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    When COVID19 hit, many of us developed our own pandemic distractions to stay sane, whether it be baking, crafting or renovating our spaces. But for one Toronto woman, an act of pandemic self-care turned into a booming business. “Last year was particularly hard for most people,” says Sagal Ali. “I made candles to take my mind off things and share something with everyone.” 

    “There's so much room for Black ownership in the Cannabis industry and it's only right that we take advantage of an industry that we helped build,” says Josh Creighton, one of the co-owners of Fumes Rolling Papers & Accessories.

    “I want my customers to feel empowered and loved. I want them to feel the strength and beauty they have within them,” says Renee Alexzandria.

    In the next 10 years, Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) CEO and founder, Lekan Olawoye, believes their donations towards Black businesses and tech professionals will help give a much needed boost to Blacks in tech. “That's really why we are paying it forward, that's why we're donating twenty thousand dollars,” said Olawoye. “Ten thousand Canadian and ten thousand US dollars to ensure that ten years from now, there's more [Black tech professionals].” 

    Black TAXI, a program under TAXI Toronto, was created to address the lack of Black representation in the advertising industry by providing a three-month paid internship to Black students where they can pick up the experience needed to work in the industry.

    The Kean Real Estate Group is a Black-owned, women-led company in Toronto specializing in property investment.

    In an era where people are becoming more conscious about what they put into and on their bodies, Inaygia is a make-up product line offering its clientele healthy ingredient choices.

    “If kids can learn their ABCs and basic math, they can also learn financial literacy,” says Stacy Brown, who hosts a one-hour webinar series, "KiddieNomics", every Friday with her 10-year-old daughter Miki.

    Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, cannabis has been considered an essential service that continues to pull in money at a time when many businesses are just trying to stay afloat. As an industry, it was lucrative before it was even legal; an alternate marketplace for poor and working-class entrepreneurs. Thanks to the heavy-handed reaction of racially biased law enforcement, a disproportionate amount of those underground businesses swept up in police raids and street checks were Black and Indigenous.

    Coming across a tattoo parlour that celebrates and prioritizes darker skin complexions is somewhat of a rarity within the tattoo community.

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