BlackNorth Initiative

The BlackNorth Initiative and Bain & Company launch a new resource to support the success of Black entrepreneurs in Canada

The BlackNorth Initiative and Bain & Company launch a new resource to support the success of Black entrepreneurs in Canada October 25, 2023

TORONTO, Oct. 25, 2023 /CNW/ – Today the BlackNorth Initiative (BNI) and Bain & Company announced the launch of the jointly-developed Black Entrepreneurship Growth and Innovation Network (B.E.G.I.N.), an innovative digital platform that provides resources and support to address topics that are the most important and relevant to the success of Black entrepreneurs across Canada.

“The most fundamental thing that we need as Black entrepreneurs would be mentorship. To have access to people with the wisdom is the key to substantial change,” said Honey Soul Food Owner Chanée Dowdie.

The B.E.G.I.N. platform is designed to offer access to a variety of services, mentorship opportunities and ultimately support increase access to funding. It will include directories of funding sources and start-up incubators, free educational resources, and a calendar of networking events.

“The BlackNorth Initiative is driven by a business-first mindset to combat anti-Black systemic racism that persists in various aspects of Canadian society including the barriers that Black entrepreneurs face every single day,” said Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, Chief Executive Officer of BlackNorth Initiative. “Our research identified specific obstacles faced by this community and we are very proud to be launching B.E.G.I.N. to address them and we believe it’s going to have a very positive impact.”

“Our research has shown Black entrepreneurs in Canada face many obstacles at higher rates than their white counterparts, including a lack of representation in banks, difficulty accessing capital, and fewer mentorship opportunities,” said Martha Eggenberger, a partner in Bain & Company’s Toronto office. “This work identified the resources that are most needed to overcome obstacles at the critical stages of growth where businesses are more susceptible to failure. The goal is for B.E.G.I.N. to be a one-stop shop, providing everything from capital solutions to networking and distribution support, to help these entrepreneurs achieve their goals.”

B.E.G.I.N. will also feature discounted and pro-bono offers from major Canadian businesses for goods and services that are most critical in the early stages of entrepreneurship, such as legal support and marketing services. In addition, to facilitate mentorship, B.E.G.I.N. will connect Black business owners with mentors who will provide guidance and insights with relevant, industry-specific knowledge.

For more information about the program and the research that informed its development, an in-depth background document can be found here.

About BNI

The BlackNorth Initiative is dedicated to eradicating anti-Black systemic racism in all facets of Canadian life, leveraging a business-first approach. Committed to removing systemic barriers that hinder the progress of Black Canadians, the initiative aims to foster an inclusive society for all. To learn more, please visit: and follow us on social media @blacknorthca.

About Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.

Across 65 cities in 40 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a platinum rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 1% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry.

For further information:
Media Contact: Shelton Mpala, Associate Director of Strategic Communications, BlackNorth Initiative,
Phone: 437-997-7710,