Small businesses are the hearts and souls of local communities, and the entrepreneurs who lead these companies help keep Canada thriving.
What if “shopping small” could have a big impact on building communities and a more inclusive future? Fortunately, the RBC Black Diamond Ball Marketplace is one way to shake up your shopping and add “change” to your cart … social change, that is!
A one-stop shop where Black businesses shine
The Marketplace is an exciting part of the Black Diamond Ball, founded by not-for-profit ArtXperiential Projects in 2015. The Ball celebrates Black History Month and showcases Black excellence through community awards and engaging live performances.
Black entrepreneurs and small business owners can connect with new customers at The Marketplace, which RBC is sponsoring again this year as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion in action. RBC also sponsors workshops and performances by emerging artists as part of the festivities.
Photo: Candace Allen, founder of The Allen Avenue
Find handcrafted sophistication on The Allen Avenue
Candace Allen founded The Allen Avenue because she didn’t feel represented by fashions in stores. What started as a hobby became a thriving business where everything is handcrafted and unique. “We believe that everyone is beautiful just as you are, and our pieces speak to that,” she explains. You can explore this Black-owned and Female-owned business — and their distinctive and colourful clothing — on their website, on Facebook or on Instagram.
Photo: Entrepreneur Tyler Ferguson, founder of Monoxide
Go from day to play to slay with Monoxide
Tyler Ferguson fixed a piece of her broken jewelry one day and it sparked a passion that built a brand, Monoxide. Ten years later, with four collections debuting every year, Monoxide is available in the Bay nationwide. “I think people gravitate towards my jewelry just because it has bold elements that catch the eye but it’s very easy to wear and that’s intentional. I want you to be able to wear it with anything for any occasion,” she shares. Take a look at all that glitters on their website, Instagram or Facebook.
Photo: Entrepreneur Muna Mohammed, founder of Eight50 Coffee
Brewing a family legacy with Eight50 Coffee
Muna Mohammed is, as she says, “rooted in coffee.” And like roots, her ties to coffee run deep; she comes from a family of coffee farmers and growers. The name of her brand is a nod to coffee’s discovery in Ethiopia, her family’s homeland, in the year 850 A.D. “I love being in the coffee industry because it allows me to connect not only to my roots, but also to be able to work with a product that brings people together,” she smiles, reflecting on coffee’s global popularity as the second largest commodity in the world. Peruse the brews on Eight50 Coffee’s website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Through initiatives like the Black Diamond Ball, RBC seeks to help Black entrepreneurs and students. These programs help Black business owners grow their businesses and help Black youth follow their dreams through education, mentorship and training.
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