A non-profit group with a deal with supporting Black companies is increasing to New Brunswick, and a few entrepreneurs say it is already making a distinction.
Jocelyn Stevens, the Black Enterprise Initiative’s entrepreneurship engagement supervisor for New Brunswick, stated the want for this sort of help within the province has existed for years, noting it might have made a distinction to her as a enterprise proprietor.
“I felt like after I walked within the doorways to get these helps, that it wasn’t there. … I felt alone after I had my enterprise.” stated Stevens. “When this chance got here up, it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I can do that. I perceive. I lived it.”
She stated the Nova Scotia workforce determined to increase to the opposite Atlantic provinces after 17 years of success in its residence province.
The Black Enterprise Initiative did a smooth launch in New Brunswick a couple of months in the past, however its official launches are this week, with Moncton’s launch on Wednesday and Saint John’s on Thursday.
Stevens stated the Black Enterprise Initiative presents helps comparable to enterprise growth coaching which could possibly be advertising and marketing pitches or enterprise plans. She stated it additionally present e-commerce and technical help together with assist in monetary areas comparable to loans and grants.
“We’re letting the communities know, the Black communities, the companies, the individuals which are dreaming within the Black neighborhood of beginning a enterprise — we’re letting them know that BBI is there, we’re right here to help you. We perceive you,” stated Stevens.
Rukayat Olaniyi, proprietor of RukkyTee Designs in Saint John, moved to Canada from Nigeria in 2018. She began making African-inspired apparel, however confronted challenges alongside the best way, together with the price of materials and funding for her enterprise.
Olaniyi acquired concerned with Black Enterprise Initiative when it expanded to New Brunswick. She stated help from the group, together with recommendation and funding, has helped together with her enterprise’ development.
She has tailored her designs and says help for her Afrocentric clothes comes from individuals of many alternative cultures.
“That is what motivates me and retains me rising — rising and going,” stated Olaniyi.
Religion Ashogbon is the proprietor of the Pure Gold Basis, a non-profit that works with youth aged 10-20 on productiveness and empowerment.
She stated the spark for the group was when she heard from youth in the neighborhood, particularly Black youth, about their experiences after they immigrated to Canada,
Ashogbon stated dad and mom will usually deal with the immigration processes and documentation and “kids are carried alongside,” leaving their mates and way of life behind.
“Tradition shock is not only for others, it is also for the kids. And so they go to high school, they’re struggling,” she stated. “We created a protected place for them to specific their emotions.”
The group launched in 2020 however wasn’t registered as a non-profit till 2022. Earlier than that, Ashgobon stated she was simply following her ardour of serving to younger individuals.
This yr, she was related with Stevens on the Black Enterprise Initiative and discovered register her enterprise and construct the construction round it.
Data Morning – Moncton10:20Newly expanded initiative goals to assist Black entrepreneurs in New Brunswick
Since then, Ashogbon stated she’s been capable of join with neighborhood leaders and supply a couple of donations. She’s additionally acquired steerage on constructing a board of administrators.
Ashogbon stated she meets with the Black Enterprise Initiative on a weekly foundation to work via the challenges.
“It has been a tremendous journey, when it comes to attending to increase, when it comes to the help, when it comes to individuals listening and listening to what I’ve to say.”
For extra tales concerning the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success tales throughout the Black neighborhood — try Being Black in Canada, a CBC mission Black Canadians could be pleased with. You possibly can learn extra tales right here.