undamentally, this was a huge opportunity for all of the applicants. Thank you to everyone who applied for our Black-led Business Grant Program funded by Facebook in partnership with our delivery partners Black Opportunity Fund and CILAR. We received an overwhelming response from across Canada and across all sectors. The data has been and still is clear - there is more work needed to continue supporting Black business owners and entrepreneurs to innovate and grow their businesses in the innovation economy. We are committed to continue working on creating more opportunities to ensure we are building pathways to sustainable capital and revenue with our members and delivery partners. Stay tuned for upcoming programs.
Today, we’re excited to share the findings from the study! Continue following us, Black Opportunity Fund and CILAR on social media to learn more about some of the businesses that were funded through this recent grant.
● 46% of applications started their companies during or just before the pandemic ● A large majority of applicants were not able to effectively articulate a compelling application - struggle to clearly discuss finances, projections lacking historical and futuristic presentation, lack bandwidth, vocabulary, limited understanding of business and tech sector ● Approximately 3/5 of applicants did not demonstrate a clear plan around market research, customer discovery and customer retention to determine if there is even a market for their business (starting businesses and hoping for the best) ● Black Entrepreneurs are still entering low barrier to entry industries at higher rates, the focus on product and service based businesses is a recurring theme throughout these applications - struggling to buy inventory, trying to sell products (not solving a clear and distinct problem) ● When it came to innovation, many applicants expressed that they switched to using zoom and mailchimp, launched websites - yet these are not seen as innovative but actually a business standard ● More education is needed to better emphasize the need for technology, its application in the business and innovation context - how it is used to scale and build dynamic companies