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New contest goals to assist Black entrepreneurs with financing


Black businesspeople in Canada are sometimes shout out of conventional types of enterprise funding

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When Vancouver entrepreneur Jackee Kasandy moved to Canada from Kenya as a scholar, she was desperate to launch her personal enterprise.

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However she discovered herself unable to safe a enterprise mortgage due to a scarcity of credit score historical past and capital.

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Now Kasandy, CEO and co-founder of the Black Entrepreneurs and Companies of Canada Society, desires to assist different Black would-be enterprise house owners, a lot of whom nonetheless face monetary obstacles.

So the society on Friday launched a brand new contest to assist Black entrepreneurs safe $25,000 in financing to start out their enterprise.

The Black Pitch Contest is designed to assist Black entrepreneurs who’ve been excluded from conventional funding avenues like loans, grants and enterprise financing, mentioned Kasandy, who additionally owns a store on Granville Island known as Kasandy.

Kasandy grew up in Kenya, and moved to Toronto as a scholar. Later she moved to B.C. and needed to start out her Granville Island store, however she couldn’t get a mortgage. So she maxxed out her bank cards and sublet her rented residence by way of AirBnb simply to get by till she lastly constructed her enterprise.

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“I used to be having issue accessing funding, being considered by monetary establishments and even buyers as ‘unfundable’ due to the system and the way it works,” she mentioned.

“My expertise with the problems of gaining funding to start out my enterprise and develop into the place I’m is basically why I wish to assist hundreds of Black entrepreneurs, who’re blocked or blocked by enterprise in an unjust system.”

A few of the obstacles that Black entrepreneurs nonetheless face embrace poverty, not having a home or different collateral, or a poor credit score rating, she mentioned.

Kasandy mentioned she wished there had been a corporation to assist Black entrepreneurs when she was beginning out.

She doesn’t simply wish to spotlight the winners of the competition, which the society plans to supply yearly. The plan, she mentioned, is to showcase lots of the concepts that contestants ship in so that individuals can see the innovation popping out of the neighborhood.

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Kasandy mentioned they’ve made it “actually easy” to use for the competition on-line. All contestants should do is submit a brief video speaking about their plans and why they want funding.

“Many locally are immigrants. They won’t have household right here, or a home, and they’re renters. They don’t have the fairness,” she mentioned.

“And possibly they’ve made some monetary errors like most of us had with bank cards or college students loans … now you’re locked out of the system since you didn’t have monetary literacy and also you don’t have collateral to borrow.”

The competition is designed to be barrier-free, that means any Black would-be entrepreneur  can apply, regardless of their age, gender identification, or expertise degree, she mentioned.

“Knowledge persistently reveals us that systemic racism has restricted or prevented Black entry to enterprise capital. This pitch contest is about breaking these obstacles down, and celebrating Black ingenuity whereas making the preliminary software as straightforward as doable.”

Functions are open till Dec. 15.

Pitch Contest finalists might be showcased on the digital Black Enterprise Summit in February. Full particulars could be discovered on the Black Entrepreneurs and Companies of Canada Society’s web site: https://www.blackentrepreneursbc.org/black-pitch-contest/

Those that wish to donate cash to the entrepreneur fund can achieve this on that web site.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

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