The announcement is timely with Black History Month.

The Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI) was created by the Federal government through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to help increase the capacity of grassroots not-for-profit organizations serving Black communities in Canada. The grants are administered by three intermediary organizations (Black Business Initiative, Groupe 3737 and Tropicana Community Services) with the aim to increase the organizational capacity of the grantee organizations. For more information, visit

On November 23, 2020, the three intermediaries announced the launch of the SBCCI’s call for proposals for capacity-building projects. Halifax’s Black Business Initiative, Montreal-based Groupe 3737 and Toronto’s Tropicana Community Services were commissioned to administer the SBCCI capacity-building fund in Canada. Information sessions for interested organizations were held with all three intermediaries.

The Black Business Initiative, Groupe 3737, and Tropicana Community Services jointly announced the allocation of funding to Black-led not-for-profit organizations from coast to coast. The announcement coincides with Black History Month and will benefit a total of 87 Black-led not-for-profit recipients, who applied for funding for capacity-building projects.

In total, 587 organizations from across the country responded to the request for proposals, and over 24 information sessions were led and organized by the Black Business Initiative, Groupe 3737, and Tropicana Community Services in their respective regions and areas of expertise.

IntermediaryNumber of recipientsAmount
Black Business Initiative25$650,000
Groupe 373740$1,200,000
Tropicana Community Services22$800,000

Each intermediary recruited independent committees to review applications based on the SBCCI criteria.

“As one of the three first Black Intermediaries, we are very pleased to be part of this historic announcement to support Black-led not-for profit organizations” says Rustum Southwell, CEO of the Black Business Initiative. “The focus of the program is to build the capacity of Black-led grassroot organizations who are doing meaningful work within the Black communities across Canada. We are now poised to drive engagement and impact within our community. We look forward to supporting additional organizations over the coming years.”

“Groupe 3737 is proud of the Supporting Black Communities in Canada Initiative, as it is tailored to meet the reality of NPOs from the Black Canadian community. We have established a committee and an advisory committee to ensure a fair and transparent selection process and are thrilled to finally announce the recipients. This funding is very special as it is a testament to the vitality of the Black NPO sector, which is now being enhanced. It is an effective response to the needs of the community.” says Louis Edgar Jean-François, Executive Director of Groupe 3737.

“It’s fitting that we’re announcing this milestone during Black History Month” says Raymund Guiste, Executive Director, Tropicana Community Services. “The SBCCI is about changing black lives by expanding the capacity of organizations that touch those lives and now, for hundreds of black serving organizations across the country, a great number of amazing projects can move forward. We congratulate those that were selected and hope many will participate in the next call for proposals in the fall of 2021.”

A list of successful organizations will be posted on the relevant intermediary website through which they applied for the funding.

A second call for proposal is planned for the fall of 2021.

Review list of successful organizations

For more information or to arrange an interview please refer to the following contacts below:

Autherene Adamson
Manager Community Relations & Resource Development Tropicana Community Services
416-439-9009 ext. 1230

Myriam Valcin
Media relations, Groupe 3737

Ayo Makanjuola
Project Lead,  Black Business Initiative | BBI

About Tropicana Community Services
Tropicana Community Services (Tropicana) was founded in 1980 as a non-profit community organization, with a mission to serve disadvantaged youth and their families, particularly those from the Caribbean. Since then, the organization has grown into a multi–service delivery agency with programs designed to address issues affecting all youth, newcomers, members of the Caribbean and Black communities and others in need. For more information, visit:

About Groupe 3737
Groupe 3737, located at 3737, boul. Cremazie E, in the heart of Montreal’s St-Michel district, is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurial, inclusive diversity. For the past five years, it has created an entrepreneurial environment focused on innovation, immigration, diversity and inclusion by bringing together startups, SMEs, globally-competitive companies and more recently institutions, all under one roof. With​ its relevant and inclusive entrepreneurship programs and initiatives, FempreneursElevation and Migranpreneurs(es), among others, Groupe 3737 quickly established itself as an influential advocate for diversity and inclusion in the economic sphere.

About Black Business Initiative
BBI is the premier business development organization uniquely positioned to support Black-owned businesses and the Black community of Nova Scotia. BBI began in 1996 because of the work carried out by a Task Force jointly set up by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Nova Scotia Government to identify and address the unique circumstances faced by the Black community in the province, specifically the economic challenges. Since then, BBI has been tirelessly working to close the gap for aspiring and existing African Nova Scotian entrepreneurs who are working to create prosperity within their community and the mainstream business sector. Hence, BBI supports building vibrant Black business communities through entrepreneurial training, partnership building with the broader business community, business consulting and access to financing. “We change lives by enabling economic independence of individuals and communities.”