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.

Learn more about the application process in this instructional video.

Watch the info session video

Program Timeline

December 10

Stage 1 applications open

December 18

Launch and information session webinar

January 13

Stage 1 applications close

January 19

Successful stage 1 applicants  notified and invited to participate in Stage 2

January 21-22

Business Building Workshops

February 5

Stage 2 application with comprehensive business model due

February 15

Successful Stage 2 applicants are invited to participate in Stage 3 (semi-finalist are invited to sign up for their 1:1 pitch coaching session)

February 16-23

1:1 pitch coaching

February 26

Live virtual pitch competition & winner announcement


In order to apply for the Rise Up Pitch Competition, applicants must meet the general eligibility criteria.

The Applicant must be:

  • A legal resident of Canada;
  • A self-identified woman
  • African, Caribbean or Black woman entrepreneur;
  • 18 years or older at the time of application;
  • Must be a for profit business
  • A founder and majority shareholder of a business registered and operating in Canada;
  • The applicant may only apply for a single category, however, the Organizers reserve the right to reassign applications to different categories and to decline to offer a prize in a category if they decide that the applicant pool is insufficient;
  • The applicant understands that funding is taxable;
  • Applicant must hold the most senior executive title and/or be the chief decision maker.
  • Applicant must be the founder of the business and/or have had a significant impact on the company if acquired.
  • The applicant must be available to participate in the Business Workshops on 21/22 January 2021, 1:1 Pitch Coaching and the Live Pitch Session on 26 February 2021
  • Pitch Coaches, Judges are not eligible to apply


Let us know if you have any questions.

Send a message

Ready to Apply?

Apply now

Program workshops

Those who make it to Stage 2 of the program will be invited to participate in a series of workshops on January 21 and 22, 2021. Led by industry experts, these workshops are designed to help participants sharpen their pitches and develop skills they can use to grow their businesses.

January 21st

11am – 12pm

Understanding your motivations, your audience, and your solutions

Facilitator: Casa Foundation

12:30pm – 2pm

Branding, Digital Marketing, and Social Media:
How to build your brand and appeal to your audience

Facilitators: BrandEQ & BMO


2pm – 3pm

(Loblaw’s workshop) Powering Your Business with Technology:
How to use technological strategies to build and grow your business

Facilitator: Loblaw Companies Limited

January 22nd

11am – 12:30pm

Business Planning and Financial Literacy:
Developing growth strategies and managing your finances

Facilitators: BDC & BMO


1pm – 2pm

Networking and Partnerships:
How to find mentors, connect with other business owners, and develop partnerships

Facilitator: de Sedulous Women Leaders


2pm – 3:30pm

Public & Private Procurement

Facilitators: Public Services & Procurement Canada