Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Taking Action

Diversity & Inclusion is an important and ongoing priority for Futurpreneur Canada and we are committed to taking action – starting today and for the long-term.

In June-July 2020, 13 members of our team who identify as Black (and also represent intersectionalities including Indigenous, Asian, LGBTQ+ and new Canadian) worked with our Head of Diversity & Inclusion to develop commitments that are authentic to Futurpreneur, reflecting our current state and where we want to be as an organization with an inclusive mandate and diversity & inclusion as core values.

We make these commitments and take these actions with the full support of our CEO, Leadership Team and Board of Directors, and will update and track our progress in the months and years ahead.

To live our values, that we are Diverse & Inclusive:

• We embrace the unique perspectives and experiences within our team.

• We strive to welcome and provide excellent service to a broad range of aspiring young entrepreneurs, fostering inclusive prosperity.

To stand against racism and discrimination in all their forms, and in particular to acknowledge, understand and address systemic bias and barriers facing Black, Indigenous & People of Colour (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and other disadvantaged communities – in our workplace and in our work.

To foster a culture that exemplifies diversity and inclusion in our dealings with employees, clients, mentors, suppliers, and all others with whom we interact.

To achieve our purpose of driving inclusive economic & social prosperity across Canada by supporting the success of diverse young entrepreneurs.

To measure how we are doing today, and to prioritize and track our progress moving forward.


We have measured the diversity* of our Team, Leadership and Board (as of July 2020):

 

We are seen as inclusive by 78% of employees (annual employee survey, as of June 2020):

• 88% believe Futurpreneur values diversity.

• 80% believe Futurpreneur builds teams that are diverse.

• 78% believe people from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to succeed at Futurpreneur.

We know we have room to improve, to increase our employees’, leaders’, Board members’ and mentors’ awareness of unconscious bias and the impact of systemic barriers on diversity & inclusion.

We emphasize credit eligibility in our adjudication, which restricts opportunities for those facing credit barriers, including some members of BIPOC communities, to access our offering.

While we currently lack reliable data on the diversity of our leads, applicants, disbursed entrepreneurs and mentors, we suspect that communities of colour in particular may be unaware of Futurpreneur and our key offerings.

*In 2016, 27.1% of the Canadian population self-identified as BIPOC; 4.9% Indigenous and 3.5% Black.


Leadership
We want our Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors to be diverse and representative of BIPOC & LGBTQ+ communities.

Training
We want our values to be fully reflected in our culture and our employees and volunteers (Board members and mentors) to be aware of how their actions and words could negatively impact others, both inside the Futurpreneur work environment and externally.

Programs
We want to develop adjudication models and programs that enable BIPOC and other disadvantaged groups to launch their businesses with Futurpreneur’s financing and mentoring support. We also want to offer credit education and other services to these targeted groups, to help them succeed.

Outreach
We want to be one of the first organizations that young BIPOC & LGBTQ+ aspiring entrepreneurs think of when they need financing, mentorship and resources to launch their business. We want to be present within BIPOC & LGBTQ+ communities so that these entrepreneurs know how to find us and access our resources and programs.

Partnerships
We want to foster inclusive economic prosperity by increasing our work with BIPOC & LGBTQ+ suppliers and strategic partners.


Our actions will evolve as we start to measure our results, learn, adapt and grow. Some actions will yield results quickly; others may take longer to implement or achieve desired outcomes.

Leadership
We will establish a “Diversity & Inclusion Action Council” to advocate for, advise on, implement and monitor the actions taken to achieve the vision we have for diversity & inclusion, both internally and externally. We have established a new SLT role, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, who will lead this Council. We will make council membership and related Diversity & Inclusion committees open to all employees and formalize this work in their performance responsibilities and evaluation.

We will increase our focus on recruiting, developing and promoting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ candidates for leadership roles. We have already started, and will continue, to broaden our outreach in recruiting and promoting Senior Leadership Team and Board candidates.

Training
We will identify and implement relevant diversity & inclusion workshops and training tailored to Futurpreneur’s stakeholders. We will provide this training to all Futurpreneur staff and volunteers (mentors and Board members), incorporating it in both onboarding and ongoing professional development.

Programs
We will adjust our loan eligibility criteria and/or introduce new programs to ensure that those facing credit barriers, including some BIPOC entrepreneurs, have access to Futurpreneur start-up support, while managing the organization’s risk. We will develop and implement, or partner to provide, programming to help these young entrepreneurs learn how to manage credit pre- and post-disbursement.

Outreach & Partnerships
We will actively partner with BIPOC & LGBTQ+ community associations and organizations, adapt programs and target key events to reach and support entrepreneurs in these communities. We will make the work of BIPOC & LGBTQ+ organizations more visible within our organization, to raise awareness and create opportunities, including with suppliers and strategic partners.

We will add questions about the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ status of entrepreneurs and mentors at intake, to better understand the diversity & inclusion of our community and client base. We will establish targets and track both the number of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs we support and mentors we work with.


We will measure and track our progress, recognizing that for some metrics, it will take longer to gather the relevant data required to measure, track and achieve success. We are committed to achieving meaningful, long-term progress, starting now.

Futurpreneur will have diverse and representative staff and leadership at all levels, including our Leadership Team, Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors:

• Gender parity, with 40-60% of each gender at all times.
• At least 25% members who identify as BIPOC, including at least one Black and at least one Indigenous member on the Board of Directors at all times.
• At least 5% members who identify as LGBTQ+.

As measured by feedback gathered through our annual employee engagement survey, 90+% of Futurpreneur employees will believe that we are a diverse & inclusive organization:

• 90+% believe Futurpreneur values diversity.
• 90+% believe Futurpreneur builds teams that are diverse.
• 90+% believe people from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to succeed at Futurpreneur.

Futurpreneur programs will support diverse entrepreneurs launching new businesses:

• At least 40% women
• At least 5% Black
• At least 7% Indigenous
• At least 5% LGBTQ+

These diverse entrepreneurs will be supported by Futurpreneur mentors with similar diversity of experience.

Futurpreneur will achieve its goal to be Canada’s “go to” organization for diverse, young aspiring entrepreneurs & new business owners, fostering inclusive economic & social prosperity, one Futurpreneur at a time.