February 13, 2024

Canadian Minister Marks Black History Month With New Data-Driven Tool For Black Business Growth

Rechie Valdez

Canada’s Minister of Small Business has marked Black History Month by announcing the launch of a new ecosystem mapping tool for Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

BEKH’s Mapping Tool

The Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (BEKH) is developing a tool to provide data and insight to help ensure Black entrepreneurs have the support needed to start and scale their businesses.

Minister Rechie Valdez – the first Filipino Canadian woman and second Filipino Canadian to be elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada – said the new ecosystem mapping tool is expected to be fully operational early next year.

It will enable Black-owned businesses to tap into a network of resources, support, and opportunities, boost their profile among customers and investors, and overcome some of the historical systemic barriers Black business owners face.

The tool’s data will also inform future programs and policies on how best to support Black-owned businesses across Canada.

“The Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub’s ecosystem map will help Black-owned businesses improve their visibility, foster greater collaboration, and access new data to grow and succeed,” said Valdez.

“This is great news for Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country and is part of our government’s commitment to working with the community to ensure the playing field is level for all businesses across Canada.”

Ongoing Support For Black Canadians

Along with the mapping tool announcement, Valdez commemorated the achievements of the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEO) since it began in 2021.

BEP is a partnership between the Government of Canada, Black-led business organizations, post-secondary or other accredited educational institutions, and financial institutions.

The program has approved nearly $50 million in loans and supported around 9,000 Black entrepreneurs with mentorship and business training.

The support aims to level the playing field, guaranteeing that Black-owned businesses have a chance to thrive.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.