New Start-Up Program for Black Entrepreneurs Offers Financing, Mentorship
By Sarah Asghar and Erin Zhou | May 13, 2021
Starting a business can be grueling, and entrepreneurs in minority groups often face the most challenges. With this in mind, Futurpreneur has created a financing and mentorship start-up program for black entrepreneurs.
To be eligible apply, participants must self-identify as Black and be Canadian citizens or permanent residents age 18-39. If there are two owners of a business, the business must be majority Black-owned, if there are more than two owners, the business must be at least 25% Black-owned. The business must also have been operating for fewer than 12 months.
Participating entrepreneurs will have access to inclusive financing, up to two years of 1-1 mentorship, resources, networking opportunities, and follow-on financing of up to $40,000 based on business performance.
Entrepreneurs can also receive collateral-free start-up loans of up to $40,000 that are offered by Futurpreneur, funded by RBC. Additional financing of up to $20,000 can be accessed and is funded by BDC.
There is no deadline to this program, and the average processing time for loan applications to be approved is 4 to 6 weeks.
Entrepreneurs can be specially matched with an expert mentor for a two-year period. With Futurpreneur’s 2,000+ mentor volunteers and resources such as the Rock My Business series, the Business Plan Writer, and their Cash Flow Template, this startup program is tailored to help Black entrepreneurs succeed.
Mona-Lisa Prosper is the director of the The Black Entrepreneurship Startup Program. She hopes to break down the barriers and allow more aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.
As a Montréal-born Canadian with immigrant parents from Haïti, she has always been proud of Canadian culture while staying connected to her roots. Since the start of her career as an entrepreneur, she has always been dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs succeed.
She holds a Bachelor of Law degree and is pursuing a MBA part-time at HEC Montréal. The start-up program fully demonstrates her values, involvements, and professional background.
“It will be a success if we can help more Black entrepreneurs start their businesses, which in turn will hopefully mean more representation among entrepreneurs.”
She adds, “We also hope this will propel other entities to address these issues, so that collectively we provide an ecosystem where the same chances are afforded to everyone.”
After all, success for Black entrepreneurs is success for the Black Entrepreneur Startup Program.
Here are some of the insights Prosper had to share when we asked her about the new program:
CO: Why is this program important and what led Futurpreneur to create it?
MONA-LISA PROSPER: At Futurpreneur, diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values. It’s important to address all the specific barriers faced by entrepreneurs, and then tailor programs accordingly. This program was created as a response to the specific, systemic barriers that Black entrepreneurs face, and aims to allow them the same opportunities to run a successful business.
CO: What in your mind will make the program a success and what outcomes do you expect?
MONA-LISA PROSPER: The program was created to break down barriers and allow more aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. It will be a success if we can help more Black entrepreneurs start their businesses, which in turn will hopefully mean more representation among entrepreneurs. We also hope this will propel other entities to address these issues, so that collectively we provide an ecosystem where the same chances are afforded to everyone.
CO: Are there some specific systemic barriers you want to overcome with this program and if so, what are they?
MONA-LISA PROSPER: Historically, access to funding has been a huge barrier faced by Black entrepreneurs. The Black Entrepreneurship Startup Program is a tailored approach that provides more access to financing to address this barrier.
Visit www.futurpreneur.ca now and register as a new entrepreneur and get access to finances and resources for your company.
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