a community collective for BIPOC entrepreneurs to
collaborate, engage and grow
HOW IT STARTED
BIPOC owned businesses face so many more barriers to success than their white owned counterparts. That's why in 2020 Free Label initiated a $5000 Bursary and Mentorship program aimed at supporting a Black and/or Indigenous identifying entrepreneur to develop their brand. Oge Ajibe was the 2020 recipient of the award and it has been a joy watching her grow her brand over the past year.
It was such a rich experience connecting with the passionate entrepreneurs that applied for the program and learning about their amazing businesses. At the end of the day, we could only pick one person to receive the bursary and mentorship, but every applicant brought so much passion and talent to the table. So we stayed in touch, would meet virtually to chat about work, and even teamed up to host a virtual marketplace together.
Over the course of the year, our little group of BIPOC entrepreneurs blossomed into a supportive and special community. So this year we decided to make it official. Introducing the EMPOWERFUL INCUBATOR; an incubator program for BIPOC entrepreneurs that offers community, quarterly educational virtual events, and opportunities to apply for private funding.
Our exclusive Empowerful Facebook group allows BIPOC entrepreneurs to connect with one another, ask questions, share success and failures, and resources. Community connection and networking is what makes a business successful.
We organize quarterly virtual events where experts in different fields will present on their topic of knowledge. As an entrepreneur, you must be a jack of all trades; mini mentorship sessions from experts in various fields will help you hone in on that necessary diverse skillset.
Each year Free Label provides a total of $10 000 CAD in funding available through the Empowerful Incubator. Members can apply for a portion of the pot with a pitch on how it will be used. Funding will be divvied out to multiple business owners based on need.
HOW TO APPLY
Each year we accept a maximum of 10 new spots to the Empowerful Incubator in order to keep the group intimate and to keep funding accessible.
Members of the Empowerful Incubator program receive access to our internal support Facebook group as a way to connect with other BIPOC entrepreneurs, quarterly virtual mentorship events from industry experts, and the chance to apply for private funding from our $10 000 pot twice a year.
Applicants must live and work in Canada, identify as Black, Indigenous, or person of colour, and own a small business. Any size of small business will be considered as long as the business is registered under your name (can be sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation).
Applications are now closed and members have been selected.
Applications will reopen September 2022!