March 11, 2021
Volta, an East Coast innovation hub, Black Business Initiative (“BBI”), an initiative committed to growing a stronger Black presence in Nova Scotia’s business community, and Ulnooweg Development Group (“Ulnooweg”), an Indigenous business lender, have collaborated to create Boost, a new program that aims to support Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada. Boost is supported by the federally-funded Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada.
Boost is a 16-week program that provides workshops and skill development training led by industry experts. Workshop topics include leadership, personal branding, business models, customer discovery and validation, design thinking, and pitches. Participants will receive an honorarium for taking part in the program and have access to a working lab, which will provide a space for participants to apply their learning and develop their ideas. Volta, BBI, and Ulnooweg plan to accept 5-10 individuals into the program. To be eligible, applicants must:
· be based in Atlantic Canada;
· self-identify as Black or Indigenous with preference given to those who identify as women and/or members of the LGBTQIA+ community; and
· have an early stage business idea or professional development goal with preference given to applicants with tech-enabled start-up ideas.
As James Martel, COO of BBI, stated, “Black and Indigenous-owned businesses contribute significantly to Canada’s economy … and increasing the participation of BIPOC founders in the start-up ecosystem will strengthen the business community not only in [the East Coast], but globally”.
Author: Andrew Patel