Article by Stockhouse
The Black Entrepreneur Program will announce an Incubator for BIPOC Canadian entrepreneurs on February 25th at a free, virtual Black History Month Summit. The Summit runs February 25th from 4 to 6 pm (Eastern Time) and features talks from various levels of government and black-owned business-owners across Southern Ontario, as well as Q&As and face-to-face digital networking “rooms.”
The virtual Black Entrepreneurship Program brings together social equity-focused actors in both government and business to create year-round action on a virtual stage platform beyond February. The aim is to foster productive networking and collaboration opportunities between BIPOC Entrepreneurs and future-focused legislative allies from all government layers. The mission: to empower more successful black entrepreneurs through online learning, mentorship and networking events designed to bridge gaps in the current startup ecosystem nationwide.
February 25th’s event showcases an illustrious speaker lineup headlined by Wesley Williams, best known by his stage name “Maestro Fresh Wes,” aka the Godfather of Canadian Hip Hop-the prominent Canadian rapper, record producer and author. Derrick Berney, the Virtual Summit’s Program Director, will introduce the event along with an intro from Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Femi-Cole. Other speakers include Peter Fragiskatos, MP for London North Centre; Kate Young, MP for London West; Arielle Kayabaga, Councilor for London Ontario’s Ward 13; Kapil Lakhhotia from The London Economic Development Commission; Dr. Nord Mensah, the Associate Dean of Fanshawe College; representatives from the Federal Economic Development Agency (“Fed Dev”); Ladi Ogunjimi of Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC); as well as an exciting presentation from Ashley & Michael Athill (brother and sister) co-founders of HRVSTR – Canada’s first black-owned craft cannabis LP.
“We are delighted to support the Black Entrepreneurship Program, as it is an important step in building a sustainable, diverse and inclusive economy.” -Kapil Lakhhotia, London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC).
After the speakers, we will showcase different BIPOC-owned businesses. Showcases include Sean Thompson, Co-Founder & CEO of Psigryph Inc., a Foodtech/Agtech/Biotech leader with experience in business development, corporate finance and clinical research; Tasha Riley, Founder of BlackExecs, a directory of Black-owned/co-owned businesses that support BIPOC/marginalized communities; Aaron Prothro, from Toronto’s Black-owned microbrewery, Mascot Brewery; Drew Henson, CEO and Founder of tech/cannabis accessory brand TOQi;
Lula Fukur, CEO and founder of Cori, a black-owned licensed cannabis retail store chain in Toronto; a presentation from Vaughn Patron from Ox and Bow Barbershop Co; Connor Bradley, Founder of Essentixls Jewelry and Accessories; Nate Behar, Founder and CEO of ATNMY Marketing and influencer marketing platform built to empower athletes to work with the brands they love and is also an active CFL Wide Receiver; Lola Wosiyan, CEO of Beulah African Super Store which carries food and fabrics and garments from African countries, the Caribbean and Canada; and so much more.