Black-Owned Start-Ups to Support

The Black Lives Matter protests shed much-needed light on the problems of systemic racism.  In Canada and the U.S., several businesses released apologies, and the term “woke” returned to political consciousness. 

However, despite the Canadian government providing loans up to $25,000 to Black business owners in 2021, some claim the loan is hard to access, and Black owners are still having difficulty finding seed money. It was author Anna Lappé who wrote that, “Every time you spend your money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” If 60 per cent of Canadians truly see racism as a major problem for the country, fighting it financially could be the real remedy.

Here are some Black-owned start-ups to support.

Fingerprints Inc.

The COVID-19 pandemic was particularly difficult for children, who experienced serious disruptions in their schooling. This gave rise to a company like Fingerprints Inc. which offers unique tutoring services, designed to cater to a student’s specific learning style. That lost year of schooling led to some gaps in education; matching your child with a tutor who can meet their needs might be the solution they need. 


Anyone who’s seen Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair, or John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight segment on the issue, is aware of the issues Black women face when it comes to styling their hair. NAIJ is a start-up founded to directly deal with those issues, providing Black women with both ethically sourced extensions as well as a directory of stylists in their area. NAIJ also supports other Black entrepreneurs, make-up stylists, and fashion icons. 


In 2021, a study by the University of Toronto found that nearly six million Canadians experienced some kind of food insecurity, and the problem has only worsened. The number has risen by another one million, and Black households are twice as likely to be among them. B12GIVE was founded to impact those numbers by redistributing food waste across the country. They have already partnered with McKinsey, Food Dudes, and Citco to redistribute over 23,000 pounds of food.

Redeem Clothing Recycling

Every year, Canadians dump 500 million kilograms of textile waste such as clothing, toys, and shoes, and the dyes and microfibres pollute groundwater and release high levels of methane. While shopping at and donating to thrift stores like Value Village is an ideal alternative, 85 per cent of clothing in North America still ends up at landfills. Redeem Clothing Recycling hopes to reduce the carbon footprint of the fashion industry by making it easier to donate unwanted items. Customers can simply download the app on their phone and generate an e-shipping label for a minimum of ten items, and the parcels will be picked up from their home. Customers can also earn points for their donations, which are redeemable at small Ontario businesses with whom Redeem is partnered.

Kenny Hedges | Contributing Writer



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