Afro Youth Summit
Nearly $3 million for entrepreneurship service centres for Black youth in Quebec
The Afro Youth Summit, announced that they are launching the RIDE (Réseau d'Intervention en Développement Économique) program. The project consists of creating seven service centres for entrepreneurship, including a digital expertise centre, for young aspiring entrepreneurs from Quebec's Black communities. The centres will be located in Montreal, Laval, Quebec City, and the Outaouais.
"In Canada, there are thousands of young people, particularly from Black communities, whose chances of succeeding in business, or even getting into business, are being undermined because they cannot break down systemic barriers,” said Édouard Staco, President of Socio Economic Summit for the Development of Black Youth. “So, to build a stronger Canada, we need to end this long-standing disadvantage. We must stop killing their dreams and unleash their extraordinary potential.”
The centres will be a collaborative space that offers infrastructure, resources and support to Black entrepreneurs. RIDE will allow young Black entrepreneurs to access new and existing business networks, information and mentorship to strategically develop their businesses and help them fully participate in Quebec’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The program plans to sensitise over 5,000 young women and men to business opportunities and resources. RIDE will also accompany over 300 young people in starting their business as well as support over 150 black-owned businesses shift to a digital system. This new program will also support 150 projects led by young Black entrepreneurs, aged 18 to 35 years old, in sectors such as culture, digital, social, commerce, and manufacturing.
The RIDE program is offered and implemented through partner organisations, in the Outaouais it will be provided through Association des femmes immigrantes de l'Outaouais (AFIO). The other partner organisations include Chantier d'Afrique du Canada, the Black Community Resources Center, Centre R.I.R.E 2000, Centre Communautaire Coumbite Laval, and Maison d'Haïti.
"Our organisation is proud to be a partner in a project that brings together and represents the entire Quebec mosaic. We are even more pleased to be able to count on the expertise of organisations from other regions of Quebec,” said Bettyna Bélizaire Executive Director of AFIO and Municipal councillor for the plateau district. “It is a service offer that reflects the reality of young people from all over the province, but particularly those from the Outaouais region.”
The Summit Afro Youth will invest approximately $3 million to operate these centres. The federal government, through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, as part of the Black Entrepreneurship Program's Ecosystem Fund, is providing $2.3 million for the program.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Socio Economic Summit for the Development of Black Youth.
Photo caption: Members of Partner organisations and Édouard Staco, President of Socio Economic Summit for the Development of Black Youth at the 2022 Afro Youth Summit.