The Federation of African Canadian Economics, or FACE, recently celebrated the first anniversary of its founding, capping off a year in which it provided financial backing to businesses, including some on the East Coast. 

Montreal-based FACE offers training and networking events for black entrepreneurs, as well as running a loan program that has so-far given out about $19 million to black-owned small and medium-sized enterprises. In total, FACE has earmarked more than $155 million that it will eventually distribute as loans, as well as another $5 million for smaller "micro-loans."

The organization was founded by Tiffany Callender, the former executive director of the Cote des Neiges Black Community Association. Cote des Neiges is a Montreal neighbourhood home to several universities and hospitals.

“Whether it is services, resources, or data collection, FACE is constantly trying to find better and more efficient ways to operate and, especially, to serve its clients,” said Callender in a statement. “This is why innovation and governance will be at the forefront of everything FACE does in the coming years.

“Although we are just getting started, I can confidently say that I am proud of the steps we’ve taken as an organization to achieve these goals.”

Last summer, FACE followed-up on its launch with a tour of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, punctuated by networking and knowledge-sharing events.

FACE has supported such companies as Natural Butter Bar, a Halifax-based natural aesthetics company. Owner Tiffani Young founded the company in December 2020 after trying to purchase similar products for herself and discovering a gap in the marketplace.

Other companies in the region that FACE is working with include Fitcamp90, a New Brunswick fitness company offering training, summer fitness camps and life coaching, and Garderie les petits Bisounours, a New Brunswick daycare center.

More information about FACE's loan program can be found here. Anyone applying for funding will need to present a business plan and two to three years of financial projections.