Volta and BBI launch new program to support Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada
The Black Business Initiative and Volta – Canada’s East Coast Innovation Hub, are launching Boost, a four-month program led by industry experts. Boost supports the growth and development of Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada. We encourage and welcome applications from all Black and Indigenous founders; however, given the need to increase representation within the sector, preference will be given to applicants who identify as women and/or members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The program is being supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
Launching in mid-March and running for four months, Boost will take Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs through workshops and skills development sessions to build their business idea and achieve their professional goals. Five to 10 individuals will be selected for the program, and will have access to a working lab in Volta’s Co-Working Space; they will receive an honorarium for their participation.
Skills development sessions include leadership, branding, Lean Business Model Canvas, MVP prototyping and design thinking test solution, customer discovery, adapting to employment trends, and more. The full program outline is available on the Boost webpage.
Ideal program participants are individuals with an early stage business idea or professional development goal, who may need assistance moving the project forward. Preference is given to those with a tech-enabled startup idea, though no technical experience is required to participate in the program. Boost participants must be willing and eager to learn and apply new skills from industry experts, be able to commit to a 16-week term to build their idea, and be based in Atlantic Canada. All applications will be considered on a case by case basis, but preference will be given to applicants who identify as women and/or are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Applications for the program are now open and space is limited to 10 people. Those interested must apply at voltaeffect.com/boost before February 14, 2021 at 11:59pm (AST). Volta and BBI will interview applicants and contact those selected to participate on or before March 1, 2021 to enrol. The program begins on Monday, March 15, 2020.
For more information about the program, we invite media and members of the public to join us for a virtual information session on January 26 at 4pm. Please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/new-program-information-session-tickets-136022788823
“We are thrilled to be launching Boost, in partnership with BBI and ACOA, to create more meaningful opportunities for diverse entrepreneurs to connect, grow, build and scale their businesses here in Atlantic Canada. Increasing growth and development opportunities for current and future founders is integral to the long-term success and growth of our startup ecosystem.”
– Martha Casey, Volta Chief Executive Officer
“Black and Indigenous-owned businesses contribute significantly to Canada’s economy. We’re excited to announce this partnership with Volta and ACOA. Launching a program of this caliber will provide significant opportunities in the entrepreneurial sector. We truly believe that increasing the participation of BIPOC founders in the startup ecosystem will strengthen the business community not only in our province, but globally.”
– Matthew James Martel, Black Business Initiative Chief Operating Officer
“If we want Canada’s economy to be as strong and diverse as it can be, we must ensure that Black and Indigenous entrepreneurs are full participants in it. We are supporting the Volta Boost program to help these business owners break down some of the barriers they face and create new opportunities with them to contribute to Atlantic Canada’s start-up economy. Because to ‘build back better’ means to build a more inclusive, equal economy.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA