Entrepreneurs aren’t determined by race. Their potential shouldn’t be either.

EY Entrepreneurs Access Network

Canada is home to a powerful network of entrepreneurs, but one that needs more diversity. Underrepresented groups don’t fall short on good ideas – they simply face greater barriers to growth. The EY Entrepreneurs Access Network is a business accelerator program helping Black and Indigenous leaders bridge the disparity gap and soar to new heights.

Photo of Chris Gordon
Through the Network, we’re building a unique and powerful support network that leverages EY knowledge, tools and professionals — to help entrepreneurs transcend barriers and grow successfully and sustainably.
Chris Gordon
National Co-Director

Entrepreneurship by the numbers



entrepreneurs in Canada

In 2018


Canadians started a business

Only approximately


businesses of significant scale are Black owned in Canada



of businesses are owned by Indigenous People

About the program

The EY Entrepreneurs Access Network is designed to support underrepresented communities such as Black, and Indigenous entrepreneurs through seven tried-and-tested drivers of growth: people, technology, operations, customer, finance, transactions and risk.

The program aims to address the disparity gap by combining a curated, one-year educational curriculum for CEOs of private, for-profit organizations with coaching and networking opportunities. Participants are paired with an EY Relationship Ambassador for 1:1 coaching to help guide them through their growth journey.

  • Benefits of participating

    • A no-fee opportunity to invest in personal growth and leadership to enhance business performance. 
    • Entry into an elite community of Black and Indigenous high-growth company leaders.
    • Assignment of an EY Entrepreneurs Access Network Ambassador for ongoing, personal guidance throughout the program journey.
    • Access to learning sessions and events featuring top business leaders and organizations.
    • Access to an exceptional ecosystem of trailblazing entrepreneurs through multiple programs offered by EY.
    • Introductions to EY Growth Navigator.
    • Increased brand exposure to potential investors, new customers, M&A opportunities, and alliances.
  • Eligibility Requirements

    • Candidates must be a Black or Indigenous CEO, business leader or founder of a privately held company in Canada.
    • For businesses with outside capital, the founding entrepreneur may still be nominated if they retain a majority ownership stake of what is left after deducting outside investments.
    • If there are multiple cofounders, they may participate as a group if they meet the ownership criteria.
    • The company must be at least two years old and 51% Black or Indigenous owned.
    • Only for-profit businesses with potential to scale are considered.



Building an exceptional entrepreneurial ecosystem starts with inclusivity.

The pandemic exposed many of our world’s inequalities. We saw a decline in businesses owned by underrepresented groups, which were already three times more likely to close their doors. Today, we have an opportunity to enhance Canada’s competitiveness and drive economic impact by paving the way for entrepreneurship for all.

Photo of Daniel Baer
Canada’s minority-owned companies contribute greatly to our economy, but struggle with barriers to funding, capital and connections. Our Network lifts these entrepreneurs up and drives economic impact, while laying the foundation for entrepreneurship for all.
Daniel Baer
National Co-Director

Download a printable EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program brochure

Download PDF (5 MB)

Canada's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

Committed to supporting Canadian entrepreneurs for 30 years.


Entrepreneurial Winning Women™

EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women is an executive program and community that unlocks the potential of women leaders.


National sponsor

Business Development Bank of Canada logo

BDC is a proud National sponsor of the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program

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The team

Photo of Chris Gordon  | EY Canada

Chris Gordon
Partner, Tax
People Advisory Services

email  LinkedIn

Photo of Daniel Baer | EY Canada

Daniel Baer, FCPA, FCA
Partner, Assurance
Assurance Leader for Consumer Products and Retail

email  LinkedIn

Photo of Myriam Gafaroo | EY Canada

Myriam Gafarou
Associate Partner

email  LinkedIn

Photo of Josée Rioux | EY Canada

Josée Rioux
Assistant Director
EY Entrepreneurship Program

email  LinkedIn

Contact us

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