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Charting the Course: A Strategic Guide for Black Entrepreneurs to Conquer 2024

As we approach the end of the first month of 2024, the new year calls upon black entrepreneurs to navigate the usual entrepreneurial terrain and the hurdles that lie ahead .  Instead of fearing the challenges, let’s focus on crafting strategies to overcome them – a time to reset, recharge, and pave the way for a resilient 2024 filled with your triumphant growth. Are you prepared to make  your entrepreneurial masterpiece this year? 

Remember Your Why: 

Embedded in the heart of every entrepreneurial journey is a pulsating passion—a compelling vision that propels individuals forward. For black entrepreneurs, reconnecting with the roots of their venture is not just  an exercise in futility; it’s a sacred ritual. The challenges may be formidable, but the ‘why’ behind their entrepreneurial spirit is a magnetic force, guiding them through storms while amplifying the joy of triumphs. 

Be Resourceful: 

Resourcefulness is the bedrock of entrepreneurial success, especially when challenges arise.Withinarise. Within this rich tapestry of the black community lie stories of resilience and resourcefulness., harness the power of your networks, seek mentorship, and tap into available resources. Despite the high-interest rates, loan repayments and rising inflation, being resourceful can turn these challenges into opportunities for financial freedom and business success. The entrepreneurial journey may be challenging, but with resourcefulness, even the most daunting challenges can become stepping stones to greatness. 

Create Opportunities: 

Opportunities seldom present themselves; often, they need to be forged. Envisioning possibilities beyond the horizon is the catalyst for innovation and growth. Cultivate a mindset that identifies challenges not as roadblocks but as gateways to new opportunities. Seize every moment, and  discover an untapped opportunity waiting to be unveiled within each challenge. 

Make Connections: 

The power of connections is the lifeblood of successful entrepreneurship. Forge meaningful relationships within and beyond the community. Collaborate, share experiences, and weave a tapestry of interconnected success stories. The strength of the black entrepreneurial community lies in unity, support, and the collective power of shared ambitions. 

Set Realistic Goals: 

Dreams provide the foundation, but goals serve as the roadmap. We must set realistic short- and long-term goals aligning with the overarching vision. Do not forget the importance of pacing yourself, celebrating the achievement of small victories, and staying resilient in the face of setbacks. 

Operational Excellence: 

At the core of every successful business lies a well-oiled machine of operations. Ensure that your business is equipped with the proper operational framework. From refining processes to nurturing a robust team, laying the foundation for sustainable growth is paramount. 

As we step boldly into the new year, let the echoes of inspiration and resilience reverberate within the community. Beyond the grand vision, success lies in the intentional pursuit of excellence in the small things—remembering the ‘why,’ being resourceful, creating opportunities, making connections, setting realistic goals, and embracing operational excellence.  

May this be a year where dreams not only take flight but soar to new heights, and success becomes not just a destination but a continuous, intentional journey.  

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Rob G.C. Sobey

Board Member

Rob G.C. Sobey is a corporate director. Mr. Sobey was the President & Chief Executive Officer of Lawton’s Drug Stores Limited from 2006 until his retirement in 2014 after 25 years with Sobeys. He serves as a director of SeaFort Capital and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mr. Sobey is Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, a member of the Queen’s Smith School of Business Advisory Board and serves on several foundation and not-for-profit boards. For his work as an Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army, Mr. Sobey received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He holds an undergraduate from Queen’s University, a Master of Business Administration from Babson College, and the ICD.D designation.

Denburk Reid

Board Member

Denburk Reid is the founder of Montreal Community Care Foundation (MCCF). Its mission is to empower youth by developing their leadership skills by using programs, workshops, and events, and by building bridges between communities. As the founder of MCCF, he beliefs that the youth hold the key to Montreal’s future and over the past eight (8) years, its programs have helped hundreds of Montreal youth stay on track, perform community services as well as set and achieve academic and life goals. The organization seeks to empower youth to become engaged citizens and leaders in their homes, schools, and communities. For the past five (5) years, MCCF celebrates and promotes community engagement across Montreal through the Montreal Community Cares Awards.

Along with his role as the founder of MCCF, Mr. Reid is the Founder of Red Rush Basketball & Red Rush Basketball Leadership. He has a passion for empowering youth and meeting them where they are lends to a successful outcome.

Abdikhier Ahmed​

Board Member

Mr. Ahmed is a recognized community leader in the non-profit sector with specializations in immigration and refugee resettlement, poverty reduction, and community empowerment. A dynamic, highly motivated individual with extensive experience in program development and delivery, providing strategic visioning and leadership. Over 10 years’ experience managing programs for non-profit organizations and working with communities and people from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds both locally as well as internationally. Fluently multi-lingual: speaks and writes English, Swahili, Somali and basic Arabic. This experience help guide Mr. Ahmed when he was in the role of Director of Policy at the Office of Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Mr. Ahmed is currently the Executive Director of Aurora Family Therapy Centre. Aurora is a progressive, non-profit family therapy centre that offers family therapy on a sliding scale; sees clients through services funded by Manitoba Department of Families and Department of Justice; provides community building groups for Newcomers to Canada; hosts a Psycho-Social Settlement Needs Assessment program for incoming refugees; provides summer youth programming for many newcomer communities; supports its own staff and other agencies through vicarious trauma and resilience programming; develops supportive relationships with community partners, and engages in advocacy for accessible community-based therapy services for all. Aurora is in the process of becoming a Centre of Excellence in providing cross cultural therapy from a systemic lens with a special focus on psychological trauma & recovery and community development.