Starting and scaling a business comes with inherent hurdles, and those hurdles pose even more of a challenge for Black entrepreneurs. The Black Pitch Contest is working towards dismantling systemic racism by providing barrier-free access to funding opportunities for Black businesses.
Black Canadian entrepreneurs bring some of the most diverse and innovative ideas to the nation, yet systemic barriers to funding place them one step behind their counterparts. Whether it’s being discriminated against based on age and income level in pursuit of loans, or facing mistrust in securing equity partners, Black entrepreneurs often have to go through extra loopholes that make the journey of sustaining their business one that is riddled with obstacles.
The Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses of Canada Society (BEBC) is actively working towards changing the landscape of Black business capital by providing barrier-free access to funding opportunities through the Black Pitch Contest. “Data consistently shows us that systemic racism has limited or prevented Black access to business capital. This pitch contest is about breaking those barriers down, and celebrating Black ingenuity while making the initial application as easy as possible,” explains BEBC Co-founder Jackee Kasandy.
The contest was launched to help Black businesses deemed as ‘unfundable’ by providing an innovative, no frills approach to accessing capital—providing a much needed pathway to funding for businesses who otherwise are shut out of funding opportunities. The nationwide contest is a valuable new opportunity for both emerging and established Black businesses.
Applications close on December 15, 2022. Apply here!
Learn more about the program below:
The Black Pitch Contest gives Black entrepreneurs and youth a shot at cash prizes stretching up to $25K (with a possibility of getting up to 100k prize as we continue to fundraise and add partners to our contest). Crucially, this pitch is created to be ‘barrier free’, meaning anyone in the Black community in Canada can apply, no matter their age, gender, or experience level. Many other pitches often require lengthy business plans and months of work for entrants just to successfully apply. However, because most Canadian Black businesses are micro-enterprises, most owners simply don’t have the time to go through a lengthy application process to get started. The Black Pitch Contest, on the other hand, is streamlined and simple. People can apply even if their business idea is at conception stage. All you have to do to enter is fill out a brief application and film a 2-minute youtube video, describing your business idea. That’s all you need to get started. Awards are based on how good your idea is, not on how much time you’ve been able to spend drafting a 60-page business plan, and people are eligible even if they’re very young or if they have no business experience. Winners get the money, no strings attached, along with opportunity for mentorship and coaching and further investment contacts.