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9 Black entrepreneurs selected for the 2023 EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program

The latest cohort is comprised of fast-growing companies that focus on social good and matters of sustainability.

9 Black entrepreneurs selected for the 2023 EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program

EY Canada has announced 13 company founders chosen for the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Class of 2023, nine of which are Black business owners.

The latest cohort, designed for Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs, is comprised of fast-growing companies that focus on social good and matters of sustainability.

"From health and wellness to AI-enabled technology, transportation to DE&I marketing, each business is unique in their approach to addressing our most pressing issues by delivering new solutions to market," Daniel Baer, EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program co-director, said in a statement. "The remarkable diversity found in both the industries and entrepreneurs that make up this year's cohort is a genuine testament to Canada's vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and the inclusivity and excellence it embodies."

Christopher Gordon, also an EY program co-director, said the goal of the program is to support companies that face funding, capital and connection challenges.

“Through the Network, we empower entrepreneurs to overcome barriers and soar to new heights by bringing to bear the benefits of EY knowledge, network, tools and professionals. And we couldn't be prouder to join them in their entrepreneurial growth journey,” Gordon said in a statement.

The program was first launched in the U.S. and has since expanded to Canada. It will provide one-on-one coaching, a one-year educational curriculum, and more.

Here is the list of Black entrepreneurs who made the cut. Several Indigenous entrepreneurs were also selected. You can see the complete list of participants here.

Jefferson Darrell, CEO and founder of Breakfast Culture


Breakfast Culture is a marketing and communications firm specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Farnel Fleurant, founder and CEO of Workind


Workind provides human resources, marketing communications and technology services that contribute to employee wellness.

Thierry Lindor, co-founder and CEO at Happly.Ai

Left, Thierry Lindor, co-founder and CEO of Happly.AI. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Happly.AI is a tech platform that helps marginalized entrepreneurs access funding from investors and facilitates opportunities for business owners.

Muriel Koucoï, CEO of SIMKHA Biocosmétiques™ Inc.


SIMKHA Biocosmétiques Inc. is a natural skincare brand that specializes in crafting organic, vegan, and cruelty-free skincare products.

Clara D. Lewis, president of Brown Diva Dolls Inc.


Brown Diva Dolls Inc. is a line of natural beauty dolls that strives to challenge traditional standards in the industry and celebrates diversity among children and young women.

Evelyne Nyairo, founder of EllieBianca


Ellie Bianca is a Canadian, all-natural, environmentally sustainable and socially conscious skincare line that recognizes beauty in all forms and empowers women through business and education.

Akeem Gardner, founder and CEO of Canurta


Canurta is a preclinical biotechnology company focused on the discovery and bioprocessing of rare polyphenols with the power to reverse the global chronic disease crisis.

Nicole Antoine, founder of N/A & Company Inc.


N/A & Company Inc. is a Black-owned event management and marketing agency that uses a Black-centric lens to connect forward-thinking corporations to prominent Black professionals and promising students.

Randy Osei, CEO, Athlete Technology Group


The company supports athletes for life after sport with its community platform that delivers on-demand programs curated for them.