- Black business owners are disproportionately rejected in loan applications (only 31% of Black businesses receive all funding applied for vs 49% for White businesses; and 38% of Black businesses receive none of the funding applied for)
- COVID-19 has resulted in a 41% decline in Black businesses (vs. only 22% for non-Black businesses)
- Many Black businesses operate as sole proprietorships, which has been a hurdle when it comes to qualifying for government grants and bank loans.
- Many Black businesses lack generational wealth or family and friends with capital, making traditional bank adjudication processes involving collateral, personal guarantees and minimum credit scores a problem.
- Systemic racism impacts most Black entrepreneurs: 76% of Black entrepreneurs said their race makes it harder to succeed as an entrepreneur.
- Access to capital is the greatest barrier for Black entrepreneurs: 75% say that if they needed to find $10,000 to support their business, it would be difficult.
- Low trust in banks: Only 19% of respondents said they trust banks to do what is right for them and their community.
- Networks and support are critical to supporting Black entrepreneurs: A majority of Black entrepreneurs said they do not know how to access supports or advice when challenges arise in their business.
*Source – 2021 Abacus Data study by African Canadian Senate Group and Senator Colin Deacon
BOF Black Business Loan Program Eligibility Criteria
(a) Must be organized as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or incorporated/continued under a relevant Canadian federal or provincial corporate statute governing business corporations If a sole proprietor, must:
(i) self-identify as Black;
(ii) be over 18 years of age at the time the loan application is submitted; and
(iii) be a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident or Convention Refugee*, with a legal right to work in Canada
(b) If a corporation or partnership, a majority (51% or more) of the shareholders or partners (or shareholders of partners), as applicable, must self-identify as Black and all shareholders, partners (or shareholders of partners), as applicable, must be:
(i) over 18 years of age at the time the loan application is submitted;
(ii) Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents or Convention Refugees*, with a legal right to work in Canada; and
(iii) unable financially to provide a guarantee to or offer collateral on a loan for the applicant.
(c) Must have a web presence, which may include a website and/or social media page.
(d) Must be solvent
Please read eligibility above to apply.
*A Convention Refugee is a person who is outside of their home country or country where they normally live and fears returning to that country because of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion and who has been determined to be a Convention Refugee by a visa officer outside of Canada or by the Refugee Board of Canada. An applicant must prove that they are a Convention Refugee by submitting to BOF a photocopy of the letter they received with their positive decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board, or their Verification of Status Document received from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.