Belonging is such an important part of the human being development no matter where we are, and even more so if we’re living abroad.
One of the main goals, as thought leaders, for the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) is to ensure that we are inclusive, that we are providing the tools, support and equal opportunities to all members of our community. For that reason, we are focusing on projects that are making change, we want to support equality and encourage growth for visible minorities, including the Black community, in Simcoe County and beyond.
Partnering with entrepreneurial leaders in our ecosystem will help address gaps that have been a common denominator in our societies. One of our community leaders who is breaking barriers and is dedicated to the visibility and economic development of the black community in Canada is UPlift Black. They are a Black-led not-for-profit organization with a mission to UPlift and enhance the visibility and socio-economic development of Black communities based in Simcoe/Muskoka, Ontario and Canada. Their work is anchored in 2SLGBTQ+ inclusivity and anti-racist principles with a goal to achieve racial equality in a conscious community.
By offering new opportunities to help entrepreneurs thrive, and help them start and grow their businesses, UPlift Black is creating a strong community of Black Business owners. In addition to this, UPlift Black, The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and supporting partners are working together on a business video project, that will support 12 business owners and leaders from the Black community in Simcoe County. These videos will showcase Black business women, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, business owners, youth and 2SLGBTQPNIA+. The other community partners supporting this project are the County of Simcoe, Sandbox Centre, Orillia CDC, The Small Business Enterprise Centre of Barrie, Orillia and Nottawasaga Futures.
This project funded by the County of Simcoe will create opportunities and support our black community members by promoting them and their businesses.
Shelly Skinner, President of UPlift Black explains that “Supporting Black Business owners is integral to UPlift Black and as a social impact agency we are working to help build community relationships and strengthen cultural awareness through our partnership for the Accelerate Your Black Business program with The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and our supporting partners Small Business Centre Barrie and Barrie Public Library. Using community mentorship experts like Joy Adams of Covenant Wealth Financial is a key part in ensuring SUCCESS.”
“We want to help entrepreneurs take their business or ideas to the next level and partnering with thought leaders who are breaking barriers is important, as we want to address gaps in our ecosystem. Together we can create equal opportunities, without borders for our diverse community,” says Sara Bentham, Director, Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre.
Integrating into a new community
Finding your home away from home, a group of people that understand you, who have similar beliefs, culture, food, interests, traditions and values is complicated but not impossible. Supporting and helping others to know and feel that they belong equally in this region, especially visible minorities, should be a collective community goal.
Introducing and accepting members from different backgrounds will enrich and bring different perspectives to the table. Acknowledging that each human is different and unique, uplifts our community and workplaces, it makes us stronger and more diverse. It opens dialogue, creativity and innovation.
As doors continue to open for all entrepreneurs that lead to new opportunities, local businesses are better supported, our economy benefits and relationships are strengthened. That ripple effect will reach further into our community and inspire young entrepreneurs and innovators that will in turn impact our region in beneficial ways.
We can make a difference together. To know more about this project and learn about the impact that UPlift Black is generating follow https://upliftblack.org/