Network of Untapped Entrepreneurs commits $5 million for next generation of Canadian Black entrepreneurs
Ex-Raptor Jerome Williams supports Canadian organization BETA-i in removing barriers to success
TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Helping aspiring BIPOC entrepreneurs overcome barriers to success, the Black Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Incubator (BETA-i) has partnered with former Toronto Raptor and founder of Alumni Pro Global Sports, Jerome “JYD” Williams, and the Network of Untapped Entrepreneurs (NUE).
“Today we are pleased to announce NUE has committed $5 million in funding for BETA-i’s Canadian entrepreneurship-in-residence program. This funding announcement kicks off a five-year joint venture with BETA-i and NUE,” said Jerome Williams, who is a BETA-i Ambassador.
NUE’s mission is to invest in and grow the network of untapped BIPOC entrepreneurs to support the growth of BIPOC-owned businesses and push the economic growth engine for BIPOC communities. In addition to expanding BETA-i’s Canadian program, with today’s funding announcement, NUE will bring the BETA-i program to BIPOC entrepreneurs in the United States. In addition to private investors, NUE is also supported by Alumni Pro Global Sports (APGS). APGS advisors and investors include NBA Hall of Famers Julius “Dr. J” Erving, George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo, and Mitch Richmond, and NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.
“While inroads have been made in the last year to foster a more inclusive environment for business and entrepreneurship, there is more work to be done in addressing the systemic barriers that disproportionately affect Black business owners. BETA-i is creating a foundation for future generations of BIPOC entrepreneurs to thrive and I am happy to do my part to support Canadian business owners in fulfilling their dreams,” Williams added.
BETA-i is the first Canadian, non-profit organization to use the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) model and adapt it to meet the needs of BIPOC entrepreneurs. Headquartered in Toronto, the organization’s entrepreneurship-in-residence program equips aspiring business owners with the tools to locate, acquire, manage and grow a privately held company. It is working with its inaugural cohort of five participants to provide one-on-one mentorship and coaching as they actively pursue business acquisitions, along with connecting them to industry professionals with the necessary business expertise. Among its partner roster is McMillan LLP, a leading business law firm serving public, private and not-for-profit clients globally and the Business Development Bank of Canada the financial institution devoted to supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.
“We know more work needs to be done to drive equity and diversity in the business world, and that’s why we’re inspired to support the BETA-i initiative. McMillan’s commitment is more than financial. We will help BETA-i’s Black and IPOC entrepreneurs navigate the legal and regulatory challenges they face and offer training and mentorship. Our contribution is one small way our firm can work to remove the barriers that disproportionately affect BIPOC entrepreneurs,” said Paul Davis, a partner with McMillan LLP.
“BDC is committed to addressing the long-standing inequalities holding Black businesses owners back and we are excited to work with BETA-i on this program because it addresses a unique gap in the Black business community: business acquisition,” said Chelsea Prescod, Regional Manager, Client Diversity, BDC. “We look forward to providing mentorship and resources to help the first cohort on their journey and inspiring others to consider different paths to entrepreneurship.”
McMillan LLP and Business Development Bank of Canada join the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) – a non-profit promoting diversity supply chains in Canada – and the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) – a non-profit Indigenous business enabler in their support of Beta-i. These organizations continue to be important and valued partners of Beta-i.
“Creating inclusive opportunities is integral to the growth of the Canadian entrepreneurship space and the national economy as a whole,” says Joe Halstead, Board Chair at BETA-i. “BIPOC entrepreneurs continue to be impacted by systemic barriers that impede their opportunities for success and are difficult to navigate alone. BETA-i aims to level the playing field by mitigating entrepreneurship risks and providing business owners with the tools, knowledge and access to services to support their opportunities for success.”
Founded in 2020, BETA-i is the first Black-focused incubator in the world and the first search incubator in Canada. It leverages the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) model while addressing the barriers that have traditionally hindered Black and IPOC entrepreneurial success. BETA-i offers exclusive training, coaching, resources, support in financing, and world-class expertise in search funding as a proud member of the global search fund community. To apply to BETA-i or to financially support the evolution of Black entrepreneurship, visit betaicanada.org.
Network of Untapped Entrepreneurs (NUE) is an impact investment initiative focused on closing economic wealth gaps by supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs with a Shared Platform of resources necessary to accelerate the growth of their enterprises. For more information, please visit nue.fund.