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Unique Course on Black Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Canada Launches this Month at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

February 8, 2021

Toronto – A first-of-its-kind course on Black entrepreneurship and leadership in Canada is being offered this month to MBA students at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.  

The course was developed in partnership with the BlackNorth Initiative, which was created by the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism to combat anti-Black systemic racism in Corporate Canada.  

The course is open to MBA students at the Rotman School who will be joined by emerging young black leaders across Canada as well as members of the business community. Case studies, some developed specifically for the course, feature current and past successful entrepreneurs such as Viola Desmond, Michael Lee-Chin and Prem Watsa. The course will provide students with a deep understanding of systemic anti-Black racism faced by Black entrepreneurs. Students will also learn skills to create real sustainable change and combat anti-Black systemic racism.

Wes Hall, Executive Chairman & Founder of Kingsdale Advisors, who is one of the chairs of the BlackNorth Initiative, is the lead instructor of the course, along with Ann Armstrong, a lecturer and academic director, Intercultural Skills Lab at the Rotman School.  

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Black North Initiative to offer this unique educational opportunity to our MBA students. Wes Hall has put together a compelling course that highlights what it means to be a Black business leader in Canada today, which will help our students be better positioned as leaders in any organization,” says Prof. Kenneth Corts, Interim Dean of the Rotman School.  

"Successful countries, like successful companies, unlock the potential of every single one of their people. They know that systemic racism isn't just immoral - it's a competitive disadvantage. That's why we're so proud to be offering this course with the Rotman School of Management," says Wes Hall, Founder and Chairman of the BlackNorth Initiative. "By educating tomorrow's business leaders on the barriers faced by Black entrepreneurs, and by providing them with the tools they need to remove those barriers, we will make Canada a more equitable - and more competitive - place to do business." 

Wes Hall is an established innovator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. As Executive Chairman and Founder of Kingsdale Advisors, he has been named one of Canada’s most powerful business people. He is also the owner of QM Environmental, a leading environmental and industrial services provider; Titan Supply, a top manufacturer and distributor of rigging and wear products serving industries in the oil and gas, construction and transportation sector; and Harbor Club hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, one of St. Lucia’s premier resorts. In 2020, he was appointed to the Government of Ontario’s Capital Markets Modernization Task Force, was named one of Toronto Life magazine’s “50 most influential Torontonians”, named as the Communicator of the Year by the International Association of Business Communicators (Toronto), and Maclean’s magazine ranked him number 16 on their 2021 Power List of the “50 most powerful people in Canada.” In 2011, he received the designation ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors in partnership with the Rotman School of Management.  

The BlackNorth Initiative was created by The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism to combat anti-Black systemic racism in Corporate Canada. The initiative challenges senior Canadian business leaders to commit their companies to specific actions and targets designed to end anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for all of those in the underrepresented BIPOC community. 

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights, and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit


For more information: 
Ken McGuffin 
Manager, Media Relations 
Rotman School of Management 
University of Toronto