Resources for Black Founders in Ontario
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need for increased diversity and representation in the business world. This is especially true for the Black community in Canada, which has historically faced systemic barriers to entrepreneurship and economic success. Supporting Black-owned businesses is not only a matter of fairness and equal opportunity, but also has numerous benefits for the wider community.
Black-owned businesses provide important economic benefits to the Black community and help to close the wealth gap. By providing employment opportunities and generating income, these businesses can help to build financial stability and independence, allowing families to invest in their futures and pass down wealth to future generations.
Black-owned businesses also play an important role in representing the Black community and its culture. These businesses provide a platform for Black voices and perspectives, and can help to promote understanding and appreciation of the community’s history, values, and traditions. This can also help to combat negative stereotypes and misconceptions about the Black community, creating a more inclusive and respectful society.
Boosting the Local Economy
Supporting Black-owned businesses can also have a positive impact on the local economy. By supporting these businesses, consumers are investing in their own community, helping to create jobs, stimulate economic activity, and promote sustainable growth.
Black-owned businesses play a vital role in promoting economic empowerment, cultural representation, and local economic growth. By supporting these businesses, Canadians can help to break down barriers and promote equality, creating a more inclusive and prosperous society for all. Whether through supporting these businesses financially, advocating for policies that support entrepreneurship, or simply raising awareness, there are many ways to get involved and make a positive impact.
See below for a list of resources.
Rep Matters is where Black founders come for inspiration, connection, and support. Rep Matters believes in the untapped potential of Black communities and the individuals within them and serve as a bridge into the tech and venture capital ecosystems. Their mission is to inspire Black founders and nurture the communities in which they thrive.
For more information, refer to the Real Ventures website.
Black Innovation Programs
The DMZ at Toronto Metropolitan University joined forces with a community of Founding Partners to develop the Black Innovation Programs (BIP). The first-in-Canada programs will provide Black-owned tech startups with the strengthening support of a top university-based incubator network, as well as additional programming, mentorship, events, and connections to industry, capital and an alumni network, to support their success and growth.
For more information, refer to the DMZ website.
Southwestern Ontario Black Entrepreneurship Network
The Southwestern Ontario Black Entrepreneurship Network brings together a consortium of partners led by Empowerment Squared to offer a dynamic resource for Black business owners, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit leaders in the greater Hamilton and Windsor areas.
For more information, refer to the Southwestern Ontario website.
Business Development Bank of Canada
If you are a black entrepreneur looking for ways to grow your business, BDC has financing, advisory services, articles, and tools to help you reach the next level.
For more information, refer to the BDC website.
Futurpreneur Black Entrepreneur Startup Program
The Futurepreneur team will guide you through all the steps to embark on your business journey—from planning to financing to launch. Their program for Black entrepreneurs age 18-39 provides startup loan financing and up to two years of mentorship, plus access to resources and networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs across Canada. Futurpreneur launched this tailored version of their core Startup Program specifically to help address some of the barriers to success faced by many aspiring Black entrepreneurs.
For more information, refer to the Futurpreneur website.
University of Toronto, Black Founders Network
The Black Founders Network (BFN) is an inclusive community for Black entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey, created to provide access to the networks, resources and inspiration to build, fund and scale impactful startups. By recognizing systemic barriers, celebrating Black excellence and providing allyship, mentorship and sponsorship for Black founders, we are building a thriving community of Black entrepreneurs from every industry and at every stage.
For more information, refer to the U of T Black Founders Network website.
RBC Black Entrepreneur Program
In July of 2020, RBC made a five-year commitment to invest $100 million to fund small business loans to Black entrepreneurs. With this program at RBC, Black entrepreneurs can access loans of up to $250,000 to start and grow their business. The program also offers a strong network of peers, advisors, and mentors that can help guide Black entrepreneurs to grow and develop their businesses. There are several other offers available within this program, such as partnerships with H&R Block for easy tax filing and TELUS for savings on business technology and tools.
To learn more about the program and how you can apply, click here.
Black Mentorship Inc
The Black Mentorship Inc program aims to bridge the gap and mentor access experienced within the Black and BIPOC professional community. BMI is dedicated to addressing these challenges by providing an inclusive mentorship program to foster the growth, empowerment, and career development of Black people. They provide education, skills building, resources, networking, and strong community support to enable their participants to achieve their definition of success, eradicating systemic barriers and thus, create diverse leaders.
For more information, refer to the Black Mentorship Inc website.
Founded in 2020, Nobellum is a non-profit social and technology enterprise dedicated to carving out a space in the technology industry for Black founders in STEM. They are a community of Black and Indigenous People of Color who believe that the time to break into the tech industry is now. Together, they are building an ecosystem to usher in a new era of Black-owned businesses in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM).
To learn more about the program, visit the Nobellum Website.
Black Entrepreneurship Alliance
The Black Entrepreneurship Alliance (BEA) supports Black entrepreneurs & professionals in building successful companies through a curated collection of programs, partnerships, and innovative tools. Creating an alliance of community, academia, government and industry to support the life cycle of Black entrepreneurs and professionals. BEA provides a suite of programs designed for Black entrepreneurs, young professionals and executives.
To learn more about the programs, refer to the Black Entrepreneurship Alliance Website.
Interested in becoming an Angel Investor?
If the idea of joining a community of professionals and industry leaders, investing in innovating start-ups, and providing mentorship to promising entrepreneurs interests you, click here to learn more.