From one of Canada's most successful business leaders, the founder of the Black North Initiative and the newest and first Black Dragon in the Dragon's Den comes a rags-to-riches story that also carries a profound message of hope and change.
Wes Hall spent his early childhood in a zinc-roofed shack, one of several children supported by his grandmother. That was paradise compared to the three years he lived with his verbally abusive and violent mother; at 13, he ran away, living by his wits for the next 3 years. At 16, Wes came to Canada sponsored by a father he'd only seen once, and by the time he was 18, he was out of his father's house determined to make his way on his own. Yet Wes Hall went on to become a major entrepreneur, business leader, philanthropist and change-maker, working his way up from a humble position in a law firm mailroom by way of his intelligence, his curiosity, and his ability to see opportunities that others don't see.
When people expected his thick Jamaican accent, lack of money and education, not to mention the colour of his skin, to shut down his future, Wes was not to be stopped. He is still overturning expectations to this day. Well aware of racism and injustice, his lack of privilege and the other roadblocks to his success, Wes has always believed that he can walk along any cliff edge without falling in. His book will tease out and show how he fostered that resolve in himself, exploring his childhood and the milestone successes and failures of his career in order to share how he not only stopped himself from falling, but also created a future in which he survived and thrived, and then dedicated himself to bringing his family and his community along with him.
Now, with the founding of the Black North Initiative, Wes takes aim at ending systemic anti-Black racism. It's a huge goal, but one he's tackling with heart, soul, smarts, and every connection he's made in an extraordinary career that's taken him to the centre of the Canadian establishment. Throughout his life he's resisted sinking into despair or getting lost in anger; now he wants to tell truth to power and show it a path forward.