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Boosting Inclusion: Canada’s Groundbreaking $25M LGBTQ Entrepreneurship Program

CBC News | Brett Bundale | Jun 8, 2023

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The Canadian government has pledged $25M to launch the nation's first-ever LGBTQ entrepreneurship program, deemed a "game-changer" by proponents. This initiative, the first of its kind globally, is aimed at fostering a more inclusive economy and society.

  • Administered by the CGLCC, the program will include a business scale-up program, an ecosystem fund, and a knowledge hub. These components are designed to address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ entrepreneurs, such as discrimination and difficulty in accessing funding.
    • The federal Economic Development Department reports that there are over 100,000 LGBTQ-owned businesses in Canada, contributing significantly to the economy but still facing unique barriers.

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  • The program has been applauded by LGBTQ entrepreneurs, who anticipate it will provide much-needed resources, networks, and mentorship for greater inclusion and success in the economy. Verification of LGBTQ status for the program will be managed by the CGLCC, reinforcing the community-driven nature of this initiative.

Darrell Schuurman, co-founder and CEO of the CGLCC:

"All entrepreneurs have had their share of struggles but this program recognizes that there are additional unique challenges and barriers faced by diverse-owned businesses and 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs.  Some businesses have actually lost contracts because of their ownership. People are sometimes hiding who they are and not fully bringing their true selves to their business and it has a negative impact on the growth of their business and, ultimately, on the economy."

Keywords: Canada, LGBTQ entrepreneurship program, $25M, inclusion, economy, society, CGLCC, business scale-up, ecosystem fund, knowledge hub, LGBTQ-owned businesses, discrimination, funding, resources, networks, mentorship, verification.

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