The new program brings local black businesses closer to securing lucrative federal contracts

A new program gives black entrepreneurs the tools to rise.

The program is a partnership between a Windsor-based organization called Black Business Canada and the federal government.

As part of the program, organizers will host a series of online sessions to provide black business owners with more information on how to secure federal contracts.

Maxine Ebegbuzie-Shelton, President of Black Business Canada, said it was crucial to have a program specifically focused on Black-owned businesses in Windsor.

“You can’t really cut and paste Toronto entrepreneurs and think it’s a blanket experience for the whole country. A Windsor Black [entrepreneur] very different from a black entrepreneur from Toronto.”

She said she took her concerns to a federal representative.

“After speaking to me for some time, they decided to work with Black Business Canada to really help spread the word among black businesses and give black businesses the opportunity to do business with them.”

Apply for federal treaties can give Windsor based companies the opportunity to work in government buildings such as offices and schools.

The prospect has already attracted more than 150 black business owners based in Windsor.

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Relish from Windsor-based catering company Black Magic Culinary Creations. (Submitted by Phil Octavien)

Phil Octavien, owner of Black Magic Culinary Creations, said he’s eager to take his business to the next level.

“I like to think of myself as the best cook in Windsor that nobody knows. But I would like the opportunity and the ability to grow the business as much as possible and I think that with this opportunity I would be able to do that.”

Roy Vance, owner of Roti Bowl & Soul, said he’s excited about potentially snagging a federal contract as it could potentially offer stability.

“I think when those contracts are in place and you have something that you can rely on consistently and that you know is already in place, that helps a lot.”

Oxtail Rice from Roti Bowl & Soul at 359 Ouellette Avenue in Windsor. (Submitted by Roy Vance)

the The first meeting will take place on February 23rd. The focus is on black artists.

It will also be an event on March 2ndfocused on helping local black entrepreneurs overcome any obstacles to securing a federal contract.

For more stories about Black Canadians’ experiences—from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community—see Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.


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