More than 100 Black community leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals from across Ontario are slated to attend the fourth annual Legacy Symposium sponsored by Alterna Savings from February 24-25 at Sheridan’s Hazel McCallion Campus in Mississauga.

The discovery sessions — led by the Afro-Caribbean Business Network (ACBN), Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business (PSB), and EDGE Entrepreneurship Hub — have been designed to foster dialogue within the key areas of business: obtaining finance, attracting the right customers, bringing key people onto your team and optimizing business processes.

Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders, access exclusive networking opportunities, learn strategies for building a sustainable business, and enhance their operations during virtual and in-person conference sessions. Keynote speakers include Dr. George C. Fraser, CEO and Founder of FraserNet, Inc., President of FraserNation, LLC, and Bryan Duarte, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at BlackTech Capital and Founder and CEO of Enliten.

The Legacy Symposium builds upon a two-year collaborative research project led by Dr. Brian Chama, PSB Associate Dean, between Sheridan and the ACBN to identify the needs of Black entrepreneurs and develop meaningful recommendations and resources to help increase their business capacity. The partnership includes data collection led by a Sheridan student researcher from the PSB, the development of a best practices guide for business owners, and the creation of a training curriculum and a mentoring program.

“The programming for the Legacy Symposium has been directly informed by learnings from our research project and will strive to provide meaningful engagement for participants,” says Ryan O’Neil Knight, Founder, and Executive Director of the ACBN, Founder, and CEO of Detailing Knights and a Sheridan business alumnus and member of the Sheridan Pilon School of Business Hall of Fame.

“ACBN has worked tirelessly to support and champion Black entrepreneurs in our region and EDGE has been a proud long-time collaborator,” says Renee Devereaux, Director, Entrepreneurship and Changemaking at Sheridan EDGE. “We’re thrilled to be part of this annual symposium as business leaders gather to explore investment readiness and amplify success.”

The Legacy Symposium sponsored by Alterna Savings is one of many events hosted by Sheridan during Black History Month. Learn more about the symposium including full program and registration details.

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About ACBN

Founded in 2017, the ACBN works to unify and educate Black entrepreneurs in its network of more than 5000 businesses in Toronto, Peel and surrounding areas. The ACBN has cultivated a community for Black business owners where they can cross-promote their products and services to build their ventures and participate in relevant business and personal growth workshops. ACBN supports Black Founders with strategic planning to assist with capacity building with resources such as microloans, marketing and sales support as well as investment readiness training. ACBN has conducted extensive research in southern Ontario to understand the current landscape of Black Entrepreneurs and the barriers they face. As part of the National Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, ACBN works with business support partners to create solutions to eliminate barriers Black entrepreneurs face.

About Sheridan College

Founded in 1967, Sheridan has grown from a local college of 400 students to one of Ontario’s leading postsecondary institutions, educating approximately 23,000 full-time and 20,000 continuing and part-time studies students every year. Its three diverse campus communities in Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville are a short commute to downtown Toronto. As a trailblazer in unique arts, technology and health care programs, Sheridan has always been on the leading edge of innovation ensuring students learn job-ready, practical skills and develop the confidence, empathy and problem-solving savvy that allows them to push boundaries in an ever-changing world. Sheridan’s 210,000 alumni play a critical role in shaping the future of our society in the fields of arts, business, community service, health, technology, and the skilled trades. In January 2023, Sheridan was ranked number one on Forbes’ list of Canada’s Best Employers.

Ryan Knight
Afro Caribbean Business Network Foundation
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