Le Lézard
Classified in: Business
Subjects: BLK, NTA, DEI

EY Canada welcomes Entrepreneurs Access Network 2024 cohort

12 Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs enter the program aimed at unlocking growth opportunities 

TORONTO, April 16, 2024 /CNW/ - Traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples ? EY Canada, with the support from BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, is proud to announce the 12 entrepreneurs selected for the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Class of 2024. Launched in Canada in 2022, the program helps Black and Indigenous leaders access learning and networks to transcend barriers and scale their business.

"The class of 2024 consists of visionary entrepreneurs from diverse industries, united by their shared commitment to engaging with their communities and meeting consumer needs through innovative and sustainable solutions," shares Christopher Gordon, EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Program Co-Director. "Whether it's consumer products and retail or tech-enabled recruitment, the entrepreneurs in this year's program put humans at the heart of their business."

The Canadian entrepreneurs are:

"Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind Canada's economy, and we couldn't be prouder to work with a cohort that embodies the rich diversity and dynamic spirit of Canada's entrepreneurial landscape," says Myriam Gafarou, EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Program Co-Director. "At EY we strongly believe that an entrepreneur's pathway to networks, mentorship, capital and knowledge shouldn't be determined by the color of their skin, their cultural background or their gender. Instead, it should be guided by their creativity, character, compassion and courage."

"We know too well that the most common barriers underrepresented entrepreneurs face include access to financing, mentorship and peer networks. That's why diversity, equity, and inclusion is central to our strategy for fostering entrepreneurial success at BDC," says Ms. Fatiha Senhaji, Vice President of Inclusive Entrepreneurship at BDC. "Working alongside partners like EY, we can help propel these entrepreneurs further, faster and support Canada's economic prosperity."

Now in its third year in Canada, the Entrepreneurs Access Network aims to address the disparity gap by working with Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs through seven tried-and-tested drivers of growth: people, technology, operations, customer, finance, transactions, and risk. The Entrepreneurs Access Network participants also gain access to EY subject matter experts, benefit from a curated executive curriculum and are paired with an EY Relationship Ambassador for 1:1 coaching to help guide them through their growth journey. 

"In a short amount of time, this program has rapidly grown into a thriving network, propelling businesses owned by underrepresented groups to new heights," says Daniel Baer, EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Program Co-Director. "I'm proud of how far the program has come in a few short years and look forward to seeing how the program's future growth will strengthen EY's commitment to accessibility, inclusivity and fostering Canada's economic development."

The Entrepreneurs Access Network is part of EY's entrepreneurial ecosystem that has been celebrating and supporting entrepreneurship in Canada for 30 years. The program runs alongside EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® and EY Entrepreneurial Winning Womentm, both of which support a diverse and inclusive ecosystem that helps enable entrepreneurial growth at every stage of business. At EY, we strongly believe in Entrepreneurship for All.

Learn more about the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network and EY's commitment to building an equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem for all.

This year's program sponsor is BDC.

About EY Entrepreneurs Access Network

The EY Entrepreneurs Access Network is a program designed to support Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs. It aims to address the disparity gap by combining a curated, one-year educational curriculum for business owners of Black and Indigenous controlled private, for-profit organizations, with coaching and networking opportunities. Participants are paired with an EY Relationship Ambassador for dedicated coaching to help guide them through their growth journey.

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws.

For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com. Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

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