A new organization dedicated to leveraging the power of black entrepreneurs and blacked-owned businesses has announced its official launch.
The Black Manitobans Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization committed to advocacy and boosting black-owned businesses through innovation and equitable economic development in the province.
Members of the organization joined Premier Heather Stefanson for the launch in the Manitoba Legislative Building’s rotunda on Wednesday.
The chamber’s founder and first president Zita Somakoko said the organization will advocate to level the playing field for all.
“We are here to connect our black business leaders to resources, opportunities, partnerships, to help them innovate to what they are called to be, to what they want to be – empowered,” she said.
Premier Stefanson called the chamber a testament to Manitoba’s thriving community of black entrepreneurs.
“Diversity and representation matters because together they create an inclusive environment where people feel welcomed and empowered,” she said.
According to the organization, there are roughly 500 black-owned businesses in Manitoba. The new chamber is now accepting new members, and Somakoko anticipates membership will grow quickly.
“The conventional or traditional chambers of commerce really focus on development, but we want to focus not only on development, but the groundwork to equip these entrepreneurs and you know, the business owners to do business as it’s done in North America.”
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