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October 26 - Redefining Entrepreneurship and Employment Through a Black Lens

"In order for Black Canadians to build generational wealth, we need to step out of our comfort zones. This inspiring group of entrepreneurs are shining examples of success against the odds."

-  Ross Cadastre, Planning Committee Chair

On October 26th, 2021 in celebration of Small Business Week, join the Fondation Michaëlle Jean Foundation for another National Black Canadians Summit Series’ event on entrepreneurship and employment.  This session will consist of a panel discussion and a networking opportunity.

Gain insights from successful entrepreneurs about venture creation and navigating the workplace, while dealing with the various barriers experienced by Black Canadians. The discussion will highlight experiences of the panelists, and feature breakout rooms sessions for more learning and a networking period to get connected.

The event is a lead up to the National Black Canadians Summit to be held in Halifax from March 18-20, 2022.


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Emilie Nicolas is a columnist with Le Devoir and The Montreal Gazette, as well as a consultant and public speaker on public policy, equity, human rights, international cooperation, race and gender issues. Emilie is committed to social justice and has co-founded Quebec Inclusif (2013) as well as a coalition campaigning for equality and against systemic racism in Quebec (2016).


She now sits on the boards of the Canadian Race Relation Foundation, a crown corporation dedicated to antiracism, and Informed Opinions, a non-profit working to increase gender balance in the media.

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Alfred is an active leader in the Halifax community and is passionate about entrepreneurship, youth engagement, and employment. He is an alumni of Halifax Grammar School and Junior Achievement. Alfred is a community builder whose unique talents include convening leaders, and an ability to launch grassroots movements and coalitions while utilizing digital tools and platforms. He brings fresh perspectives, ideas and solutions to the needs of our ever-changing world. Alfred has experience advising local community groups, non-profit organizations, and government/crown corporations and he’s been an advisor to many leaders in Canada, including the Prime Minister, Senators, and First Nation Chiefs.

Recently, Alfred supported the African Canadian Senate Group and the office of Senator Colin Deacon as project lead; gathering data and insights on the current state of Black Entrepreneurship in Canada. He was also co-chair of Canada's first-ever State of the Youth Report.

Alfred is the Founder and CEO of Tribe Network, a social enterprise that focuses on supporting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour pursuing Entrepreneurship & Innovation.



Frantz Saintellemy is an internationally recognized expert in advanced technologies with over 20 years of experience in automotive, IoT, sensing, semiconductors, and artificial intelligence. An entrepreneur, angel investor, mentor, and philanthropist, he is President and COO of LeddarTech, a leader in automotive ADAS and AD, fusion and perception technologies. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of the board at Groupe 3737, an incubator / accelerator and entrepreneurial innovation hub that helps entrepreneurs leverage technology and innovation to scale their businesses and help transform black and minor entrepreneurship landscape in Canada.


Mr. Saintellemy has founded or co-founded several start-ups with multiple s exits and has several published patents and papers to his credit. In addition to angel investing and he mentors young entrepreneurs, sits on several boards and advisory committees including University of Montreal, Sharethrough, APMA, AQT, Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) and a founding member of Quebec’s Innovation Board. Mr. Saintellemy is an experienced public speaker with over 600 conferences, keynotes and presentations across the globe on technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and more recently on a new series he refers to as “Competitive Fitness™”.



Koumbie is an award-winning director, writer, and actor. In front of the camera, she has appeared in a number of local productions with reoccurring roles on shows including CBC productions; Mr. D, Diggstown and Addison, as well as the final season of Outtv’s Sex & Violence. Since going behind the camera, Koumbie has directed a number of award-winning short films including the Short Film Face-Off Winner Hustle & Heart, a 1k wave film, Ariyah & Tristan’s Inevitable Break-Up, and an episode of the Screen Nova Scotia ‘Best Series’ winner Studio Black.

In 2016 she was named a “One to Watch” by Sea in Be Scene, in 2018 she was selected as a Five in Focus: Atlantic Director and in the same year won a Telefilm Talent to Watch Grant. Her debut feature film,

b y s t a n d e r s, goes to camera in January 2022. Koumbie is drawn to stories that feature new voices and perspectives.

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Nadine Spencer is the CEO of BrandEQ Group Inc., a global agency specializing in social change marketing, communications, and public relations. She also pioneered BrandEQ Black, BrandEQ’s cultural sensitivity arm, whose goal is to work with companies, banks, governments, and leading nonprofits to look at racial biases in advertising and marketing. Her proprietary “People Matter” strategy grabs attention, demands interaction, and

generates long-term value for clients.


She has been acknowledged in 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women and has received numerous 

awards including the Harry Jerome Business Award, and others. A dedicated Black community champion, Spencer has devoted her life’s work to fighting discrimination, battling poverty and advancing women’s education.


She serves as president of the Black Business and Professional Association. She holds a B.A. in Political Science with Honours from York University and serves on the York Alumni Board.



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