Executive Summary


This report, commissioned by the Afro-Caribbean Business Network, sheds light on the business and workplace landscape faced by the Black community in Ontario, particularly in the areas of employment, entrepreneurship, and access to resources. Through data analysis and consultation, this report identifies key challenges and opportunities for Black businesses and workers.

While Black Ontarians in the workforce have nearly identical levels of education, the findings of this report highlight significant disparities between Black workers and their non-Black counterparts in Ontario. Black workers are disproportionately represented in lowpaying jobs, underrepresented in management positions and make 50% less than their white male counterparts in certain fields even when holding advanced degrees. Additionally we found, Black women face a double disadvantage, facing both racial and gender discrimination.

The report also identified the need for increased government monitoring and reporting of Black employment figures, as well as advocacy groups forming coalitions to lobby for equity in hiring and promotion practices.

Based on our survey of 1,583 Black business owners, the largest survey of its kind, we found that the majority of Black-owned businesses in Ontario are micro-enterprises with low revenue and limited access to capital. These barriers result in a significant income gap between Black-owned and White-owned businesses, with Black-owned businesses earning over 40% less than what White-owned businesses earn. The report also finds that Black-owned businesses tend to be smaller in size and have a younger age profile compared to White-owned businesses.

Our report recommends several solutions to address the issues identified, including the development of targeted programs and initiatives aimed at supporting young Black entrepreneurs, improving access to capital and resources, and advocating for more equitable procurement practices. The recommendations of this report also include improving access to capital, building business networks, increasing financial literacy, and investing in targeted programs to support young Black entrepreneurs.

Despite challenges, we found Black-owned businesses in Ontario to be highly resilient and they continue to demonstrate a strong commitment to their communities. We hope that our report will serve as a call to action for government agencies, private sector organizations, and the wider public to support Black-owned businesses and workers and foster a more equitable and prosperous Ontario.

Dr. Cleophas Justine Pierre
Director of Research and Business Development