the first issue. This issue also represents the continuation of our dream to share stories and resources for Black entrepreneurs in the Prairies and beyond. Just like this journal started as a dream, this issue spotlights two stories of incredible Black entrepreneurs whose dreams turned into fruition. Saïd M’Dahoma took risks and delved into the competitive food industry. His career change from neuroscientist to baker is wholesome and inspiring. Meanwhile, Sebel Isaac’s restaurant, Tiramisu Bistro, has become a longstanding fixture in the Edmonton foodie scene. Both are inspiring role models within the Black community. February is Black History Month and in this issue, we will look at how Canada’s earlier discriminatory practices have impacted the growth of Black Business in Western Canada. We investigate the past but also take a turn into the future, where our writers explore the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and construction, the rise of crypto currency and software solutions for your small business. We have included articles on important resources, including a submission about FACE’s journey and the distribution of their first wave of loans across Canada, as well as information on the incredible BBPA and BAIDS Program. We hope this journal will inform and inspire your entrepreneurial endeavours. Thank you for coming with us on this journey, and we look forward to growing with you into the next issue! Yours Sincerely,

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Welcome Note Kemoh Mansaray, Chairman

As we transition into 2022, I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the continuous contributions that Black entrepreneurs make to the economic ecosystem, in the Prairies and across Canada. I am consistently impressed by the innovation, resilience and creativity that comes from our community, especially at a time when the pandemic has placed us in uncharted territories. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of community and the inherent value in supporting local businesses. Building on this momentum, we are extremely excited to shed the spotlight on incredible local entrepreneurs and innovators. They share their experiences of owning and building successful businesses in Alberta and what it means to be of Afro-heritage in the world of business. As 2022 begins, we are excited to see the development and increase in programming of our Entrepreneurial Support program at Africa Centre. The program launched last year with the intention of creating opportunities for building a larger business community in the province. Our strategy is to lead a full-frontal assault on the systematic barriers that limit the prospects for aspiring Black entrepreneurs. In the first few months of its operation, the program has provided numerous Black entrepreneurs with resources and funding opportunities. We are continuously growing to meet the needs of our Black community. To those of you who have accessed our services, thank you for letting us support you. To find out more about our programs and services, please visit our website Yours Sincerely,

leadership DEVELOPMENT Denise Ledi having a mentor

is an invaluable asset. Having someone who’s likely walked in your shoes and successfully navi-

who’s ‘been there and done that’ invested in your personal gated and overcame familiar barriers and challenges. and professional growth and development can mean the When you don’t see other people like you, successfully difference between success and failure. There are several doing what you’re doing, it can be harder to relate and benefits to working with a mentor, such as: • increasing your knowledge in your given field, • improving your problem-solving abilities,

create your own path. I’ve been both a mentee and mentor. My first mentoring experience was with a young Black man with a shared

• building your confidence, developing your leadership cultural background and an aspiring police officer. A skills,

mutual acquaintance facilitated our introduction. We had

• maximizing your business bottom line, work an inquisitive and frank discussion about my field of study performance, and or promotional opportunities, and (Criminology), how I translated that background into a • building your network.

thriving career, and what he wanted to do. He asked to

Mentorship can be a wonderful, mutually satisfying keep in touch as he embarked on his studies. experience however, it can also be daunting when you

I was shocked, humbled, honored, and a little scared.

cannot find the representation you’re looking for. Let’s face Was I really qualified for mentorship? What did I know? it; how often have you heard “I want or prefer a mentor Nonetheless I accepted. I’m proud to say he graduated who is Black; someone like me, who fundamentally under- near the top of both his academic and cadet class and has stands the uncomfortable truths of what it’s like being on risen within the ranks.

We have a 25 + year relation-

the receiving end of conscious and unconscious systemic ship that’s among my most gratifying relationships, both biases, racism, and or micro aggressions.” A person who personally and professionally. Since then, I’ve mentored has felt the isolation and pressure of being “the only one” countless others. doing what you’re doing without having to explain this.

Early in my career I was fortunate to have two

The desire to have a mentor with a shared cultural women mentors. One in leadership, the other an expeor racial profile isn’t superficial; it’s about having an estab- rienced coworker, neither is Black. These relationships lished, unspoken kinship and connectedness with someone commenced organically. 8 .

issue ii

I shared my challenges and

triumphs, asked questions, and received their insights and

the people in your network and those they know.

perspectives, which continues today. I share this to specifi-

Colleagues, former alumni, family friends. The best

cally note that even in the absence of shared cultural back-

person for you could be close, practical and relevant.

grounds, the value in mentorship remains.

You never know where valuable connections can be

Recently, I launched a coaching and consulting


business. I connected with coaches and business owners

4. Build relationships. Expand your network. Cultivate

through networking and training events where I met a

the relationships you have and create opportunities

very successful Black female business owner. She and I

to build more. Ask for introductions. Volunteer, in

developed a working relationship. I watched, listened and

a leadership capacity if able. Join and participate in

learned, and I am currently working with her towards

activities of like minded people and those you may

fulfilling my bigger dreams and goals.

not readily have access to.

These are 7 key tips and lessons in my experiences I

5. Let go of fear, reach out & start talking. Initiate casual

trust will help you find and establish a mutually fulfilling

yet intentional conversations and let them develop

mentorship relationship:What do you want to achieve?

organically. Be ready to talk about yourself and your

1. What is your overarching grand goal and vision? Be


clear about your objectives. What are the things you

6. Be curious! Ask questions. Most people are eager to

need to better understand and develop? What are

share about themselves and willing to help you out.

your short and long term goals?

7. Be respectful and grateful.

2. Identify what you want from a mentor. What role do you want your mentor to play? Be specific about what you would like to accomplish and want in the relationship. 3. Look around you.

Don’t overlook and or judge

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face coalition 10 .

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“...(FACE) was created out of a dire need to bridge the wealth gap between Black Canadians and the rest of the population...” 71% of black canadian business owners used bootstrap- Association (BBPA), Cote des Neiges Black Commuping to start their business, according to a study by the nity Association, and Groupe 3737. The unit created by Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce in 2021. The these organisations fuels the ecosystem that helps FACE report also identifies that only 30% of the surveyed respon- achieve its mission to drive generational wealth powered dents from coast to coast feel ‘quite comfortable’ talking by sustainable economic resources, capacity, and strategic to their financial institution about their funding options. partnerships. This key data highlights the need for support in the Black

In an effort to reduce the barriers preventing Black

community across Canada’s borders to support entrepre- Canadian entrepreneurs from accessing capital, FACE has neurship and wealth creation. The Federation of African partnered with the Government of Canada and the BusiCanadian Economics (FACE) was created out of a dire ness Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to launch the need to bridge the wealth gap between Black Canadians Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund (BELF), which started and the rest of the population. Several prominent and accepting applications on the last day of May in 2021. The Black-led not-for-profit organisations have come together fund helps Black entrepreneurs with access to capital investto form FACE Coalition, namely: the Africa Centre, Black ments, working capital and additional business resources Business Initiative (BBI), Black Business and Professional for expansion through loans of up to $250,000. With the issue ii

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support of the BELF, Canadian Black business owners and

FACE has approved over $10 million in loans and is

entrepreneurs can get the financial support they need to continuing to work diligently on its key mission to adminstart up, scale up and grow across Canada and the world. ister the loans. The impact of the program is already felt Interested applicants can apply for the micro or macro throughout the country as many Black-owned businesses loan programs by submitting their business plan, financial have received funding. statement and projections, up-to-date income tax returns For more information about the Federation of African Canadian and notice of assessment and personal statement of affairs. Economics (FACE) and its loan program and options, you can visit For applicants who do not yet qualify for the loan, there For any questions regarding a loan appliare many organisations and corporations that are avail- cation, please email or call 1(855)560able for further guidance through strategic partnerships FACE (3223). For any press or media requests, please email with FACE, many of them offering pro bono services.

“...The impact of the program is already felt throughout the country as many Black-owned businesses have received funding...” issue ii

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face coalition testimonials


support from

andrew baah

myriam jean - baptiste and stevens charles

apollo staffing

ls cream liqueur

FACE means a lot. We have been

the face team

understood our reality and was dedicated

able to expand and include more nurses and Home Care to help us reach our goals. LS Cream Liqueur is expanding Associates (HCA). When we applied to the program our and having the support of FACE in this phase was crucial receivables sat in the $30,000s we have now doubled that. to our growth. Less than 1% of liquor brands are Black FACE has really given me a lifeline. It is up to me to use owned and we are dedicated to breaking this glass ceiling this to spring forward and be successful.

and continue to build a business with a purpose of gener-

“The loan has given me the opportunity to work as ational wealth and legacy, not only for our family but for an employee under the company while I get other nurses our community- Myriam & Stevens, LS Cream. and health care aids on board. We are providing employment to numerous HCAs and nurses. Aside from that, in the face of thispandemic, there is a greater need for healthcare professionals; we are doing our part to fill vacancies in our various health institutions. My experience engaging with FACE was exquisite; my deepest appreciation to Rodney T.” Moving forward the goal is to: Expand, expand, expand. The plan is to have a lot of nurses and HCAs working with us. We hope to secure more contracts in the health field and consolidate, then diversify to other sectors in temporary staffing. With this in mind, we will be exploring temporary staffing internationally within the next 2 years. 14 .

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¸ ı ŒŒ «( ¶ ¶ how to select the r i g h t t o o l s t o r u n y o u r b u s i n e ss

n yssa cromwell you’ve started your business,

raised your shingle and functional areas. Also detailed is a recommended list of

you are putting the word out - you’ve even gotten some items within each area that your integrated technology customers. It does not take long however to recognize that should be able to track and monitor.. there are some gaps in the mechanics of your operation. So what critical step did you miss?

This provides a framework that you can apply to your own venture. It should be noted that this article focuses on

Many business owners never consider HOW (systems, service-based businesses; areas such as shipping/receiving, processes, and tools) to run their business. Too often inventory management or other manufacturing or supplyenergy and resources are narrowly focused on the WHAT chain processes are not captured. (products and services) and the WHO (customers). Maxi-

• Human Resources (HR) - The People Factor - this

mizing service production and profits demands well inte-

area deals with managing the

people working

grated systems when architecting a business; systems that

within your business. Any software used for HR

can grow with your business and produce steady returns

should effectively capture private employee data, job

on your investment.

descriptions, manage job candidates/applicants, track employee personal files, signed policy documents and

Understanding Your Business’ Functional Areas

performance reviews.

Every business has a set of functional areas; each area

• Marketing - this drives all of the brand management

works towards the goal of the business in order to keep it

and revenue creation in the business; marketing

running profitably.

should attract right- fit prospective customers

There are many different ways to determine or dissect your business’ functional areas. For larger, more compli-

(prospects) into your sales funnel. • Your chosen tech should support the management

cated businesses there may be more subsections than







would be required for a smaller establishment. Functional

opportunities/deals, funnel management, digital

areas are also not stagnant and it is therefore necessary to

property management, marketing operations (ops)

reassess at different stages of development and expansion.

and website management.

The following list is an example of how one could

• Sales - this addresses the process of converting

dissect and analyze aspects of most businesses based on

a prospect into a customer, ensuring a win-win issue ii

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For a well-functioning business, ideally, you have determined the roles, people, processes and tools that will support each functional area...

source tools to cover these essential areas: paying staff, paying suppliers, vendors and subcontractors, collecting payments, managing invoices, and tracking taxes. • Legal - Under this umbrella a business, owner manages the legalities of business such as insurance, contracts, warranty disputes, returns etc. Even seasoned business owners often outsource these tasks, which address contract creation and review, dispute management and accessing counsel. • Information Technology (IT) - this includes tracking and managing the technologies used within the business and the flow of data from one tool to the other. With varying levels of integration, this software covers document management, computer and device management, and email systems. • Project Management (PM) - this area deals with

relationship (best solution for the customer and

task management and ensuring products or services

right-fit for your business). Tools integrated here

sold are delivered on time and to specification. Find

should track opportunities/deals, closed sales and

tools that can manage projects, manage tasks, assign

deal communications (calls, meetings, emails, social).

people to tasks and track time.

• Product/Service delivery - this operating functional

• General Administration

- this includes office

area deals with delivering the product or service to

management, facility management, social activities,

the customer. This is unique to you - the items you

charitable activities and more. While we don’t give

need to track will depend on your given product or

it much thought, certainly there is software and


technology that will help business owners deal with

• Customer Support - this vital component supports

reception greetings, managing social activities,

customers through any onboarding or any warranty

oversee office / facilities management, and process /

or after delivery services they require. Often tied

standard operating procedures (SOP) management.

in with product/service delivery, this tool should All of these areas interact to fulfill the business’ promises cover customer support requests, inter-departmental to the market at large. For a well-functioning business, support requests, and knowledge base of ‘how-to ideally, you have determined the roles, people, processes support’ articles. • Financial

and tools that will support each functional area - ensuring

- this mammoth category covers the that they work synchronously.

management of all of the invoices, banking, cash flow, investments, bill paying, employee expense Working Smarter; Not Harder - Tech Tools management, government filings and much more. For each functional area the business needs to consider: Most entrepreneurs are inclined to immediately 16 .

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• Roles - what skills are needed to perform the processes

Human Resources

and jobs-to-be done in the functional area?

General Admin

• People - who are the best people in the business to execute these roles (it may be you! Or, are you

Project Management


outsourcing?) • Process - what steps should be followed to fulfill the tasks required? • Tools - are there systems and software tools that can


Your Business

Information Technology

help perform the roles or even automate some of the jobs-to-be-done? Generally there are 3 types of tools you can adopt to track

Product/ Service


all of the items within each functional area above. • All-in-one systems - they are perfect for small

Customer Support

businesses as they contain the ability to track and


manage aspects of Financial, Marketing, Sales, IT Your Business Ecosystem

functions, PM and General Admin items - like Jobber for Home Services, Scoro, Honeybook or 17Hats. • Platforms to build your own custom all-in-one or

• Ease/joy of use - although tough to quantify, is the

focused system - with their building blocks no-code

user interface (UI) pleasing to interact with and

platforms such as Airtable, Podio, Notion, ClickUP

intuitive for you to use?

Fibery or, allow you to build and Also think about customize systems tailored for your unique business processes. • Disparate functional-area systems - These tools are built to manage one functional area well, but will need to be integrated with the others - like many of the systems presented in the below table.

• How well does it keep everyone (who needs to know) on the same page (integration)? • How do you share aspects of the tool to external parties? (contractors or temp workers) • How robust is the security? Is private information kept private and confidential? While the information may seem overwhelming, take

How to Evaluate Tools

comfort in knowing that even the largest 10,000+ compa-

When evaluating tools, think about

nies are also expending significant resources to wrangle

• Per-user costs - how much does every subsequent user their information management processes and systems. cost?

Getting ahead of it before your business expands places

• Extensibility - can the tool be extended to handle other you in a more favorable position. functional areas? Or if it is specific to 1 functional area, can it grow as you grow? • Data-portability - is the data you enter into the tool stuck there or can you export it out as needed? Can you natively connect the tool with the other tools you use? issue ii

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Historical Development of

Black Business in Alberta/ Western Canada

Taneya Rogers

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a country progresses

and societies evolve, its citi- scant documentation within the Black community extends

zens experience a litany of firsts. Technologies improve, Canada-wide. Race-based data and records of successes services expand and laws shift to bring more order, define within racialized communities are limited. This lack has the roles of governing bodies and to provide its citizenry unfortunately made it difficult for Black peoples to quangreater protections. Canada is no different, but for people tify and effectively articulate the levels of discrimination of Colour, the benefits and entitlements afforded with experienced when engaging with a system that was hisotrieach progressive stride is often delayed; in some cases by clly designed to keep them excluded. decades or generations. Even with limited effort, we can

A true exploration of the historic development of

conjure an extensive list of enquiries: Who was the first Black enterprise nationally or even in Western Canada Black person to legally own land in Western Canada? would entail a complex cross-examination of immigraWho was the first Person of Colour to have a bank account tion records, changes in legislation and public policy, and at an established Canadian bank? Who was the first Black archived court and corporate records. While this piece person to successfully secure a mortgage or even a busi- is not afforded such an in-depth review, we can connect ness loan? Who would we recognize as the first established some other readily-accessible information to provide Black business-owner in Western Canada, or even within context. We will briefly discuss how discriminatory pracAlberta? Exact answers are elusive. The pervasive issue of tices thoughtout Canada’s history continue to impact Black Our homestead, taken one glorious frosty morning from back of photo; Courtsey Sandra Addah

20 .

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...access to generational wealth gives many young entrepreneurs not only a safety net but the startup capital needed to build their enterprise... entrepreneurs even today.

Instinctively, one would think that the natural course

The means by which discrimination was practiced in of action in a country that lays claim to ‘democracy’, would Canada was not limited to a single stratergy (it still isn’t). be to vote for representatives that could influence changes As the term ‘Systemic Racism’ implies, Canada as did all in the law. The glitch in that plan however ties back to colonised nations, effectively integrated policies of exclu- property ownership. On paper, Black Canadians transision that impact all areas of financial growth, security, tioned from enslaved persons to British subjects (between and stability for minority groups. While educational texts 1739-1834), and should have been afforded similar rights often highlight that escaped slaves found their ‘freedom’ as any White Canadian. Up until the 1920s however, a in Canada, they certainly were not afforded equitable person would be required to own property and have considerations under the law. In neighbouring Vancouver taxable income in order to vote. for example, as late as 1965, real estate contracts included

The generational wealth, particularly in the Prairies,

a clause that read “That the Grantee or his heirs, admin- is often built on land ownership. Why is this important? istrators, executor, successors or assigns will not sell to, Because access to generational wealth gives many young agree to sell to, rent to, lease to, or permit or allow to entrepreneurs not only a safety net but the startup capital occupy, the said lands and premises, or any part therefor, needed to build their enterprise. Consider the impact of any person of the Chinese, Japanese or other Asiatic race these policies on a Black businessperson hoping to own a or to any Indian or Negro.” Closer to home, in Calgary traditional mortar and brick establishment. Consider too similar overt strategies of exclusion were implemented. the impossibility of bridging these gaps in ownership that In the 1920s using restrictive covenants, People of Colour are 50 - 100 years wide, counting merely from the time were restricted to the boundaries of railway yards; home- the first escaped slaves migrated to Canada. Consider the ownership outside of this boarder was barred.

sheer frustration of simply wanting the opportunity to be issue ii

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Hatti Robinson Melton, founder of Hatti’s Harlem Chicken Inn.

self-sufficient but facing such well-constructed barriers at wake up calls to travellers. every turn.

Canada today certainly boasts of inclusivity on global

It’s not to say that these laws around land ownership and platforms. Yet, conversions within any racialized commuvoting were able to fully extinguish the Black entrepre- nity wreaks with accounts of discrimination in business neurial spirit. Innovation and tenacity have fueled Black and banking. One of the effective strategies to maintaining endeavours in the most unwelcoming environment. The discriminatory practices is to undermine the validity of lesser told story of Lucille Hunter (1878-1973) are docu- a claim. Time and time again, Black entrepreneurs and mented. One of the few Black settlers in the Ykon who business people are asked to ‘prove’ their experience, yet, rode in during the Klondyke Gold Rush. Although most the ruling bodies have avoided collecting the necessary of her life was spent in labour at the gold mines, at the data to effectively quantify these issues. In the wake of new age of 64 she established a laundry tent in Whitehorse to Black consciousness and support across Canada, a number sustain herself after losing her husband. Meanwhile on the of funding opportunities have arised, yet, the requirements opposite coast, Rose Fortune, whose family escaped from a for qualifications and complicated terms of repayment are Virginian colony to Nova Scotia, established her business often moving targets. transporting luggage for passengers from the ferry docks

The Government of Alberta along with countless

to Annapolis hotels using wheelbarrows and providing grassroots organisations are riding this wave of change. 22 .

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Time and time again, Black entrepreneurs and business people are asked to ‘prove’ their experience...

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Up to $400 million dollars in funding has been earmarked business lean heavily toward either the food industry or to support the sustainable growth of Black businesses. the beauty industry in Alberta. The trend is reflective However history has shown us that simply funnelling of the Black immigrant population wanting to mainfinances absent of a solid strategy and remaining tone deaf tain cultural traditions around food as well as the niche to the root cause of the issue can make for slower progress. created around servicing Afro-textured hair. “Black busiIn the latest support strategy announced in December of ness owners also participate in less obvious markets like 2021, is the creation of the Black Entrepreneurship Knowl- healthcare, construction, and automotive services; As a edge Hub. Working through the Carleton University and Black Community we need become better at sharing these the Dream Legacy Foundation, the mission, according to ‘hidden’ resources” the news release, is to “conduct research and collect data

Specifically to Black entrepreneurs hoping to leverage

on Black entrepreneurship in Canada and identify barriers opportunities , Andrea offers a few quick pointers: to success as well as opportunities to help Black entrepreneurs grow their business.”

• Alway document a thorough business plan. This is critical particularly when seeking funding. Banks and

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International

lenders are typically risk averse; a solid business plan

Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic

that addresses all their questions can place you in a

Development shares, “Black Canadian business owners

more favourable position. Also, get educated around

and entrepreneurs make significant contributions to the

the different types of funding available - loans from a

Canadian economy and to the communities around them,

bank are not your only option.

but they continue to face systemic barriers, many of which

• Networking is extremely essential. Place yourself in

have been greatly increased by the pandemic. Our govern-

environments that you aren’t typically expected to be

ment’s investment to establish the Black Entrepreneurship

and leverage the connections that you make.

Knowledge Hub will lead to a better understanding of the

• Ask detailed questions, particularly in the face of

barriers Black entrepreneurs face and help identify oppor-

rejection. Use the responses to finetune your approach.

tunities for growth. This is another important step toward

Be resilient in your pursuit - if one particular angle

a more inclusive, more just and more prosperous Canada

isn’t successful for funding, push forward to the next.

now and for future generations.”

In spite of a delayed start and a history riddled with

Together these are not the ‘solutions’ however they hurdles, the future of Black-owned businesses remains are steps in the right direction. The work of acknowledging bright. For Albertans and those in the Prairies, the converthe issue, an openness to support (willingly or coerced), sations about the value of Black enterprise are finally being and building strategies towards sustainability must still be heard. Understanding some of the history serves to provide combined with active work against anti-Blackness.

context to current issues that we face. The hope is that the

So what is the status of Black-owned businesses today information will propel us into the next phase of progress. in Alberta? Andrea Bailey Brown of Bailey Brown Business and Franchise Consulting has supported Albertan businesses over the last 5 years as a consultant. While she also admits that the issue of scant race-based data makes it difficult to quantify her observations, she has noted that Black-owend 24 .

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By Ni Lo issue ii

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SEBLE ISAAC OF TIRAMISU BISTRO A Note on Longevity as the door closes and

the cold is locked out, the air fills so many immigrants open spaces that align with their

with talking, laughter, and low conversations. The hand own culture. Seble went through her time growing up drawn chalkboard menu wraps the top of the restaurant, in Ethiopia, and watching her family cook their cultural with the lime green ceiling bringing out the plants that food. “When I was young I moved to Italy, and grew up are thoughtfully placed at each table. The atmosphere in cooking Italian food. As a young woman I started working Tiramisu Bistro is warm and welcoming, and it doesn’t in Italian restaurants, so I know how to cook Italian food take very long before a bright beaming face welcomes you. well.” Seble was clear though, it wasn’t as much about the Seble Isaac is floating from table to table - but that doesn’t Italian food, as the opportunity to have a neighborhood stop her from enthusiastically welcoming anyone who place. “In Italy - whether it’s a market or a restaurant, ventures in. Today she asks “You’ll eat? Breakfast”, when there’s a neighborhood place at the end of the street. ‘Lift I hesitate she answers for me “Yes! Why not?” She brings me up’, that’s the meaning of the word Tiramisu, I wanted me to the table where we’ll be conducting the interview, to create a lift me up place.” points to the menu - and then she’s off - welcoming a new

It wasn’t Seble’s initial plan to open a restaurant, a

guest, checking on the kitchen, easing through the market. polyglot (she speaks five languages) she had worked for the Tiramisu Bistro is bright, colorful, with creativity oozing Government and thought that was what she was going to from the details in the space. There is no place that your be doing here in Canada; that is until she got pregnant. eyes can land that isn’t strategically utilized and beau- After being a stay at home Mom for 10 years, she decided tiful. It mixes small intimate booths with long thick wood that she wanted to work but didn’t want to put her chiltables- for larger groups and celebrations.

dren in daycare. She remembered opening just a year and

When breakfast arrives, so does Seble - and we move a half after Duchess Bakery. “I used to have a little room quickly into a conversation about her incredible space and in the back for my kids, and as the business progressed, business. Seble, an Ethiopian woman, has a very successful we had a children’s area where you could come and leave Italian restaurant that uses the freshest ingredients and your kids to play while having a glass of wine or breakdishes that are authentically created with care. We imme- fast.” As her children grew - so did the business. Tiramisu diately wanted to know why she decided to think creatively initially blossomed into a private event space, and now, it about the business and open an Italian restaurant, when is an enchanting specialty market with everything from 26 .

issue ii

Tiramisu Bistro; Located on 124 Street, Edmonton

fresh-baked items to locally handcrafted ware.

just never thought that it would be her. “It was so needed

It was clear that creativity played an ever present at that time, people used to come in and just cry because part of Seble’s business model, so we wanted to pin down they needed it, and they felt lifted up” - and that is Seble’s exactly what role creativity played in developing the busi- favorite thing about her business. “I like when people come ness. “When I think of my business, I don’t think - what through the door and I can see them just lift up. I like to am I selling [customers], I’m thinking - what kind of expe- see people’s reactions when they come in.” rience are people having?” She goes on to say, “These are

Seble has a loving supportive partner who was there

all things that I like, this is what I like to eat, and when I for her even though he has his own projects. “I was so like something - I want to share it with people. I love to lucky,” she says. Even though she did have that support, entertain, and with Tiramisu - I always want people to Seble’s message is about balance. “There’s really no way to feel fresh, and lifted up.” She gets a lot of inspiration from do that, and you end up tipping the scales too much in one travel, and doesn’t stop when people say it’s not possible. direction, and it’s usually work, instead,” she says “I think “Everything is possible.” She says.

integrating family and business has been more successful

Bob Marley's voice lifts out of the speakers and a few for me.” Making space in the business for the family, and people get Seble’s attention as they leave, she smiles and making sure she has a business that works with her family. acknowledges them and then turns back to the questions.

It’s impossible to go to Tiramisu, Lift Me Up Market,

It was time to find out how exactly that same creativity or meet Seble and not feel the passion that she has for food came into play in the current Pandemic. “Covid is a time and entertaining. She stopped a number of times to make of fear for a lot of people, but I got a lot of time to journal sure I was eating - and checked out how I liked it before and go within myself and pray, and a lot of my ideas came she would continue on to the next question. When we were from that.” She recalls waking up early and taking the sure we were finished, she whisked away to the kitchen time to focus and think about how she can take advan- before emerging and welcoming some guests that she tage of this time. That is when the “Lift Me Up Market” hadn’t seen enter. She smiled and waved, and gave them came to her mind. She had always thought that someone the same familiar welcoming greeting that surely lifted up on the block should open a European style Market - she everyone who came through the front door. issue ii

. 27

28 .

issue ii



By Greg Davis issue ii

. 29




years ago,

Said M’Dahoma


French – Como- a science and knowing how to make adjustments based on

rian found himself in Calgary with the ambition of doing what’s available is a vital part of his success so far. post doctoral research centered around his field of neuro-

As a burgeoning entrepreneur, one of the most chal-

science. However, being an expat in a new country and lenging hurdles is always in the world of finance and immersing in a new culture, he quickly found himself having access to working capital. “A lot of people had been longing for an authentic taste of home in Paris, in partic- telling me to get my company started, but I then realized ular baked goods. This craving served as motivation to that a lot of those people have a safety net”. As an expat in learn more about baking. This journey started 5 years Canada who is the son of immigrants to France, his family ago, and led to the launch of ‘The Pastry Nerd’, his online had not yet been afforded the privilege of building genercooking school and blog in 2021.

ational wealth to back his venture. This is often lacking in

The process of building and launching The Pastry the Black community, leaving many without a safety net Nerd, Said admits, was an interesting one; as a youth to fall back on when obstacles are encountered. Yes, the he had no interest in cooking or anything to do with the government has launched various funding programs for kitchen. “I was the spoiled kid who was just waiting for Black entrepreneurs, however these are loans with strinfood to come ‘’. This meant a lot of trials and failures gent repayment requirements rather than grants. One of along the way as he had to not only grasp the intricacies Said’s goals is to be debt free for as long as possible, even of French baking, but also sought to infuse his Comorian though to expand, he acknowledges that applying for some heritage into his culinary expression. Complicating his of these programs is inevitable. learning even further, he also had to compensate for the

“do not limit yourself to one path”. In the culi-

differences found in core ingredients like butter, flour, and nary world most young people are conditioned to think water. Said points out that at the end of the day, baking is that the only path to success is to have your own restau30 .

issue ii

rant. This is far from the truth and Said suggests that if in learning how to bake. In doing so his work challenges you are looking to explore this career path it is important those stereotypes around Black cultural cuisines which the to be open to various ideas and options that can lead to mainstream has attempted to categorize as inferior, when success. This industry demands time and skill, so honing compared to European or Asian cuisines. This is why he those skills is important; be passionate about wanting to believes it is important to not only mentor our youth, but be in the culinary industry. Once the foundation is estab- to also instill a sense of pride in the cuisine of our heritage. lished, seek out a range of options that will allow you to earn a living in good times and challenging times.

As The Pastry Nerd grows, Said hopes to one day have his own French bakery to showcase foods not only from

The Pastry Nerd is meant to support those who are France but also that of his parents’ homeland Comoros. where Said was 7 years ago as a cook - with an interest issue ii

. 31

BUILDING w h il e

BLACK daniel k amau

when the term artificial intelligence (ai) is mentioned,

neled to the development of software. To understand the

my mind quickly spirals to images of robots and compli- foundation of his work, we would need to understand the cated home appliances waging a post-apocalyptic war basics of AI. Kamau explains that AI is fundamentally against humanity. Daniel Kamau of Sketch Deck AI, has “Computers trying to mimic human intelligence, and that however eased my irrational fears by providing better can look very different. It can be learning much like you context around the value of these innovations, specifically would teach a baby to read and understand the world. in his world of construction.

At some point, self-learning kicks in and the computer is

The Kenyan native migrated to Atlanta, Georgia able to teach itself”. He focuses on a subset of AI called (USA) at the age of eight. He made his way to Ottawa, machine learning which builds on the breakthroughs in Canada to complete his university studies after excelling computer vision. By labeling ‘data sets’ of either the physin high school. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engi- ical world or within documentation, the computer can be neering, Kamau was drawn to Alberta soon after grad- trained to understand and interpret the information to uating, hoping to take advantage of the opportunities in support simple decision making. This innovation provides the field of construction. Speaking to what attracted him the foundation for Sketch Deck AI. to structural engineering, he shares, “I wanted to see and

The documentation that provides the learning in

feel the things that I built; another big part of my decision this case are construction blueprint drawings. The softis that I wanted to contribute to development of the infra- ware that his team designs, trains a computer to carefully structure in my home country”.

scan data sets from each blueprint and produce a detailed

Kamau describes that his entrepreneurship path took materials inventory list. As with any business, construca slight detour when he discovered that he could build tion companies are focused on the bottom line.The potenthings beyond physical infrastructure. Instead of building tial man hours saved in having software execute the calcustructures with metal and mortar, his skills are now chan- lations for material orders vs spending hours and hours 32 .

issue ii

...Great ideas however do not magically materialize into profitable businesses...

issue ii

. 33

manually counting lines and beams; and having more better align with the product that is offered. accurate calculations to reduce wastage, promises signif-

While some burgeoning business owners go this

icant returns on this investment. Celebrating the wins alone, Kamau has partnered with Malid Dakka, an at this stage of development, Sketch Deck AI currently AI Engineer with a strong mathematical background. boasts nine clients, all steel fabricators, who are intimately Fostering a progressive partnership is vital to the success tuned into the software development process. Launched of this venture. “Asking the right questions in the beginin January of 2021, it took the business an additional 4 ning to make sure you are on the same page rather than months before securing its first client.

hoping you are on the same page” is one critical aspect to

Great ideas however do not magically materialize their relationship. Discussions around exit strategies, time into profitable businesses. Sketch Deck AI is self-described commitments and competing projects were held in the as a ‘startup’, meaning that they are new and still in the early stages of their relationship. “Difficult conversations process of sourcing venture capital to launch this enter- become more difficult the longer you wait to have them prise into full gear. What has this fundraising experience with your business partner”, Kamau chuckles, recogbeen like? Kamau shares the all too familiar sentiment nizing that much like a marriage, a business partnership for new business owners, “It’s been difficult”. However, he requires ongoing maintenance and will move through ebs acknowledges that his team has been fortunate to have the and waves. support of family and friends who made early investments,

The growth of their relationship has taken place

coupled with their personal savings to get started. For in tandem with the development of his leadership skills. many entrepreneurs, this is not an uncommon launchpad. “Leading through vision, passion and influence” is the “Getting to the next level has been challenging”, strategy that he has adopted; a strategy that recognizes he shares. Kamau goes on to describe their attempts at and honors the value of each member of his team.While accessing funding through the Black Entrepreneurship his cultural background is one that leans heavily on a Program, which is designed as a partnership between structured hierarchy, this has been his first experience in Black-led organizations, financial institutions and the leading a team to execute a project of this scale. Learning Government of Canada, aimed at supporting the growth how to delicately balance his communication styles so as and development of Black enterprise nationwide. The to not stifle the imagination, creativity and curiosity of the catch for a startup however is that without a product in team, has been a steep learning curve. As a leader, it is the market and a steady history of financial records that also humbling to openly acknowledge that your team is reflect growth, they immediately become unattractive not inherently obligated to the business. It becomes even candidates to the lender. Agility, perseverance and resil- more important to foster an environment where they feel ience weave the fabric of any successful entrepreneur. In that their contributions are valued and where the drive of spite of these hurdles, the team at Sketch Deck AI remains their leader resonates deeply with them. hopeful as they press forward in conversations with a

Contemplating the impact of this business on the

client investor. “When fundraising, I’ve learned the need wider community, it would be remiss of us to ignore the to understand the investor and what they care about, and slow uptake of People of Color in STEM fields (Science, communicating or shaping the business in a way that they Technology, Engineering and Math). Although based on understand”. In the face of rejection one must simply be research conducted in the US, a report released by Pew prepared to move on and continue to find prospects that Research Center merely three months after the launch 34 .

issue ii

of Sketch Deck AI, reflects substantial gaps in diversity. organization that has created a structure for mentoring; he Specifically in the areas of computing and engineering (the is willing to offer himself or his business in some capacity. studies that most influence Kamau’s work), Black workers In a brief exercise in mentoring, he offers the following represent only 7% and 5% respectively of the workforce in advice to his younger self and to his readership: “Lean into those fields. Black peoples however represent 11% of the your curiosity - a lot. When you find a passion, decide to total workforce. Even more disheartening, is that in spite give it a significant amount of time in your day, your week, of the current wave of ‘Black consciousness’, the research and consistently over years. Focus on something you love, reflects that the current enrollments for those seeking out and ask a lot of questions, specifically ‘Why NOT me?’ ” these degrees will have little impact in narrowing this gap. “I have thought about it and I just feel that I need to do more”, reflects Kamau; “to impact the trajectory of a young person’s life you need to be involved in their life on a more frequent basis beyond one or two conversations a year”. He expresses an interest in partnering with any issue ii

. 35

the business advisory implementation development services Taneya Rogers

black business and professional association

(bbpa) nized the need for restructuring to support expansion.

has served the Black community for almost 40 years, The CEO position was one aspect of their strategic plan adopting a multi-faceted approach to meeting the needs of to accommodate growth and succession planning. Their its base. Their scholarships and programming are geared vision was to not only tighten the mechanics of the operatoward growing the pool of Black professionals throughout tion but also to find innovative avenues to attain national Canada. This organization’s vision has been ahead of its reach. In comparison to many other organizations, the time and in a short discourse with three of its Executives, onset of the pandemic brought growth.The forced pivot it becomes clear that the unwavering loyalty of this team to virtual engagements was exactly the bolster that the will carry the BBPA well into the future.

organization needed, giving access to business owners

Nadine Spence, holds the newest senior staffed in multiple provinces and connecting them with service position of CEO but has served also as the past pres- providers across Canada. This shift in outreach collided ident. Regarding the longevity of the organization, she with the international outcry for justice and equity; an shares, “It’s the commitment that the organization has to awakening around the value of Black lives. Speaking to its members and to the Black community nationally; It’s the protests that followed the televised murder of George the unique value proposition that the BBPA brings. Our Floyd, Cadastre notes, “Those 9 minutes on May 5th programs are designed to meet Black businesses and the changed corporate Canada and corporate North America. community where they are at”.

And they had no choice to respond to the benefit of the

Commitment alone however could not take the BBPA Black community”. The upswing in funding and willingto the next level of operations. Ross Cadastre, elected Pres- ness of those from even outside of the Back community ident and Michael Pinnock elected Treasurer both recog- to step up to provide support toward the development of 36 .

issue ii

BAIDS seeks to bridge this gap by funding these services for small businesses after working one on one to map out a full business plan...

Black enterprise has fueled the further expansion of the time of our conversation, there were 200 businesses being BBPA. The Business Advisory Implementation Development

actively supported by BAIDS. BAIDS covers the full gamut of support, from busi-

Services (BAIDS) is the newest of the BBPAs programs. In ness planning, getting registered, implementing marketing early discussions the incoming team noted that there were strategies, providing mentorship, and aftercare to ensure multiple granting opportunities and discussions without that businesses keep doing what is necessary to succeed. As implementation. There exists a long list of tasks and prac- they infiltrate the Albertan market Spencer shares, “We tical supports that are out of reach for many small Black want to demonstrate that this is a national program; We businesses: taxes, legal services, marketing etc. BAIDS want to build strategic alliances so that in 20 years there seeks to bridge this gap by funding these services for small will be a foundation for sustainability”. Black owned busibusinesses after working one on one to map out a full busi- nesses often share commonalities in terms of the barriers ness plan. From its inception in November of 2020 the they face and it is the hope of the team that the BAIDS program’s momentum moved it from merely 20 applicants program can help each venture overcome those hurdles. to a staggering 500 applicants in a single year. The BAIDS The natural resource pool of professionals within Black program is now the flagship of the BBPA taking lead over spaces is often limited but the team will continue building its longstanding scholarships. Maintaining the initiative its network and resources to fulfill a very simple commitbehind the ‘Boss Women’ program, it was important to ment: No Business Left Behind. Pinnock to ensure that at least 50% of applicants self-identified as women. They are proud to report that 60% of their enrollment is represented by women and as at the

For more info, visit Web: Insta: @bbpa.baids issue ii

. 37

Working Capital wh at i s i t a n d w h y i s i t i m p o rta n t t o e n t r e p r en e u r s ?

by Michelle Davis

as an entrepreneur

who is just getting started, the term

working capital ratio is:

working capital may sound like an advanced-level, irrel-

working capital ratio


evant snooze-fest. Your business graduates from start-up

current assets/current liabilities

websites, grassroots promotions and small investments

Working capital is often obtained from one of a few

drawn from discretionary income. It eventually develops

sources. Some of these options are best suited for start-ups

into a tangible and profitable product or service. At this

while others are more relevant to operational businesses:

stage, working capital becomes more than just savvy

• Savings/owner’s equity/liquidating personal assets

business jargon; It becomes a primary driver in making

• Percentage of revenues (working capital/gross sales x 100)

progressive business decisions. My journey started when I stepped back from my

• Trade or Vendor Credit

safe, idolized full-time, unionized government job with a

• Business Credit Cards

pension. I had a great idea and decided I would sacri-

• Business Line of Credit

fice my “job security’’ to venture into the world of entre-

• Business Loan

preneurship once again. Since my business was a service

• Investors

based platform, in what was a lack of insight, I did not

• Family & Friends

think I needed much working capital to keep me going once I got started. I was


Use discretion when deciding where your working

In fact, I was quickly

capital source is coming from and do a S.W.A.T.

reminded of the reality that “it takes money, to make

(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) anal-

money!” Working capital is just that. It is the money that

ysis at least twice a year. Many business owners are savvy

you need to continue making money.

in a specific area of their business, but not all areas. If

Working Capital can be most simply defined as the

understanding the financial overview of your business is

amount of cash, account receivables, inventory and other

not your strong point, get support!

liquid assets that a business has available for daily opera-

of a bookkeeper, accountant or business financial analyst

tions after all its current liabilities such as payroll, account

who is good at simplifying details and who will help you

payables and other expenses are accounted for. The basic

review and understand your data.

formula to calculate this is:

Now that you understand the basics of working =

capital and how it is calculated, why is it even important?

– current liabilities.

The money used for working capital is important, because

working capital current assets

Access the services

A healthy working capital ratio for most industries

it is the primary asset used to cover the payments and

is between 1.2 and 2. The basic formula to calculate the

purchases of a business that keep it operational. By effec-

38 .

issue ii

tively managing working capital and maintaining aware-

mark that will support daily business decisions that lead

ness of the ratio, entrepreneurs are empowered to better

to sustainability. My favourite book, ‘The Compound

manage liquidity, improve credit worthiness with lenders/

Effect’ by Darren Hardy states this principle best. “Small,

investors, strengthen the working culture of their team

seemingly insignificant steps completed consistently over

and make stronger decisions for long-term profitability,

time will create a radical difference”. The daily habits

growth and sustainability.

of accurately recording each transaction leads to good

Having a thorough understanding of your working

reporting weekly, then monthly, then quarterly, then

capital takes time. Businesses are often very cyclical and

yearly. You cannot monitor in your business what you do

it can easily take 3-5 years for an entrepreneur to under-

not actively track in your business. To have an accurate

stand their business

financial snapshot of your

cycles. When a busi-

working capital year after

ness owner gets a

year, consistent intervals

grasp on their annual

of managing and recon-

projection cycles, and

ciling are imperative.

increases their understanding


Working capital and


healthy management of

the working capital

it is a top priority. If the

is affected in each

ratio is well managed as a

cycle; their ability to

business owner, you can

see the bigger picture

look forward to reaping

of the business elevates. This knowledge enables them to

the benefits. 56% of small businesses apply for funding

move from working IN their business to working ON their

to expand their business, pursue a new opportunity, or


acquire business assets. Prioritize strong working capital

A recent statistic by CBInsights states the top reason

in your business and it will put you in a stronger position

Canadian startups failed in 2018 was that 38% ran out of

to capitalize on available funding from a variety of tradi-

cash/failed to raise new capital. In my entrepreneurial

tional and alternative lenders and propel your business

journey I have discovered a commonality amongst many


successful business owners who have grown past the

If you cannot answer questions to potential inves-

startup stage. These businesses have been able to move

tors or lenders about your working capital, ratios or

from idea to reality and onward to profitability and

percentage of revenues dedicated to working capital, start

sustainability by engaging onboarding support, such as a

tracking today! Look at your business from the eyes of a

bookkeeper, to efficiently manage their working capital at

prospective lender/investor. Would you want to take a

regularly scheduled frequencies (weekly, monthly, quar-

chance on yourself based on your current position? If not,

terly etc).

assess your gaps and search out the tools and resources to

Having a bookkeeper to reconcile all your incoming

improve your business financial standing.

and outgoing financial transactions monthly offers an accurate, numerical snapshot of your business health. This skilled management is the quintessential bench-

Image Source: issue ii

. 39


a w r d A w i n g t eop a y M u o l A e g n w i l no a .U S. .auqret Beloved poet and civil rights activist, Maya

design is the first quarter in the; American

Angelou, whose trailblazing work inspired

Women Quarters Program; a four-year

generations, is forever memorialized on the

initiative that will include coins featuring

latest edition minted US quarter coins. The

prominent women in U.S. history.

ehT weN kro Y koctS ehagcnEx )ENS(Y itposna haSnro newBo as tis wen hCair As the corporate world starts to rec-

points. In 2014, she became the first

ognize the talent that exists within

African American to be appointed as

the Black community, we continue

Commissioner of the U.S. Commodity

to reach new heights and break

Futures Trading Commission under

glass ceilings. The NYSE has finally

the Obama administration. Before

had such a moment with the ap-

that, she was confirmed by the Senate

pointment of Sharon Bowen as chair

and appointed by President Obama to

of one of the pillars of Wall Streets,

serve as Vice-Chair and Acting Chair

making her the first Black women

of the Securities Investor Protection

to hold this position. Her career

Corporation (SIPC). Congrats to Ms.

boasts a number of significant high-


ehT kclaB Cutl ra teiSocy fo EIP – mceiaPdn r e y v R c o G r a t sn The BCS obtained funding from ACOA

recovery. Each recipient received between

(Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency),

$2,500 to $5,000. “This is a boost to get them

to the tune of $50,000. They have put

caught up on, maybe, some bills that they are

these funds to use in the community by

owing or some debt repayment.” said Tamara

awarding 13 local Black Owned Business

Steele, executive director of BCS.

micro-grants to help with the pandemic

40 .

issue ii

BaBb&FFa da nFg&&dneN&Nh b eQSee The island of Barbados, once nick-

technology sector for Barbados to

named Little England, has shaken off

embrace more of the industry. Long

its ties to colonial England. The Re-

term it will be interesting to see how

public of Barbados with its beaches,

this move impacts CARICOM and

rum and history is still one of the top

what response Europe, USA and Can-

destinations for tourists and current

ada will ultimately have to this move.

indicators show the rum industry is

For now, we stand in celebration and

doing quite well. Short term, there

solidarity with Barbados on this bold

have been renewed voices from the

but necessary move.

The African Continental Free Trade Beae8fNa N gh The African Continental Free Trade

with the first step being the removal

Area (AfCFTA) ratified in 2018 is

of tariffs on goods, then the eventual

set to take effect in Q1 of 2022 and

free movements across borders. The

will be the largest free trade zone in

ultimate goal is to create a stable,

the world with 54 countries current-

made in Africa economic ecosystem.

ly signed on to the initiative. The


program will be unfolded in stages

BBPA 120 study on Black oW men in Business in Canada. Rise Up was a study conducted by

that Black women entrepreneurs

the Black Business and Professional

face while operating and growing

Association (BBPA) in partner-

their businesses. This study aims to

ship with the Casa Foundation for

gain insight into the population of

International development and De

Black female entrepreneurs and their

Sedulous Women Leaders (dSWL)

experiences; data which is largely

This report showcased the barriers

unavailable in Canada.

Reshaping Africa’s Relationship with the uE ropean n U ion (EU) The sixth Africa - EU Summit is

financing; agriculture and sustain-

being held in February. The rela-

able development; education, culture

tionship between the two has been

and vocational training, migration

historically strained - even more so

and mobility; private sector support

in recent years over issues around

and economic integration;peace,

access to COVID vaccines for Afri-

security and governance; climate

can citizens. Some of the topics on

change and energy transition, digital

the agenda include health systems

and transport (connectivity and

and vaccine production; growth

infrastructure). issue ii

. 41

Resource Guide Below are a list of the organisations who have contributed to the establishment of this business journal

Resource Centers

Africa Centre The largest Black-led non-profit organization in western Canada, serving as a community hub, providing programs and services from a place of cultural awareness and competency to the families in our diverse Black community. (780)455-5423

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Since 1995, AWE has provided tools and resources to help women across the province succeed in starting or growing a business. For more than twenty-five years they have connected women with capital, training and workshops, business advice, and mentorship opportunities 1-800-713-3558

Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) A national non-profit organization that addresses issues of equity and opportunity for Black professionals and entrepreneurs. They provide a host of seminars on financial literacy and business empowerment; they also offer a youth development programs. (416) 504 - 4097

Business Link Since 1996 Business Link has been a hub for new business. They offer advice, resources, coaching, market data and other tools to point entrepreneurs in the right directions to convert those innovative ideas into a lucrative plan. (780)422-7722

Business Development

Futurpreneur This national non-profit organization provides direction on financing and mentoring as well as support tools to up and coming business owners ages 18-39. Their internationally recognized mentoring program pairs young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 3,000 volunteer mentors.They also offer access to a free online Business Plan Builder. (416) 408-2923 ext. 4693

Buy & Sell – Government of Canada Tender The Government is a customer and often purchases a broad range of goods and services from local businesses, including furniture, food, painting services, catering, janitorial services, and business consulting services to name a few. Small businesses can bid on posted tenders, adding the Government of Canada to their client list.

Funding, Grants & Loans FACE- The Federation of African Canadian Economics A national coalition of Black-led organizations responsible for the new the 350-million-dollar Federal Government loans for Black Businesses in Canada. Apply online to gain access to capital and connect with professional development services. 1 (855) 560-FACE (3223)

Government of Alberta The Government of Alberta provides a host of business grants in varying sectors. Visit their website to learn more about what current programs exist to access funding for your business.

42 .

issue ii

Africa Centre Daycare offers full-time, parttime & drop off childcare for children starting from 12 months to 12 years old. We are proud to offer the lowest rates in the city, with price subsidies available for families in need. Our non-profit model ensures that our prices are low, with no compromise to the quality of childcare offered. Find out more at africacentreyeg


780.455.5423 ext. 200


6770 129 Ave NW #106,

africacentreyeg Africa Centre

Edmonton, AB T5C 1V7

Join us in launching Edmonton’s Black Community Fund


community together

“...built by the community, serving the community...”

For more details on how to contribute, visit

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The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

pages 40-41

The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

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The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

pages 29-31

The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

pages 19-24

The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

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The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

pages 10-11, 13-14

The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

pages 36-37

The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

pages 32-35

The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

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The Black Entrepreneur's Journal - Vol 2

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