WATERLOO REGION — The Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region will receive a $2.9 million boost to deliver the National Ecosystem Fund in Waterloo Region, Guelph and Wellington County.
The announcement, in partnership with the Conestoga Entrepreneurship Collective, Waterloo Region Small Business Centre, Velocity at the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Centre, was made earlier this week by Kitchener Centre MP Raj Saini and Bardish Chagger, Waterloo MP and Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth.
The National Ecosystem Fund is part of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, created by the federal government and Black-led businesses with an aim to create and strengthen Black entrepreneurs across Canada.
“Black Canadian entrepreneurs and business owners have always played a vital role in the economic health and cultural vibrancy of Waterloo Region despite the systemic barriers that continue to stand in their way,” said Saini, in a news release.
“With an investment of over $2.9 million the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region will be able to continue and expand their work supporting and fostering Black entrepreneurship. These investments are an important part of our strategy to help support Black businesses so that they can continue to play an important role in our community and our country.”
The Conestoga Entrepreneurship Collective will support the team from the Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region with the LiftOff Program to help “incubate, accelerate and amplify Black entrepreneurship in the region.”
The LiftOff program will have a strong focus on supporting female entrepreneurs and will provide access for Black entrepreneurs to business advisory services, incubator and accelerator programming, entrepreneurial workshops, and one-on-one mentorship opportunities to help them start and grow their businesses, a news release said.
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