The Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (BEKH), co-led by Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business and Dream Legacy Foundation, hosted a two-day symposium last week on “Researching Black Entrepreneurship in Canada.” The event brought together academic and community researchers from across the country, both in person and virtually, to explore topics important to setting BEKH’s research agenda.
Gerald Grant, BEKH co-lead and Sprott professor of Information Systems, identified the symposium’s goals during his opening remarks. These included defining the research agenda for BEKH by identifying gaps and under-explored topics concerning Black entrepreneurship, and receiving contributions to guide the development of the large-scale quantitative, qualitative and network mapping studies.
The symposium kicked off with a keynote by Natalie Evans-Harris, founder of US-based Black Wealth Data Centre whose mission is to empower practitioners and policymakers with reliable data needed to make decisions that help repair the harm caused by decades of racism and divestment.
“The black wealth database is really about, how do we take data and put into action?” explained Natalie, who previously worked for the Obama and Biden administrations.
“How do we make data useable by everybody? Because if we get data into the hands of the right people at the right time, transformation happens.”
In the weeks leading up to the symposium, BEKH hosted meetings and workshops across the country to generate knowledge and capture the lived experiences of Black entrepreneurs in Canada.
“BEKH focuses on intersectionality and understanding the unique challenges identified within the Black community,” added Isaac Olowolafe Jr., BEKH co-lead and founder of Dream Legacy Foundation.
“The research is inclusive in design and aids in addressing systemic challenges faced by Black entrepreneurs and the wider Black community. This includes new immigrants, women, racial minorities, gender diversity, Indigenous, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+, language minorities, and more. …Everything we do has an intersectional approach.”
Funded by the Government of Canada, the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub will be a collaborative, co-generated and high-quality knowledge and data platform that reflects the state of Black Entrepreneurship in Canada. It is the third pillar in the Government of Canada’s Black Entrepreneurship Program.
To learn more about the activities of the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, and to get involved, please visit the BEKH website.
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