Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business and Innovation Hub are working with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) together to develop an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem to support the growth and success of LGBTQ2S+ owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

Canadian LGBTQ2S+ businesses are creating over 22 billion dollars in economic impact annually, and supporting over 435,000 jobs across the country. However, 1 in 5 LGBTQ2S+ owned businesses report experiencing challenges in starting or scaling their business due to being part of the LGBTQ2S+ community. (Source: CGLCC)

“Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) is thrilled to partner with Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. By working together, we are able to create more opportunities and remove barriers for LGBT+ businesses,” said Darrell Schuurman, CEO of CGLCC. “We look forward to collaborating on programming and resources that will continue to support young LGBT+ entrepreneurs across Canada!”

Through this partnership, Sprott and CGLCC will co-create curricula that include experiential learning, new venture development and case studies. It will also provide business students the opportunity to participate in professional development and networking events organized by CGLCC.

“The Sprott School of Business is proud to be working with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce to overcome the challenges of intersectional identities in the workplace and create an inclusive future where everyone can benefit from the opportunities of business,” said Dana Brown, dean of the Sprott School of Business.

Joint initiatives are already underway. Currently, Carleton’s Innovation Hub is working with CGLCC to deliver a business incubation program for ventures founded by LGBTQ2S+ entrepreneurs, as well as inclusive business training for student entrepreneurs at the university.

Sprott and CGLCC also plan to engage in collaborative research to generate new knowledge about the impact and opportunity for diverse business, as well as produce reliable data related to the state of LGBTQ2S+ entrepreneurship and business in Canada.

Last spring, Sprott researchers conducted a study in collaboration with CGLCC to explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTQ2S+ businesses and entrepreneurs. Commissioned by Lightspeed, the research found that businesses located in gay villages saw a disproportionate number of closures compared to the rest of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and that Canada is lagging behind the US in providing support for LGBTQ2S+ businesses. The research also identified a need to increase intersectionality within the sector as women entrepreneurs and business owners were found to be significantly underrepresented among LGBTQ2S+ businesses.

About Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) is a coalition of LGBT+ businesses, government liaisons, corporate members and community partners advocating for change to make a more inclusive Canadian economy possible.