What is the Black Ecosystem Program?

by Oct 18, 2022About ACBN0 comments

The Black Ecosystem Program was created to meet the growth and development needs; fill existing gaps, and build stronger ties amongst Black entrepreneurs within the Canadian business society. Through the funding opportunities provided by the Federal Government, ecosystem members of the Black community are now in a better position to collectively upscale their businesses, and by extension contribute to the development of the aggregate community.

ACBN and funded partners have formed an ecosystem group of Black entrepreneurs in varying service industries, with the aim to achieve a unified vision of growth, collective efforts, increased visibility, and funding accessibility that leads to upscaling and sustaining Black businesses in Canada.

Progress Updates

Many strides and wins have been won through the Black Ecosystem Program. Here are some of the highlights:

BEP Partners’ successful deliverables in the following projects:
Black Ecosystem Conference June 2022
  • Successful three-day conferences were held at Dream Legacy Suite and Sheridan College.
  • Relatively large turnout of supporters from the Black community, inclusive of funded organizations, other business owners and operators, and like-minded individuals with interest in entrepreneurship.
  • Panel discussions with Black knowledge experts on essential topic areas relating to challenges and lack of necessary information that leads to gaps in the progress and sustainability of entrepreneurs, and general members of the community.
ACBN Growth Accelerator Program:
  • Entrepreneurs enrolled to participate in a 6-month pre-seed business accelerator program with pathways to optimize their businesses through training, support, mentorship, and opportunities to become investment ready.
  • The program is designed to support Black entrepreneurs who are running their businesses for 2 or more years and are facing various issues including:
    • No business plan or business plan requires enhancement
    • They are experiencing a gap in their knowledge to develop the right infrastructure
    • Effective processes needed to reach new markets and sales targets for growth
  • Supports Provided:
    • Business Plan Writing Support
    • Bespoke Sales Training
    • Access to Mental Health Support
    • Pre-Qualify for ACBN Micro Loan
    • Chance to Win ACBN Micro Grant
Black Ecosystem Study Group
  • Funded organizations came together to strategically form a unified Black business structure. A weekly study group was formed to brainstorm, pool resources, and talents to build a sustainable and viable operational structure for all ecosystem members, and related stakeholders.
  • The focus is to collectively pool resources inclusive of skillsets, expertise, like-minds, systems, service reach, funding channels, supply chains, and other essential service tools that will help to create a legacy for entrepreneurs in our Black community, utilizing a centralized communication and repository platform. The goal is to form our own cooperative of Black service providers that can tap into new sources for increased revenues, strengthen resource accessibility, and be better able to meet varying businesses’ needs on a wider scale, thus adding value to our Canadian society.

About the Author

Ryan Knight

Ryan is a husband and father of 2, the current co-executive director of ACBN with his colleague Nicola Harris. A serial social entrepreneur running the social enterprises Detailing Knights and Service Kingdom.

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