Deloitte-FACE Masterclass Series
Enabling young, Black, Canadian entrepreneurs to better access funding which can help drive equitable and sustainable economic growth in Canada
OVERVIEW & CHALLENGE
The Covid-19 crisis presented several challenges for small businesses in Canada, with a disproportionate effect on Black entrepreneurs. In response, the Federal Government established the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund in May 2021, a third pillar of its Black Entrepreneurship Program. The Fund, administered by the Federation of African Canadian Economics (“FACE”), would provide up to $250,000 in financing to Black business owners, also helping to address systemic barriers to financing. In 2021, over 20,000 Black businesses had applied to the Fund, however, only 7% of applicants were able to meet the requirements for approval. Consequently, most applicants lacked the knowledge to provide documents such as business plans or financial statements. As a result, the public intervention was not meeting its goal. To bridge this gap, Deloitte embarked on a collaboration with FACE, developing a team of Deloitte practitioners that helped Black business owners and entrepreneurs to better access the program.
DISCOVERY & SOLUTIONS
Committed to economic empowerment and equality, Deloitte designed the Deloitte-FACE Masterclass Series, a 3-week learning program, which would provide free 1-hour virtual courses to young Black entrepreneurs to enhance their knowledge and develop key business skills that could help business leaders to access the Fund. To achieve this, Deloitte professionals pooled their talents across business lines to develop and deliver digestible content on the following subject areas: Business Taxes, Financial Statements, Financial Forecasting, and Strategy Consulting that were free of charge. Over the course of 10 weeks, more than 80 volunteer hours were utilized by Deloitte practitioners and partners for this initiative.
IMPACT & CALL TO ACTION
Launched on November 19, 2021 (Women’s Entrepreneurship Day), the series provided an inclusive space for Black business owners and entrepreneurs across Canada. Approximately 90 per cent of the Deloitte practitioners involved were part of Canada’s Black community, thereby letting participants see themselves represented in the delivery of this initiative, something which is often not seen in public programming. In just 3 weeks, we engaged over 1000 Black entrepreneurs in Canada and over 10 countries across the globe. This series not only helped young entrepreneurs access funding but narrowed the knowledge gap as the content of the sessions remains applicable to their daily business operations. Ultimately, this initiative has helped to create a lasting impact in underrepresented communities, encouraging economic empowerment and equality of access. For more information, please contact Shania John.