What is Rise Up?

Rise Up is an opportunity for Black women entrepreneurs, at any stage of business, to shine and pitch for the chance to win thousands of dollars in financial awards and resources.

This program has been designed to help Black women entrepreneurs develop key skills, build their networks, and receive the support they need to succeed.

The RiseUp Pitch Workshops + Competition will take you through programming that will equip you for entrepreneurial success and give you the opportunity to win $10,000 in funding for your business!

The 2023 Pitch Workshops + Competition

The third annual RiseUp Pitch Competition and Program offers the opportunity for Black Women+ entrepreneurs at different stages of business to pitch for the chance to win $10,000 and access to entrepreneurial development resources. 

Organized by Black Business & Professional Association (BBPA), with support from, The Diversity Institute, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), Loblaw Companies Limited, The Globe and Mail, Future Skills Centre, and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH), RiseUp Women+ has been designed to help Black women entrepreneurs develop key skills, build their networks, and find the support they need to succeed.

Applications for the RiseUp Pitch Workshops and Competition are open until February 12 2023 @ 11:59PM EST.


  • January 30 | Applications open (Register Here)
  • February 12 | Applications close
  • February 16 + 17 (9:30AM – 3:00PM EST) | Business workshop sessions
  • February 23 | Stage 2 applications submissions due
  • March 3 | Semi-finalists notified; 1:1 coaching opens
  • March 10-24 | Coaching sessions
  • March 24 | Pitch Prep Workshops
  • March 31 | Live pitch competition

Learn more about the application process in this instructional video.

Watch the info session video

We’ll contact you to confirm your registration and your Rise Up level.

We’re aligning the Rise Up training, workshops and coaching with the three different levels of BACEL – fundamental, master class and academy. This allows participants to scale, or rise up, according to the stage of their operations. Here’s an overview of each level:

1 – Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship

The Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship introduces participants to entrepreneurial basics, helps them develop a business mindset and enables them to cultivate their ideas. This level focuses on these themes:

  • Business Research
  • Networking
  • Self-Assessment
  • Self-Care

2 – Master Class

This level gives participants the support and tools they need to launch or scale up their business. They’ll identify the strengths and challenges of their business idea and cultivate the skills to move from a concept to reality. The curriculum for this level focuses on:

  • The Business Model Canvas (I to IV), a tool to help you visualize all the building blocks required to start a business.
  • Digital Skills
  • Legal Basics
  • Self-Care

3 – Academy

The Academy is intended for participants who completed the master class level of programming and their business is positioned for significant growth. Participants will l hone your growth mindset, deepen their leadership skills and get ready to apply for funding. Training includes:

  • Advanced Business Skills I & II
  • Digital Skills
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Negotiating
  • Procurement
  • Regulations: Intellectual Property
  • Securing Funding
  • Self-Care

What are you waiting for Rise Up women?

Ohh! Foods | Brittany Charlton | RiseUp 2022 Hospitality & Foods Winner

Named one of Forbes’ ‘Top 30 Under 30’, Brittany Charlton is currently working on expanding her business into the US.

Being Here, Human | Michelle Williams | RiseUp 2022 Business Services Winner

Michelle Williams has created reach and awareness with Being Here, Human, recently being featured in publications such as the Los Angeles Times!


Let us know if you have any questions.

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