The Tent Partnership for Refugees and the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council launched a certification program for refugee-owned businesses. Certified minority-owned companies in Canada can tap into money earmarked for businesses with supplier diversity initiatives. But many refugee business owners do not qualify because they are not officially permanent residents.
Americas for Tent vice president Scarlet Cronin said they launch the certification program to address that issue. The program will give refugee-owned businesses better market access, offer training and mentorship and grow their network. Cronin hopes to have 50 refugee businesses certified within the first year.
One of the first business owners to sign up was Tareq Hadhad, the owner of Nova Scotia-based chocolate maker Peace by Chocolate. The benefits of certification are already paying off for the company. The program gave it access to a network of 150 corporate and government agencies. Hadhad already met with two of them to foster a business connection.