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

2022 Program Timeline

February 7
Information Session

January 31st – February 7
Phase 1 – Announce pitch info session webinar

February 9
Phase 2 – Applications Open

March 1 @ 11:59AM EST
Application closes

March 3
Notify Applicants of Stage 2 – Business Workshop Sessions

March 8 & 9
Webinar Workshops

March 11
Coaches available to provide support

March 14 – 18
Applicants work on LEAN model – Business planning

March 18 @ 4:59PM EST
LEAN Applications Deadline (these applications will be used to shortlist applicants further)

March 21
Judges shortlist applicants to 5 per category

March 22
Semi-Finalist receive 1:1 Pitch Coaching

March 31
Live Pitch in Front of Judges includes Q&A and announcement of winners


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 08/09 March 2022, 1:1 Pitch Coaching, and the Live Pitch Session on 31 March 2022
  • Pitch Coaches, Judges are not eligible to apply


Let us know if you have any questions.

Send a message

Day 1 English Session

Day 1: March 8, 2022
Event Time: 10:50 AM – 3:30 PM

Location: Online ZOOM (Access Here)

March 8 Event Timeline [ENGLISH]
10:50 AM Speakers for Workshop 1 Login to Platform
11:00 – 11:03 Welcome – by Frances Delsol (3 min)
Land Acknowledgement
Program Overview and Guests Participating
Facilitator Introductions
11:03 – 11:05 AM Introduction to workshop 1

MC: Frances Delsol

11:05 – 12:00 PM Workshop 1 – Understanding your Motives and Purpose

with Olutoyin Oyelade

12:00 – 12:02 PM Wrap up to workshop 1

MC: Frances Delsol

12:02 – 12:30 PM Lunch Break for Participants
12:20 PM Panelists join early
12:30 – 12:32 PM Introduction to workshop 2

MC: Frances Delsol

12:32 – 12:53 PM Workshop 2
Business Model Canvas
with Tka Pinnock
12:53 – 1:15 PM Workshop 2
Business Model Canvas: Breakout Rooms
1:15 – 1:45 PM Workshop 2
Business Model Canvaswith Tka Pinnock
1:45 – 1:58 PM Joint Q↦A
1:58 – 2:00 PM Wrap up to workshop 2

MC: Frances Delsol

2:00 -2:02 PM Introduction to workshop 3

MC: Fran Delsol

2:02 – 3:25 PM Workshop 3 Branding, Digital Marketing, and Social Media
with Brendan Boyd
Marketing w/ BrandEQ Agency
3:25 – 3:30 PM Closing remarks
Frances (Thanks, Overview of Tomorrow’s agenda)
3:30 PM Event Ends

Day 2 English Session

Day 2: March 9, 2021
Event Time: 10:15 AM – 2:30 PM

Location: Online ZOOM (Access here)

March 9 Event Timeline [ENGLISH]
10:15 AM Workshop 4 Speakers Login to Platform
10:30 AM Welcome – by Nadine Spencer (3 min)
Land Acknowledgement
Program Overview and Guests Participating
Facilitator Introductions
10:33 – 10:35 AM Introduction to workshop 4

MC: Nadine Spencer

10:35 AM – 11:20 AM Part 1: Design Thinking
with Eiko Kawano, Kristina Rostorotsky & Liam Thurston
Product Design Leadership @ Loblaws
11:20 – 12:10 PM Part 2: eCommerce 101: eComm platform options, basic marketing tools, order management, and fulfillment tips & tricks, and more
with Derrick Khoo, Brandan Soucie, and Jerrold Litwinenko
Marketing/Growth @ Loblaws
12:10 – 12:15 PM Wrap up workshop 4

MC: Nadine Spencer

12:15 – 1:00 PM Lunch Break for Participants
12:50 PM Workshop 5 Networking Panelist Join Early
1:00 – 1:02 PM Welcome Back and introduction to workshop 5

MC: Nadine Spencer

1:02 PM – 2:30 PM Workshop 5: RBC
Planning and Financial Literacy
with Lauren Makaric & David Schuld
2:30 PM – 2:35 PM Wrap up workshop 5

MC: Nadine

2:35 PM Closing remarks
Nadine Spencer
Next steps + Timeline
3:30 PM Event close

Program workshops

Those who make it to Stage 2 of the program will be invited to participate in a series of workshops on March 8 + 9. Led by industry experts, these workshops are designed to help participants sharpen their pitches and develop skills they can use to grow their businesses.

March 8

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

March 9

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