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A milestone in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the Canadian business landscape

A milestone in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the Canadian business landscape

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Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) has announced a groundbreaking milestone in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the Canadian business landscape. The Ecosystem Fund, part of the 2SLGBTQI+ Entrepreneurship Programme, is now open to applications from non-profit organisations and registered charities across the country. The 2SLGBTQI+ Entrepreneurship Programme, supported by a US$25 million fund from the Government of Canada, marks a significant leap toward fostering a thriving and inclusive Canadian economy, with a specific focus on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within groups that have been and still are underrepresented and disadvantaged.

“This milestone is great news for 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs,” said the Honourable Rechie Valdez, Minister of Small Business. “The 2SLGBTQI+ Entrepreneurship Programme is the first of its kind in the world and shows the concrete steps our government is taking to ensure entrepreneurs from all walks of life have equal access to capital and resources. Together with partners like the CGLCC, we are delivering programmes that have a real impact in strengthening our economy and creating good middle class jobs for all Canadians”. 

“We look forward to working with other non-profits and partner organisations across the country through this Ecosystem Fund,” said Darrell Schuurman, CEO and Co-founder of CGLCC. “This programme will support the great work already being done by these organisations as they break down barriers for 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs, particularly those from marginalised and under-resourced communities. We are humbled and honoured to have been chosen to lead this programme by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada”.

The Ecosystem Fund: investing in non-profits that support 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs

The Ecosystem Fund has been designed to support non-profit organisations that collaborate with 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs. These organisations are now eligible to apply for funding to fuel two core categories of projects:

  • Programmes supporting 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs: funding for selected projects from ecosystem organisations delivering support to 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs, with particular consideration for projects supporting under-served 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs and/or projects in regions with limited support for 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs.
  • Internal capacity-building initiatives: organisations are encouraged to develop their internal capabilities, enabling them to better serve 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs.

Notably, non-profit organisations can submit their applications for support through the Ecosystem Fund until the end of January 2024.

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