BACEL – Empowering Canadian Black Entrepreneurs

The pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black Canadians economically in employment and entrepreneurship. Even before 2020, minority and newcomer populations faced structural barriers to starting a small business, pursuing self-employment or finding work.

It’s time to change the trajectory of Black business and economics, with the Black African and Caribbean Entrepreneurship Leadership (BACEL) Training Program. BACEL combines the success of the BBPA’s existing programs with business and life skills training. Through rigorous evaluation, we’ll demonstrate the economic benefits of delivering culturally appropriate, trauma-informed entrepreneurial skills training to marginalized communities.

The Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre funds the BACEL Training Program. FSC invested $1.5 million in the program.

Who is BACEL for?

The nationwide BACEL program serves Black entrepreneurs needing additional business and life skills training. This non-traditional look at entrepreneurship takes an intersectional lens to meet the needs of:

  • Women and gender diverse people
  • Low-income Canadians
  • Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)
  • People with disabilities
  • LGBTQ2s+
  • Other groups who are marginalized


  • Provide access to skills, networking and mentorship for 400-plus Black entrepreneurs over 20 months to strengthen the Black business community.
  • Meet Black businesses’ emerging business and life skill development needs across Canada.
  • Support and address identified barriers such as access to capital and networks, and skills gaps, among others.
  • Develop a robust training program aimed at eliminating achievement gap and helping Black entrepreneurs grow and succeed.
  • Run a national online training program with skilled, professional course facilitators and instructors.
  • Develop and conduct a thorough evaluation process to measure program effectiveness and generate an evidence-based model of entrepreneurship leadership training.


DATA Driven

Measurement, a key BACEL component, involves evaluating its metrics and feedback to determine future training’s best approaches. Over 20 months, we’ll assess:

  • entrepreneurial knowledge
  • skills and experience at the session’s beginning and the end
  • short-term impacts on skills, attitudes and knowledge
  • objective (financial literacy tests) and subjective (self-efficacy, entrepreneurial intent, satisfaction) factors to better understand how entrepreneurship training affects skills development
  • factors associated with readiness to learn, such as self-confidence
  • the needs of Black entrepreneurs, particularly women
  • how training fuels venture creation and traditional employment
  • the number and diversity (age, ethnicity, immigrant status, socio-economic status, education) of applicants, participants and graduates
  • lived experiences and narratives to better understand entrepreneurship’s meaning in the Black community
  • gender and other dimensions to shed light on factors influencing career choices and pathways
  • social networks and counselling on perceptions of success


This training program is open to all Black entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, demographics, genders and capabilities.
This training program is free for all qualifying applicants. The BBPA received funding from the Government of Canada’s Future Skill Centre for the BACEL Training Program.

BACEL is open to Black entrepreneurs 16 years of age or older.

There are no business requirements except the desire to gain additional knowledge and training.
Every participant must complete BACEL’s core course component before entering a specialized stream (for example arts, tech, service industry).

This program is intended for entrepreneurs who identify as Black, African, African Canadian or Afro-Caribbean.

BACEL will include coursework, mentoring, advising and supports. Over the course of the 20 months, there may be opportunities for participants to use their skills through internships or volunteering.
To start, BACEL will be offered as an online training course so the need for differently-abled supports will be minimal. If we move to a combined online/classroom delivery model, we will take all necessary steps to ensure differently-abled supports are in place.
A graduation certificate will be provided to all participants who complete the program.
BACEL is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre (FSC). FSC invested $1.5 million in the program.
FSC is investing in various projects and sector-based initiatives that engage industry associations, employers and others to analyze future labour market needs and design comprehensive skills development approaches to address those needs.
The BBPA is working with the Diversity Institute and Future Skills Centre to establish, run and evaluate the BACEL Training Program.
The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead. The Future Skills Centre was founded by a consortium whose members are Ryerson University, Blueprint, and The Conference Board of Canada, and is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.
The Diversity Institute conducts and coordinates multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder research to address the needs of diverse Canadians, the changing nature of skills and competencies, and the policies, processes and tools that advance economic inclusion and success. Their action-oriented, evidence-based approach is advancing knowledge of the complex barriers faced by underrepresented groups, leading practices to effect change, and producing concrete results.

Our Partners

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt