Canada launches LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship program

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Canada launches LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship program

The federal government is investing in an LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship program that aims to increase the funding, financing, and mentorship opportunities available to businesses with owners who have diverse sexualities and gender identity.

The program will be run by the CGLCC, a non-profit that was established in 2003 as the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. It was announced by Small Business Minister Mary Ng, who said it was the world's first program of its kind. In addition to similar initiatives like the Black Entrepreneurship Program and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, it is modeledled after similar initiatives like the Black Entrepreneurship Program and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.

The new program includes three streams, one to create a knowledge hub to study the experiences of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and identify barriers to their success, one to support organizations that provide services to LGBTQ+ businesses, and a third to build capacity at CGLCC.

Darrell Schuurman, the CGLCC's chief executive, said that one of his objectives is to increase the amount of corporate and government procurement opportunities available to LGBTQ+ businesses, as they are underrepresented in many supply chains.

But if they're not comfortable with being who they are, if they're focused and putting energy to hide parts of their identity, it means they're not being able to contribute and put as much energy as they can into growing their own business, he said.

LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs are owned and operated by more than 100,000 businesses in Canada and they employ more than 435,000 Canadians.