Mustafa Ali, an MBA candidate who’s worked with local and provincial governments, as well as faith-based and non-profit organizations run by and for Black people, explains how we can support Black-owned businesses in Edmonton.
“There’s no shortage of Black-owned businesses in Edmonton, but their clientele tends to be from the same community, and there’s a lack of awareness of which businesses are Black-owned. Edmontonians need to do the work of finding those businesses. Google ‘Somali restaurant’ or ‘Nigerian cafe’ — not because it’s charitable, but because Black businesses have a lot to offer. It starts with wanting to.”
GROOM BLACK ENTREPRENEURS
“When we take a general approach to support small businesses, we end up missing out on the nuances of how different businesses struggle, and it doesn’t necessarily speak to the discrimination Black-owned businesses experience. This summer, Startup Edmonton put together a workshop for Black-owned businesses, and La Connexional (an Alberta-based startup which aims to showcase the talents and contributions of the African, Black, Caribbean, and Latinx communities in Canada) organized the first pop-up market featuring Black-owned businesses in July.”
Anecdotally, Ali sensed a surge of support for Black-owned businesses after George Floyd’s murder and the BLM rallies. But it’s important to sustain it, both to grow Edmonton’s economy and to experience the variety of food and products from within the Black community.
$22,616 AND $9,888
The average wage gap between Black men and White men, respectively, and Black women and White women in Edmonton.
— STATISTICS CANADA
This article appears in the October 2020 issue of Edify