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Celebrating Black Entrepreneurs

February 16, 2022

 

February is Black History Month, and its importance cannot be understated. We celebrate Black History Month as a way to remember our past, and to recognize Black leaders who are making a difference in the community.

The Origins of Black History Month in Canada

Black History Month was first established in Toronto in 1978 by Dr. Daniel G. Hill and Wilson O. Brooks and officially recognized by the House of Commons in 1995 following a motion introduced by Dr. Jean Augustin (the first African-Canadian woman elected to parliament). The month of February is a time of reflection, helping Canadians acknowledge and understand how our past has affected our present-day lives. Racism in Canada is real and needs to be discussed openly and honestly so we can begin to change the systems and underlying biases that propagate systemic inequality.

The Future of Black Entrepreneurs in Canada

Although we must never forget the past, we must strive to improve every day. And some incredible entrepreneurs are leading the way and showing today’s Black youth that you don’t have to be afraid to follow your dreams and make your mark on this country. A few of the talented Black entrepreneurs in Canada include:

  • Ricky Neckels, Neckels Global Enterprises Inc. – Neckels is a true leader who was running a multi-million-dollar company by the age of 24. Neckels Global Enterprise Inc. (NGE) is a privately held investment company that operates in various sectors, including real estate and manufacturing.
  • Zainab Bernard and Portia Sam, Miscellany Finds – Combining their passion for small business and looking to empower women, Sam and Bernard got together and teamed up to create a thrift store that encourages sustainability through recycling and reusing goods. Miscellany Finds is a Vancouver-based shop that doesn’t just thrive on helping the environment but also supports hundreds of marginalized women and youth in the area.
  • Charmaine Crooks, NGU Consultants – You may know Crooks from her incredible Olympic career, which saw her become a five-time Olympian and silver medalist. Crooks is the President and founder of NGU Consultants, a sports marketing, management, and corporate consultation company. Crooks supports a variety of charities and charitable initiatives.
  • Pauleanna Reid, Best-Selling Author and Mentor – Reid is an Amazon best-selling author with her book “Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother.” A motivational speaker and CEO of New Girl on the Block, she has created an empire designed to help young women achieve their full potential and see their true value.
  • Bashir Khan –Khan is a technology entrepreneur who is a member of a number of notable international organizations, including Transport Canada’s RPAS Traffic Management Action Team, Canada’s mirror committee on drone standards, and NASA’s transformational vertical flight for public services group. Khan is the co-founder of AirMatrix alongside Alexandra McCalla, a business transformation expert. AirMatrix builds 3D networks of drone roads.

These are just a few examples of Black entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the world of business and sparking change in communities across Canada. Learn more about some other wonderful entrepreneurs here.

At Venture X, we aim to make our coworking spaces an inclusive workplace and are proud to support Black-owned businesses. Together, let’s celebrate entrepreneurs in Canada year-round and add our voice to the strong and loud national cry against racism.