CIBC has announced that it has established the CIBC Black Entrepreneur Program, aimed at helping entrepreneurs from the Black community to achieve their ambition of starting, running and growing their business. The new program includes a $15 million commitment for business loans of up to $250,000, non-repayable loans for Black entrepreneurs, as well as educational support that will help remove barriers to financial inclusion for entrepreneurs from the Black community, helping these businesses prosper.
CIBC has partnered with the Black Opportunity Fund (BOF) and the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce to provide supporting services including mentorship, financial education and business planning.
As part of this commitment, the CIBC Foundation, aimed at creating a more equitable society, will provide a $2-million donation to the BOF. With this donation, BOF will provide non-repayable loans to entrepreneurs in various stages of their business planning to help build their knowledge and capacity.
“CIBC is committed to removing barriers that all too often stand in the way of success for Black entrepreneurs. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and ensuring that Black entrepreneurs can thrive is essential to building strong, vibrant, equitable and healthy communities,” said Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Group Head, Personal and Business Banking at CIBC. “With our new Black Entrepreneur Program, we are excited to help more business owners have access to the resources they need to grow and succeed.”
These commitments build on CIBC’s existing Banking for Black-owned businesses program, which matches new and existing clients with experts who offer tailored advice. These specialists also assist clients with accessing CIBC’s one-on-one support and market-leading banking offers for Black entrepreneurs.
“We are pleased with CIBC’s commitment to support Black entrepreneurship,” said Craig Wellington, Executive Director of the Black Opportunity Fund. “It’s an excellent step towards dismantling the systemic barriers that prevent Canadian Black entrepreneurs from gaining full, equitable access to opportunities to thrive and succeed.”
“To mobilize the Black community and narrow thewealth gap, access to capital and solid fiscal relationships are imperative to the prosperity and sustainability of Black entrepreneurship,” said Michelle Meghie, President, Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.