ANZA Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Program
The ANZA Entrepreneurship Ecosystem is a 25-week strategy designed to break the cycle of poverty, violence, and trauma many Black youth experience, by investing in community-driven solutions and empowering young people to create their own economic opportunities. This is held in partnership with TD Canada Trust, Edmonton Unlimited, Business Link, and the Edmonton Police Service Youth Diversion Program— organizations that share common values with ACCEC in promoting entrepreneurship for Black youth in Alberta.
The objective of the ANZA Black Entrepreneur Ecosystem program is to allow youths to put their business dreams into reality. The program allows youths to work closely with experienced business mentors to navigate a business plan and strategy and they can be able to kick off their business through loans made available to them if approved.
Eligible participants include African-descent individuals between the ages 18—30 who have an inclination towards entrepreneurship and business, and have a business idea they are interested in developing.
ANZA is a Swahili term signifying “a new beginning”– a fresh start. The ANZA Black Entrepreneur Ecosystem Program aims to empower young Black individuals in cultivating and refining their business concepts, translating these concepts into well-structured business plans, and offering guidance and support for securing loans to launch their enterprises. In essence, it provides them with a new beginning, or ‘ANZA.’
What sets this initiative apart is its emphasis on poverty alleviation and the imparting of adaptable entrepreneurial skills to the youth. This distinctive approach concentrates on the following key components:
- Steering young individuals of African heritage away from the criminal justice system by offering them a chance to reinforce the protective factors within their community.
Combating Anti-Black racism through an alternative approach that focuses on reducing poverty by educating youth on entrepreneurship and achieving economic self-sufficiency.
Fostering a reconnection between young people and their cultural backgrounds and communities as a means of promoting healing and reconciliation.”