Commitment doubles community funding, and is aimed at enabling the next generation and Business owners to achieve their ambitions
TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2021 /CNW/ - CIBC announced today that it is furthering its commitment to addressing anti-Black systemic racism and enabling the aspirations of Black leaders, changemakers and entrepreneurs by doubling funding for education and resource programs for the Black community to $2 million annually. This includes the creation of a scholarship program, and the opportunity for internship and mentorship experiences, aimed at supporting members of the Black community in achieving their ambitions.
In addition, CIBC has launched a new banking program designed for Black-owned businesses that provides solutions, advice and resources tailored to their unique banking needs. This follows CIBC's launch of Biz Hub in 2020, a new online resource dedicated to helping business owners access the advice they need to start and grow their business.
"Addressing, and ultimately ending, anti-Black systemic racism in all its forms is an imperative to having a truly inclusive society and economy," said Victor Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC. "Systemic racism diminishes us all and CIBC is committed to taking concrete steps that remove barriers, provide a helping hand, and enable the ambitions and success of members of the Black community. For our bank and society as a whole, our human capital is one of our greatest strengths; tackling the inequities that exist today is essential for our shared success and prosperity."
The bank is working closely with CIBC's Black Employee Network and external partners to direct the increased financial support. Notably CIBC will be partnering with the BlackNorth Initiative to design a high impact scholarship program that will provide a path from secondary school to post-secondary education, setting youth up to achieve their career goals. Further details will be announced as this unique initiative is finalized.
In addition, CIBC is also focused on supporting Black entrepreneurs as they start, run and grow their businesses. This includes the launch of CIBC's new banking program for Black-owned businesses in Canada which provides access to expert advice, tailored banking solutions and financing designed to remove barriers for entrepreneurs and business owners from the Black community.
Also as part of CIBC's commitment to the Black community, the bank is supporting the Government of Canada's Black Entrepreneurship Program which will provide lending capital for the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund. The Fund will make loans available to business owners and entrepreneurs from the Black community to support their growth and success.
As part of this enhanced commitment, CIBC will provide a donation to support the Black Opportunity Fund to further opportunities for entrepreneurs and members of the Black community.
Today's announcement builds on a number of other measures and initiatives that CIBC has underway to foster greater inclusion and support meaningful change, including:
- CIBC partnered with the BlackNorth Initiative to launch the CEO Pledge, a call-to-action to commit to specific actions and targets designed to create opportunities for the Black community. Victor Dodig is a Co-Chair of the Initiative.
- In addition to becoming a signatory of the BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge, CIBC publicly committed to actions to help end anti-Black systemic racism, including: growing the representation of Black executives to 4% by 2023; increasing our annual investment in the Black community; and ensuring that at least 5% of student recruitment is from the Black community.
- To help us hire, advance and retain talent from the Black community, CIBC has launched a multi-year partnership with Black Professionals in Tech (BPTN), an organization bridging the network gap between Black professionals and career opportunities across North America. This partnership will increase our learning and awareness of the Black experience in tech, as well as expand our networks, diversify our talent pipeline and create opportunities for our people leaders to provide mentorship.
- We've also partnered with Onyx Initiative, not-for-profit designed to address the gap that exists in the recruitment and selection of college and university students from the Black community for roles in corporate Canada. The initiative recently announced the launch of their first cohort for their Scholars Program which will provide training, mentoring and coaching to 170 participants. CIBC also continues our partnership with the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals (CAUFP).
- We leveraged our 10 People Networks to uncover the unique needs of employees and clients through holding dozens of virtual 'listening exercises'. These included sessions with team members from the Black community amid the protests following incidences of violence that highlighted the continued prevalence of anti-Black systemic racism in North America.
To learn about the banking program for Black-owned businesses visit:
To learn more about why you belong at CIBC, please visit: https://www.cibc.com/inclusion
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at www.cibc.com/en/about-cibc/media-centre.html.