[responsivevoice_button voice="US English Male" buttontext="Listen to this"]


Cassels just announced the 2022 recipients of its Black-Owned Small Business Grant: Deress Asghedom of Vaster, Rans Brempong of WCT Hoops, Tobias Brown of Tommie’s Jerk, Steve Sijenyi of LIT604, and Chanelle Tye of Chanelle Tye Equity & Inclusion.

The program, now in its third year, was established by Cassels in an effort to support a diverse and vibrant entrepreneurial climate by giving Black business owners much-needed access to money and legal support. We are honored to be able to assist five businesses in 2022 thanks to contributions from Wheaton Precious Metals and the money donated by Cassels.

Ellie Bianca’s founder, Evelyne Nyairo, of Calgary, commented on how her company benefited from the award and free legal services she received as one of the 2021 winners: “We were able to take on several important tasks that might have otherwise been put off owing to resource limitations.”

“We really appreciate the Cassels team and their efforts to actively seek out the Black community and take productive action to provide an opportunity to uplift them. It truly has been a lasting partnership as Cassels later came on board as clients for one of the projects that the grant had helped us sail through. We also had one of the Cassels lawyers join us as a keynote speaker in a panel discussion that Ellie Bianca hosted during Black History Month this year.”

Cassels has now offered this support to the Black business communities in each of the three cities in which the firm operates – Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. This year marks the third and final year of the grant.

“With dozens of impressive applications, selecting this year’s grant recipients was a challenging process for us,” says Kwaku Tabi, Co-Chair of the Cassels Black Affinity Group and Grant Oversight Committee. “We’re proud to be able to provide the financial support and legal services that will help a pool of brilliant entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, especially after a pandemic that has had severe repercussions on small businesses worldwide.”

Kwaku Tabi, Co-Chair of the Cassels Black Affinity Group and Grant Oversight Committee.



LIT604 is British Columbia’s only Black-owned radio station. The station celebrates Black and IPOC experiences through urban contemporary music, providing music and digital content alongside affordable advertising opportunities for Vancouver’s small businesses

Tommie’s Jerk

Tommie’s Jerk is a Jamaican restaurant that exists to share a love of Jamaican food and culture. Through the creation of a select retail line of prepared spices and marinades, Tommie’s Jerk gives the everyday person the opportunity to curate their own cultural experience right from their kitchen.


Vaster is a mobile app that provides cannabis product information in real-time. The application is designed to help licensed cannabis producers (LPs) and dispensaries educate and empower their customers to make informed choices.

WCT Hoops

WCT Hoops is a basketball club that looks to teach kids the mastery of basketball so they can have success on and off the court. They do this by teaching young men and women fundamental skills, along with the importance of accountability and dedication.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Share on telegram