Black Business Grants Canada: 20 Funding Programs for Black-Owned Businesses

If you’re looking for Black business grants in Canada, you’re in the right place!

This page is the most comprehensive resource on the web for funding for Black-owned businesses in Canada.

We cover:

  • Black business grants across Canada
  • Black business loans in Canada
  • Start-up programs for Black entrepreneurs

And much more!

What is a Black Business Grant?

The Government of Canada defines a grant as:

a transfer payment subject to pre-established eligibility and other entitlement criteria. A grant is not subject to being accounted for by a recipient nor normally subject to audit by the department. The recipient may be required to report on results achieved.

So, a Black business grant is:

  • A non-repayable transfer payment that is available to Black-owned businesses;
  • Subject to specific eligibility criteria; and
  • May or may not need to be reported on

What Can Black Entrepreneur Grants Be Used For?

Black entrepreneur grants can be used to pay for many aspects of starting or running a business. Here are some of the uses that are covered by programs in our grants database:

  • Covering operating expenses, including inventory, payroll, lease payments, accounts management, rent, and overhead costs
  • Starting a Black-owned company
  • Expanding a Black-owned business
  • Training employees/skills development of employees of Black entrepreneurs

And that’s just a sample! See the section below with a complete list of grants available for Black entrepreneurs.

How Much Grant Money Can I Get for My Business?

In our database we currently have grants ranging from $5,000 to $200,000.

Am I Eligible for a Black Entrepreneur Grant? Common Eligibility Criteria

Two of the most common questions we get asked at Ontario Business Grants are “Am I eligible?” and “How do I qualify?”.

We analyzed the Black entrepreneur grants in our grants database, and these are the most common qualifications we identified:

  • Be businesses owned by Black or racialized individuals in Canada
  • Be Black-owned for-profit organizations
  • Be Black-owned businesses incorporated in Canada

Note: these are just the most common eligibility criteria – there are many grants with different requirements.

Black Entrepreneur Grants: Current Grants Available

In the table below we list the grants currently available to Black entrepreneurs in Canada.

 To learn more about each program, just click the program name and you’ll be taken to a web page that provides detailed information on the program, including eligibility, the dollar amount of the program, and how to apply for the grant:

Grants for Black Entrepreneurs

How to Apply for Black Business Grants: Follow These 6 Steps

The application process for grants can be complex, but you can increase your chances of getting your application approved by following a proven. Here are the steps to get the funds you need for your business:


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    1. Gather a comprehensive list of all current grants. In Canada, hundreds of business grants are available for different industries, demographic groups, and purposes. Learn what is out there and cast a wide net when you apply to maximise your chances of securing funds.
    1. Focus on grants related to your industry. Review the application requirements to find out whether your business is eligible. When your business goals fit a particular type of grant, you have better chances of getting matched to it. You want to devote your time and energy to grants where you have the highest potential of winning.
    1. Reach out to the grant agencies directly. If you want to gain more understanding on what qualities the agencies are looking for in their grant applicants, there is no better way than to go right to the source. If possible, ask the agency questions and look for areas where you can stand out from the rest.
    1. Make a plan for your grant application. This plan should include a one-page draft of your grant application.
    1. Organise your documents. Grant organisations often ask their applicants to provide a business plan and other pertinent documents. If you organise your documents in advance, you’ll be ready to submit them when the grant agency requests them.
    1. Submit a well-thought-out application. If you follow the five steps above and the requirements of the grant program your application will have a good chance of getting approved.

    Bonus Tip:

    1. Don’t miss other types of funding. Grants represent just one type of funding, but there are many other types of funding suitable for Black business owners. These include low-interest loans, wage subsidies, tax incentives, competitions, incubators and accelerators, and many more (see the sections below).

    Other Types of Funding for Black Entrepreneurs

    Our goal is for this guide to be a complete source of funding information for Black entrepreneurs. So, in this section you’ll find all the other money programs (besides grants) that are available to Black entrepreneurs:

    Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

    • Government Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

    A loan might not sound as good as a grant, but many loans for Black entrepreneurs have a low interest rate. While they might not be free money, if you don’t qualify for a grant, a low-interest loan is probably the next best thing.

    The programs below include government loans:

    Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

    • Commercial Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

    If you’re not eligible for a government loan, you might consider one of the commercial loans available for Black entrepreneurs.

    Below is a sample of current loan programs offered by Canadian banks and credit unions that are available specifically for Black entrepreneurs:

    • Investment Programs for Black Entrepreneurs

    An investment is a form of financing where capital is provided in exchange for ownership in the company.  It’s an alternative to other methods of raising capital (loans, issuing stocks, selling bonds) and the good thing about it is that you do not have to make monthly payments, as you do with a loan. Common investment includes private equity and venture capital.

    Here are some investment programs currently available for Black entrepreneurs:

    Investment Programs for Black Entrepreneurs

    Name of ProgramAmountType
    SWITCH - W Fundno fixed amountInvestment
    Communitech – Fierce Founders Uplift$10000.00In-Kind Support, Investment
    Export Development Canada (EDC) – EDC Inclusive Trade Investments Program (ITIP)No Fixed AmountInvestment
    • In-kind Support Programs for Black Entrepreneurs

    In-kind support refers to non-cash resources provided to support businesses.

    In kind-support can take various forms: access to coaching, mentorship, investors, logistical and technical resources (space, equipment, computers, internet and software, free testbed), training programs, business advice and counseling. Entrepreneurship centres, accelerators and incubators provide valuable in-kind support to new and existing entrepreneurs.

    In-Kind Support Programs for Black Entrepreneurs

    Name of ProgramAmountType
    Futurpreneur Canada - Black Entrepreneur Startup Program: Quick Guide for Young Entrepreneurs$60000 In-Kind Support, Loan
    Communitech – Fierce Founders Uplift$10000.00In-Kind Support, Investment

    Accelerators for Black Entrepreneurs

    Name of ProgramAmountType
    BFN Accelerate (at University of Toronto) - BFN Accelerate Programno fixed amountAccelerator, Grant, Loan
    Venturepark Labs - AcceleratorN/AAccelerator

    Entrepreneurship Programs for Black Entrepreneurs

    Name of ProgramAmountType
    DMZ - Black Innovation Connections$5000Entrepreneurship Program, Grant

    Best Business Grants, Loans & More for Black Entrepreneurs

    While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best grants, loans, tax credits & more for Black Entrepreneurs:

    Best Government Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

    ISED and FACE – Black Entrepreneurship Program: Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

    The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund is a partnership between the Government, Black-led business organizations, and several financial institutions. It will provide loans up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

    Loans can be used for:

    • Capital investments–equipment, leasehold improvements, property improvement, office equipment.
    • Working capital–inventory, payroll, lease payments, accounts management, rent, overhead costs.
    • Short-term receivable financing (i.e. financing to service a contact).
    Telefilm Canada – Development Program

    The Development Program finances Canadian feature films at the development stage. As part of its larger goal of achieving a funding portfolio that better represents Canada, Telefilm sets aside funding for projects by Canadian filmmakers who are Black and/or People of Colour.

    Best Non-profit Grants for Black Entrepreneurs

    Black Opportunity Fund (BOF) – Black Entrepreneur Program

    The Black Entrepreneur Program provides Canadian Black entrepreneurs who have been unable to access traditional funding from financial institutions, with business education, financial literacy, skills training and support to help build their capacity and knowledge to operate successful, sustainable businesses. To help overcome these barriers that significantly impact Black entrepreneurship, BOF is pleased to be disbursing non repayable funds to entrepreneurs enrolled in the various CBCC (Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce) programs administered through this initiative, throughout the duration of their enrolment.

    Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) – Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (R.A.I.S.E)

    Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (R.A.I.S.E.) is a service and grant program developed and administered by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and in partnership with the Parkdale Centre for Innovation (PCI) to support Indigenous, Black and other Racialized entrepreneurs in Ontario to start and scale a business. R.A.I.S.E. will provide access to business development training, culturally responsive support services and access to grant funding.

    ventureLAB – Entrepreneurship Fund: Underrepresented Founders

    ventureLAB is committed to contributing to levelling the playing field for underrepresented founders by opening more doors to capital. This year, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund is awarding $10,000 of funding to 7 eligible companies comprised of underrepresented founders.

    Best Non-Profit Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

    FACE (Federation of African Canadian Economics), Alterna Savings and Vancity – Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund: Micro Loan Pilot Program

    The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, a component of the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP), is a partnership between FACE, the Government of Canada, the BDC and private sector financial institutions. The Fund provides micro-loans ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 in Ontario and British Columbia.

    Alterna Savings (Ontario) and Vancity (British Columbia) will fulfill approved loans in their respective provinces.

    Futurpreneur Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Black Entrepreneur Startup Program

    The Black Entrepreneur Startup is a program for Black entrepreneurs designed to provide startup loan financing and up to two years of mentorship, plus access to resources and networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs across Canada.

    Best Investment Programs for Black Entrepreneurs

    Export Development Canada (EDC) – EDC Inclusive Trade Investments Program (ITIP)

    Canadian exporting businesses owned and led by people identifying as women, Indigenous, Black and other dimensions of diversity, one of the main barriers to growth is lack of equitable access to capital. EDC Inclusive Trade Investments Program (ITIP) helps address that challenge and create more opportunities for growth.

    Communitech – Fierce Founders Uplift

    Fierce Founders Uplift helps participants accelerate their path from startup to world leader. Participating companies receive $10,000 in non-matching funds and one-on-one advice from Communitech growth coaches.

    SWITCH – W Fund

    The W Fund is structured to make the biggest impact possible on as many levels as possible, including:

    • directly investing in outstanding companies with strong potential for venture returns and led by innovative and obsessed leaders from underrepresented background; 
    • normalizing portfolio company diversity and inclusion of employees, workplace, board, advisors and investors;
    • establishing VC-in-Residence, carry-holding investment positions to open a path to VC for exceptional people who would otherwise not have that access;
    • diversifying their Limited Partners, providing them with investing, operating and leadership skills-building programming, and equipping them to be inclusive in activities outside our fund.

    Best In-Kind Support Programs for Black Entrepreneurs:

    Below you’ll find some of the programs providing in-kind support and sometimes also funding to Black Entrepreneurs.


    BFN Accelerate (at University of Toronto) – BFN Accelerate Program

    The BFN Accelerate, a classic cohort-based accelerator model, is designed to be complementary to other opportunities within the University of Toronto (U of T) Entrepreneurship community and can be completed concurrently with initiatives delivered by U of T’s accelerators. Its structured program delivers education and workshops tailored to Black entrepreneurs, including workshops/sessions with an emphasis on market and customer research, MVP product development, competitor analysis, beta testing, revenue generation and product-market fit.

    Venturepark Labs – Accelerator

    Since 2015, Venturepark Labs has delivered Canada’s top accelerator program for consumer products. Over four months, Venturepark Labs’ experts help their alumni scale. Entrepreneurs gain insights from industry leaders and access to Canada’s business growth ecosystem, Venturepark. The Park provides connections to investment capital and skilled brand builders.


    DMZ – Black Innovation Program’s (BIP) Social Impact Stream

    The DMZ Black Innovation Program (BIP) Social Impact Stream is a 6-month virtual business incubator program fuelled by Unilever to help Black entrepreneurs with a social mission and purpose to scale operations, make lucrative industry connections, and build sustainable solutions to maximize their impact on Canadian Communities.

    Entrepreneurship Program

    DMZ – Black Innovation Connections

    The Black Innovation Connections program is a 3-month, track-based coaching program that puts high-potential Black founders on the fast track to success and prepares them for the DMZ Incubator. Much like the Incubator, this program is customized to meet each founder’s unique needs. Connections also provides founders with an added layer of support to address the additional business barriers that Black-owned companies often face, including a $5,000 business grant upon acceptance into the program.

    The Bottom Line

    With the programs that have been introduced over the past few years for Black entrepreneurs, there’s never been a better time to start a Black-owned business.

    Make sure to take advantage of the programs described in this guide, but also remember that there are hundreds of other programs available for other demographic groups, industries, and purposes of funding. Combine them all and you might just have thousands of dollars to launch (or expand) your business empire!

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