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Montreal business network provides 'supportive tools' to Black entrepreneurs

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Black entrepreneurs face unique barriers when it comes to the business world.

In one 2021 survey from Abacus Data, 76 per cent of Black Canadian entrepreneurs said their race makes it harder for them to succeed, and 55 per cent said they don't know where to look for support or advice when challenges arise.

Black Business Atlas (BBA), a Montreal-based network of businesses, is trying to change that.

The network connects Black businesses with customers and provides them with "supportive tools to grow," according to the BBA website.

Members held a popup market in Lachine this weekend to promote their products and services.

"By seeing other people who have faced or are facing the same struggles as them [...] it makes you feel a little bit better to know that, 'Ok, I'm not the only one going through these challenges,'" said BBA co-founder and CEO Fatoumata Barry.

The network has been an important tool for people like Christine Duverger, owner of skincare line Atelier Meroe.

"It's a very nice feeling to know you can help uplift people who have the same experiences and lived the same kind of barriers that you do," said Duverger.

Duverger says BBA allows her to access the support she needs -- and that need for support is universal.

"Communities need support to succeed. I don't think that's unique to the Black community."

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