Black entrepreneurs in Quebec will have access to a $10 million fund managed by Black Innovation Capital. (Photo: HEC Montreal)
Entrepreneurship base HEC Montreal has entered into a three-year partnership with Canadian venture capital fund Black Innovation Capital (BIC) to promote black entrepreneurship in Quebec.
As part of this alliance, this HEC Montreal Digital Innovation Center will act as a facilitator so that black entrepreneurs in Quebec, whether or not they are part of a business incubator and accelerator, can submit their applications to BIC. They might also have pieces of the $10 million ($1 million) pie on the table for the entire country.
Manv Buchentov, CEO of La base entrepreneurship company HEC Montréal, said in a phone interview with Business. We will work to ensure that Quebec is represented in this fund. I think it’s important. “
It is estimated that five to ten tech companies that are already part of The Entrepreneurial Base could qualify. However, the final decision on any investment will be made independently by Black Innovation Capital.
Manaf Bouchentov asserts that this type of initiative aims to promote diversity in entrepreneurship and reduce inequality experienced by minorities.
“Entrepreneurs in black communities have less access to financing,” he says. BIC fills this void. This is a new opportunity to access financing.”
Entrepreneur challenges from diverse backgrounds
To (re)read: Entrepreneur Challenges of Diversity
As part of this partnership, Business Information Center leaders will come to Montreal to attend workshops and mentorship for these entrepreneurs, particularly to deepen their knowledge of finance and business plans as minority members. They will also have access to the BIC network, which can open up other doors for venture capital for them.
The CEO of HEC Entrepreneurship La base says that in order to qualify, black entrepreneurs must have an “approved business model and marketplace,” i.e. sales and customers, as well as an established team.
“The money will be used to enhance their technology as well as to be more competitive or aggressive in their markets. It is a fund that expects a return, so it is an important variable. SMEs must demonstrate their ability to generate a return.”
The $10 million fund, called the Innovation Black Fund, was launched by BIC and the Business Development Bank of Canada last June. He is the first Canadian venture capitalist dedicated exclusively to business in the black community. RBC Ventures, Globalive Capital and TELUS Ventures also contributed. Managed by the Bank Information Center, it focuses on pre-series and seed-stage investments in technology SMEs.
“Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie.”