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RBC Disruptors Podcast: Why Are There so Few Black Entrepreneurs in Canadian Tech?

by John Stackhouse

February 24, 2020

For Black History Month, RBC Disruptors talked to two entrepreneurs who are trying to do something about it. In 2018, Isaac Olowalafe Jr., a Toronto real estate investor, and Abdullah Snobar, executive director of Ryerson University’s DMZ start-up zone, launched the $1-million Black Innovation Fellowship to provide entrepreneurs with access to networks, seed capital and business partners like Shopify. Snobar stressed one word: “access.” According to the Black in Canada survey, black entrepreneurs say their biggest challenges are marketing (51%), networking and learning opportunities (51%) and finance (48%). Olowalafe says the tech sector is perhaps the best opportunity, given its rapid growth and concentration in cities like Toronto. “Ryerson is known for tech and diversity,” he told us. “How do we bring the two together?”


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