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Propelling Black Entrepreneurship Program

TD Propelling Black Entrepreneurship Program:

Are you a Black entrepreneur facing challenges in accessing the financing your business needs to thrive? The TD Propelling Black Entrepreneurship Program is here to empower you with the support you need.

Our program offers a grant ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to offset the costs of obtaining professional business services. We understand that one of the most significant barriers to success for Black entrepreneurs is limited access to financing. That’s why we’re committed to making this journey smoother for you.

With this program, we aim to help Black entrepreneurs get the essential business documentation required for success. These documents, including tax filings, financial statements, and business plans, are crucial in securing the financing your business deserves.

Selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to work closely with seasoned service professionals. They will guide you through the process, ensuring that your business documents are not just completed but optimized to enhance your financing prospects.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Your Business Must be Operating in Canada for Two Years or Less
  • Identify as a Black-Owned Business.
  • Your Business Must be Registered with the Canadian Business Registry
  • In need of Business Plan, Financial Statements, and/or Tax Filing services.

Deadline to apply to cohort 2 is Monday October 23rd 6pm EST

Join us in breaking down the barriers that have hindered Black entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential. The TD Propelling Black Entrepreneurship Program is your pathway to financial empowerment, growth, and success. Together, we’ll propel your business to new heights.


FACE’s Executive Team

Tiffany Callender

Chief Executive Officer

Christelle Francois

Vice President of Operations

Ken Birch

Vice President of Commercial Finance

Kwene Guzoraky

Financial Controller

Q: What is the Propelling Black Entrepreneurship Program?

A: The Propelling Black Entrepreneurship Program supported by TD Bank is designed to help Black Entrepreneurs who have been in business for two years or less access professional business service from providers to prepare their business and financial documents, including business plans, financial statements, and tax filings to help improve their access to financing.

Q: What are the steps in securing a grant in the Propelling Black Entrepreneurship Program?

A: The steps in securing the grant are:
  • Apply to the program.
  • If your business meets the program’s criteria, you get invited to attend the mandatory info session.
  • All attendees' applications at the info session will be reviewed, and the awards committee will select successful applications.
  • Selected applicants will be contacted and connected to professional business service providers.

Q: Is the Program Grant in Cash?

A: The program grant is in cash but will be paid directly to the professional business service provider for the services provided to the beneficiary of the grant.

Q: Can you tell me about the "Mandatory Info Session"?

A: Certainly, during the "Mandatory Info Session," we provide a comprehensive overview of the upcoming weeksprogram, highlighting key milestones, and events, and workshops. We also review FACE Loan application and documentation standards and open the floor to questions and feedback via a stakeholder engagement survey.

Q: What is the composition of the Awards Committee?

A: The awards committee comprises of a representative of TD Bank, the Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Partners and FACE Coalition.

Q: What criteria are used to review applications during the "Application Review and Selection" phase?

A: Applications are reviewed based on predetermined criteria, including verifying the existence of the business, confirming that owners identify asre Black, ensuring the company has been in existence for less than two years, and considering factors like nationwide spread and the quality of the business.

Q: How are finalists selected during this phase?

A: Attendees who participate in the mandatory info session are automatically shortlisted. From the shortlisted applicants, an awards selection committee comprising representatives of TD Bank, the Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Partners and FACE Coalition experienced entrepreneurs and program coordinators selects a cohort of participants who will advance to the next subsequent phases.

Q: What happens after the finalists are selected?

A: Finalists are notified of their acceptance into the program and provided with details about the program schedule and expectations. For applicants who were not selected, guidance is offered on how to improvinge their business concepts for future opportunities.

Q: Can you explain the purpose of the interaction with the program's professional business service providers?

A: During this phase, finalists can meet with the professional business service providers. This interaction allows them to learn about the firm's areas of specialization, experience, and how they can access their services. Finalists can also share their specific business challenges and, with the professional business service provider, set clear, actionable goals in preparing the documentation for their business.

Q: Why is it a requirement for businesses to have been operating in Canada for the past two years?

A: This criterion is in place to ensure that businesses have a certain level of stability and experience before participating in the program.

Q: Can you clarify what "identify as a Black-Owned Business" means?

A: Identity as a Black-owned business means the business must have Black ownership. The majority shareholding of the company must be Black and operated by individuals of Black heritage.

Q: What is the significance of possessing a Business Registration Number?

A: Having a Business Registration Number helps verify the legitimacy of the business and ensures it is a legally registered entity.

Q: How many businesses are you planning to shortlist in total?

A: We aim to shortlist 25-50 businesses per cohort across different regions to ensure a diverse representation.

Q: Can you clarify the criteria for shortlisting regarding a nationwide spread, quality of the business, and consideration of French?

A: When shortlisting, we aim to select businesses from various regions to ensure a nationwide reach. We also consider the overall quality and potential of the business. Additionally, we take into consider French-speaking businesses to ensure inclusivity and diversity.

Q: What is the amount of the grant?

A: The grant amount for eligible businesses falls between the range of $2,500 to $5,000.

Q: How is the grant amount determined for each business?

A: The grant amount depends on the services you will receive from the professional business service provider you’ve been assigned, and the required services..

Q: What are the primary qualifying factors for this program?

A: The main qualifying factors for this program include:
  • Operating a business in Canada for the past two years.
  • Identification as a Black-owned business.
  • Possession of a Business Registration Number.
  • In need of a Business Plan, Financial Statements, and or Tax Filings.

Q: Can you explain why the program focuses on businesses in operation for less than two years?

A: The program prioritizes businesses in their early stages to provide critical support during a crucial growth period. These businesses often face unique challenges and require specialized assistance to succeed.

Q: Are businesses from all industries and sectors eligible?

A: The program is open to businesses from various industries and sectors. Non-profits are ineligible.

Q: Is there a specific credit score requirement for applicants?

A: Your credit score is not considered ,for this program.

Tiffany Callender​

Chief Executive Officer

Community developer and social entrepreneur, Tiffany Callender has spent her 16 year career developing and implementing programs to support Montreal’s Black community. In addition to being the youngest female Executive Director of one of the oldest Black organizations in Quebec, she was recognized by MIPAD as one of the 100 most influential person of African-descent under 40 in 2020,

In 2021 Tiffany was named the inaugural CEO of the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE). FACE is a coalition of Canadian Black business support organizations that worked with the federal government to co-develop and administer the $160 million Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund.

Tiffany has presented recommendations for policy change to public institutions, notably as a signatory for Montreal’s consultation on racism and systemic discrimination as well as Quebec’s Laurent commission on the overrepresentation of Black children in the Youth Protection. She also regularly presents sensitivity and equity training to private institutions. Her career is inspired by her personal life as she is a proud mother of three.

Christelle Francois

Vice President of Operations

Christelle Francois is a bilingual executive leader and entrepreneur who has the pulse on the leaders of business, innovation and advocacy. She possesses extensive experience as a strategy consultant where she specialized in accelerating growth, developing revenue models and implementing solutions for various companies and organizations.

She is also the Founder of a firm named Untold & Co Agency, where she and her team service an array of clients in securing corporate and government partnerships, curating digital strategies and executing 360 integrated PR campaigns. Her passion for civic engagement led her to assist in leading the 2019 and 2020 Lobby Day initiative with our current Prime Minister. In January of 2021, she was appointed as the President of the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce, where she led the strategy that secured over $5M in funding in less than six months.

Most recently, Christelle was appointed as the VP of Operations for FACE Coalition. Christelle is also passionate about her community and has volunteered and sat on the board of numerous organisations, such as Apathy is Boring and Head & Hands.

Kwene Guzoraky

Financial Controller

Holder of a professional diploma in Business Administration and Accounting, Kwene is also a CPA candidate. He graduated from Concordia’s John Molson School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce (accounting major). At a young age, Kwene Guzoraky entered the world of business while pursuing his education. He chose a career in the field of accounting because of his love and passion for Black businesses, with the objective of using this education to help support his community. He started his career at age 16 working for a small black-owned business. By the time he had completed his bachelor degree, he contributed significantly to turning that small black-owned business into over a million-dollar enterprise.

To gather additional experience, he decided to venture into working for major corporations such as Genetec, a tech company that focuses on world security.

In 2021, Kwene was appointed as Financial Controller at FACE Coalition. His goal at FACE is to manage the financial resources at its optimal capacity. He will serve as the backbone that will enable FACE to be the catalyst for Black generational wealth creation.

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.