Federal funds granted to Welland agency to help Black francophone entrepreneurs

La Solidarité des femmes et familles interconnectées francophones du Niagara (SOFIFRAN) will help Black francophone entrepreneurs gain the skills and knowledge necessary to start and grow their businesses thanks to federal funding.

Thursday, Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey said the Welland organization received $352,006 to deliver the National Ecosystem Fund in the Niagara, London, Chatham and Windsor areas.

The fund is to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs and business owners across Canada.

SOFIFRAN will use the funding to support Black francophone entrepreneurs and the project will operate on a continuous intake model and will span the entire continuum from micro-businesses, small businesses and growth companies, a release from Badawey’s office said.

The project will provide one-on-one mentoring to Black entrepreneurs connecting them with Black industry advisers, coaching, networking events and custom training based on the need of entrepreneurs, including e-commerce, financial literacy, advertising and marketing.

“SOFIFRAN would like to thank the government of Canada for its support for black entrepreneurs in the Niagara Region. Through this funding, we will develop a community of practice that will address gaps and barriers that prevent Black entrepreneurs from succeeding and growing their businesses,” said the agency’s directrice générale Fété Ngira-Batware Kimpiobi, in the release.

Supporting delivery of the project are Brock University, Caisses Desjardins, La Société d’appui direct au développement économique et communautaire (SADDEC), and YDMP Consulting.

The project is expected to support 240 entrepreneurs and lead to the creation of an estimated 60 new businesses and 120 new jobs through the companies supported.

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