Andrea Pierce

Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (BEKH Canada) receives AACSB (AACSB) International 2024 Innovations that Inspire award

by Andrea Pierce

Thursday 4 April 2024

Transitioning out of Black and Women’s History Months, Jen Scholte Realtor and Inspirational Keynote Speaker reminded me to celebrate our journey. As Executive Director (ED) of the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub BEKH Canada at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University – where history is in the making! What started in 2021 as a collaboration on a strong submission has evolved into Canada’s first-ever BEKH, thanks to the leadership of Dana Brown among others. As the inaugural ED, in May 2022, it was a pleasure to create a vision for this incredible organization.

One of our first milestones was a collaboration with Muna Osman, Phd Post Doctoral Researcher, Statistics Canada | Statistique Canada among others to complete a first-of-its-kind intersectional quantitative survey on Black Entrepreneurs. Recognizing that data alone does not tell the whole story, we are delivering a qualitative study with Jared Wesley to create evidence-based personas of Black entrepreneurs and also serve to nurture a new generation of Black researchers. Together both surveys tell a comprehensive story of the journey of Black Entrepreneurs in Canada.  

Since that seminal phone call from Carleton University two years ago asking me to consider this position, we have accomplished much that contributed to the BEKH winning the 2024 AACSB Innovations that Inspire award, recognizing forward-thinking solutions to business and societal challenges. Over the past two years, it has been humbling and exciting to work with our team, stakeholders and the Regional Hubs to achieve milestones that contribute to the vision. I would be remiss not to celebrate our Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Mapping (BEEM) with Peter L. Pulsifer, Deborah Allotey, and the entire BEKH team. This visionary and groundbreaking project, recently launched during Black History Month by Rechie Valdez, Minister of Small Business, is the foundation for a national database of Black Entrepreneurs. As a fundamental element of the BEKH’s vision to deliver economic value, this mapping is more than a tool; it is a bridge to visibility, support services, customers, and significant economic opportunities.

 I am immensely proud of what we as an ecosystem have achieved to date. The aforementioned milestones speak to my commitment to a safe and inclusive space for all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social group or diversity of thought. This despite the challenges, while upholding equity, transparency, and community data sovereignty further serving as evidence of my impact in delivering tangible economic value to Black entrepreneurs, communities, and Canada. Above all achievements I value people, creating safe spaces, nurturing connections, and building community. I am excited about what the future holds. Here’s to making history together!
hashtag#BEKH hashtag#PeopleFirst hashtag#BlackEntrepreneurship hashtag#WomensHistoryMonth hashtag#Innovation hashtag#DiversityInBusiness

Source: LinkedIn