First and largest ever national market study of Black Women founders in Canada

Using market research and analytical insights to enable growth in Black Women owned organizations and businesses

Why this study

Why Pitch Better developed the FoundHers Research Report

Frustrated by the lack of black founders start-ups in Canadian incubators/accelerators or in other local innovation ecosystem events, the aim of this report is to help address the data gap issues and the lack of market information available for black-led / black-serving women’s organizations in Canada.

1545

Black women founders surveyed

126

Focus group participants

18

Members of the research team

This report reveals

The significant barriers that affect Black women founders

The barriers affecting Black women in business include: Low credit worthiness, low financial literacy, and social capital deficits

The cost of overlooking Black women

The lack of gender diversity in the Canadian business ecosystem costs $150 Billion annually

The lack of resources available to Black women founders

The market analysis reveals the lack of educational and monetary resources available for Black-led/Black-serving women’s organizations

research insights

The Truth about being a Black Woman Founder in Canada

Our research represents the thousands of data points on Black females founders across Canada. Our goal is ultimately increase the number of capital funded businesses founded by Black Female organizations.

59% of Black women entrepreneurs earn a bachelor's degree or higher

65% reported that they have not secured funding, or have secured less than 50K in external funding

53% have generated less than 50K; and 51% profited less than 25K in the past 12 months

41% of the respondents reported that the global pandemic has significantly impacted their revenue and/or profit

41% of NPO founders indicated that it would take them 1-3 years to repay a loan; and 31% indicated it would take them 4-5 years

33% of Black women founders are familiar with social financing

86% of Black women NPO founders indicated they need less than $250,000 in funding to grow their organizations

42% of NPO founders feel ready to take on investment capital

making businesses more visible

The first interactive dashboard of Black women-owned/led organizations across Canada.

The FoundHers interactive dashboard provides a comprehensive look at the regionality of Black-led organizations across Canada. Investors looking to learn more about the Black women-owned businesses in their province can reach out to Pitch Better directly for more information!

With the help of our research partners, BDC, Canadian Women’s Foundation, and Brock University, the FoundHers team populated this dashboard with information from surveys taken by Black women founders across Canada.


See the dashboard below.

The Regionality of Black Women Founders in Canada

Database information as of 2020.

Turn phone horizontal for best experience. Filter by category and then select list to view the businesses.

Initiated by pitch better

Pitch Better Canada is a start-up focused on developing and scaling small businesses through market research and capacity building.

Most of their work centers around supporting founders from under-represented communities and Black women founders. Since 2019, they have offered pitching advice to over 300 Canadian companies and helped 50 find funding. To address the gaps in the social economy, Pitch Better conducted a national market analysis of entrepreneurs, businesses, social enterprises, non-profits and charities led by Black women.

For investors looking to learn more about the Black women-owned businesses in their province, please reach out to Pitch Better directly for more details.

As seen on

Our National Impact

By participating, founders across Canada helped address the data gap issues and the lack of market information available for black-led / black-serving women’s organizations in Canada.

The FoundHers dashboard used the research data from the nationwide survey and focus groups, in conjunction with the findings of a 2019 report by Chantelle Quow-Craig, MBA, to put business education and financial literacy tools into the hands of entrepreneurs, businesses, social enterprises, non-profits and charities led by Black women. 

 

our community is growing

FoundHers will continue to grow as more founders join our community.

“Pitch Better Inc., an organization we have worked with has our full support an endorsement
of the research and knowledge transfer work in support to elevate the development and advancement of Black women, girls and non-binary individuals.”

- Canadian Women’s Foundation
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“Black women entrepreneurs face an even greater hurdle when it comes to starting and growing their businesses
because they are a part of two underserved markets: women and Black. This intersection makes it even harder to access funding, find role models and support groups.“

- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
"I have had people who did not believe that I could do what I can do.
There seems to be a fundamental mistrust of Black people based on stereotypes. It's been built into people and the way they've been raised and it does not suddenly disappear when you add being a woman to the equation."

- Anonymous Respondent, FoundHers Study 2021
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"Race and gender go hand in hand.
When we walk into a room we are both Black and women simultaneously, you can’t divorce the two."

- Anonymous Respondent, FoundHers Study 2021
Click Here
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Research

The Team Behind the Research

The FoundHers Research team, with the support of our research partners, engaged with over 1500 Black women founders across Canada in a nationwide online survey, and conducted interviews with 500 subjects via virtual focus groups for qualitative dialogue on the Black women founder experience.

Abbigale Comfort

Brand Strategist and Website Developer
Abbigale, is a Web Designer and Brand Strategist for purpose-driven female entrepreneurs. Her mission is to raise the bar for women entrepreneurs to operate in their gifts, lead with impact, and build powerhouse brands with purpose and influence.
In 2014, Abbigale opened her digital doors and launched Be of Good Comfort Designs, a branding agency that focuses on enhancing the visual presence of women-led brands. Since then she has helped numerous female bosses create impactful visual experiences that increase their credibility, visibility and income through strategic branding and web design.

Adeela Carter

Marketing and Communications Lead
Adeela Carter is the founder of Carter Strategy Group, a global consulting firm that specializes in strategic planning and business development. With her expertise in network marketing, brand development, and strategy,
Adeela has shaped and aided in the growth of global corporations, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and influencers, resulting in extraordinary achievements and the exceedance of business goals. Throughout her years of consulting, Adeela identified a gap in the funding opportunities and resources available specifically for women entrepreneurs. This prompted her to co-create Pitch Better Inc., a Canadian based market research firm where she is the Head of Marketing and Communications. Pitch Better Inc.’s focus is to use data and strategic insights to help diverse women founders make informed decisions regarding their businesses. Over the course of her career, Adeela has been featured in several media publications such as Forbes, Flare Magazine, and Refinery29. She has hosted fireside chats for the United States Black Chambers Inc. in Washington DC, and moderated panels at both Build Your Own Brand Conference in Atlanta and The Caribbean Women’s Power Lunch in Trinidad and Tobago. Adeela prides herself on her ability to build connections with individuals and businesses, while empowering others to do the same.

Alicia Smith

Community Manager
Alicia is a marketing professional with a background in finance, who is motivated by creativity and driven by data. As a direct mail coordinator with World Vision Canada, she manages and executes highly complex direct marketing campaigns.
Alicia also develops direct marketing strategies and performs post-mortem campaign analysis. Additionally, she is the Community Manager for Pitch Better and the Founder of Imagine Woman – a social initiative that recognizes and supports Caribbean Canadian women. Alicia holds a BSc in Marketing from the University of the West Indies (Jamaica) and a Post Graduate in Digital Media Marketing from George Brown College (Toronto).

Amoye Henry

Research Project Manager
Amoye is an entrepreneur and small business consultant who is on a mission to help scale growth-based businesses led by unique founders, usually the underdogs. In 2018, she was named one of Canada’s top 100 Accomplished Black Women.
Through enticing pitches and building strong brand partnerships, she secured approximately $5M in funding for local entrepreneurs, start-ups and community organizations. In addition to running Pitch Better, she is the co-founder and Executive Producer of the AfroChic Cultural Arts Festival. She is currently completing her Executive MBA at Ivey Business School where she is on track to graduate in June 2021.

Anteneh Ayanso, PhD

Academic Research Team
Dr. Ayanso holds a PhD in Management Information Systems from the University of Connecticut, an MBA in Supply Chain Management and Finance from Syracuse University, and a BA in Business Management and Accounting from Addis Ababa University.
Dr. Ayanso’s research focuses primarily on data management, business analytics, electronic commerce, and electronic governance. He is the founding director of the Centre for Business Analytics (CBA) at Brock University. Dr. Ayanso teaches Business Analytics, Database Design and Management, Data Mining Techniques & Applications and Management of IS/IT. Dr. Ayanso received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Graduate Professor of the Year, and Departmental Researcher of the Year Award from the Goodman School of Business, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship.

Brian Mokaya, MSc

Research Associate
Brian is a senior consultant at Microsoft with expertise in research methods, data handling and manipulation, and vast experience working with Office 365 tools. Over the last 10 years, Brian worked in the consulting space in various sectors.
His consulting sectors include financial, manufacturing, government and retail. Brian’s background has prepared him to understand and work comfortably and effectively in a wide range of industries and environments. Through his work with various customers, Brian has led numerous teams to successful Information Technology implementations that ultimately lead to more efficient workspaces.

Carla Beauvais

Francophone Facilitator & Bilingual Translator
Carla Beauvais has made diversity and inclusion a priority. Columnist and social entrepreneur, she has campaigned for more than 20 years for a better representation and emancipation of black and marginalized communities.
With an authentic approach, she’s now continuing her commitment by equipping leaders to foster better inclusive climate. A graduate from Cornell University, she‘s raising awareness on the competitive and human advantages of creating more inclusive spaces. Her method consists in offering guidelines and solutions based on a deep analysis of unconscious biases and leadership. Carla Beauvais is also a social entrepreneur whose purpose is to build innovative ecosystems that can help empower and promote melanated communities. In 2017, she co-founded The Fondation Dynastie and the Gala Dynastie. In 2019, she co-founded 0rjin Vilaj — an initiative who want to regroup melanated people towards a collaborative goal: unite and prosper.

Chantelle Quow-Craig, MBA

Risk Management & Business Intelligence Analyst
Chantelle has over ten years of experience across multiple functional areas including: mentorship and coaching, strategy design, financial analysis, market research, management training and development, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
She has been involved in studies that look at the challenges faced by the BIPOC community when navigating the entrepreneurial terrain in North America. Chantelle has an MBA in Strategic Management from Wilfrid Laurier University and a BA in Business Economics – Economic Analysis and Statistical Methods from York University. Her consulting focuses on strategic business development, key marketing and strategy initiatives to meet business needs and improve firm performance.

Karlena Waugh

SME Consultant
With a diverse background in community building, Karlena utilizes these skills to effortlessly build rapport with clients, create a sense of community, and nurture strong business relationships.
Through her event planning company (Mini K Creations), Karlena aims to create memorable experiences for her clients and spaces for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses and build relationships across industries. ⁣⁣She is also a community leader of a monthly event and group of creatives and entrepreneurs (The Biz Mixer) focused on resource-sharing, collaboration, and peer-learning.

Nana Moore

Launch Consultant
CPA turned Launch Consultant Nana Moore has helped trailblazing entrepreneurs grow thriving online businesses with automated marketing funnels, launches, webinars, and automated systems.
She’s spent over a decade managing millions of dollars for large world renowned corporations and leading high performance teams. Her diverse experience in corporate leadership roles and the digital marketing online space provides her with a unique vantage point of understanding the implications of marketing and operational activities across one’s entire organization. As a self-proclaimed tech nerd she can be found creating winning launches and automated funnels at theopscollective.com.

Natasha Smith

Social Impact Lawyer
Natasha Smith is a partner in the Social Impact Group at Miller Thompson, with a practice dedicated to providing practical legal advice to charities and non-profits, exclusively. In an effort to ensure that these organizations achieve their missions
and mandates successfully, Natasha assists these entities with a variety of matters including corporate governance and tax compliance. Natasha’s practice focuses on helping her clients to determine the best structure for their organization and to navigate the complex regulatory environment in which they operate. Specifically, she provides tailored advice on various issues including incorporation and charitable registration, operating in foreign jurisdictions, structuring complex gift agreements, reporting, and general compliance under legislation governing the voluntary sector. Natasha has experience structuring merger and asset-transfer transactions between non-share capital corporations, advising on social enterprise and social finance ventures, and facilitating corporate re-organizations.

Nicole Antoine

Marketing & Communications Specialist
Nicole has made diversity and inclusion a priority over the last decade through social entrepreneurship. She has facilitated workshops, town hall discussions and delivered presentations on community racial disparities.
Her educational background in Political Science, History and Law, positions her to have a global understanding and perspective that is substantiated by facts and reason. She is the CEO and Co-founder of Four Brown Girls (FBG) – a collective changing the narrative and creating space for Black women and immigrant women alike to share, grow, invest, encourage, support and speak up.

Princely E. Ifinedo, PhD

Associate Professor, Brock University
Dr. Ifinedo’s work has an extensive focus on quantitative research approaches and adoption of technologies in small-sized organizations. His expertise is useful in supporting data collection efforts of the proposed knowledge hub.
Dr. Ifinedo holds a Ph.D. in Information Systems (IS) from University of Jyväskylä, Finland, an MBA from the Royal Holloway, University of London, UK, an M.Sc. from Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, a B.Sc. from the University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, and a Diploma in Education from University of British Columbia, Canada. He sits on the board of various IS journals and is affiliated with academic professional organizations and bodies such as AIS and ASAC.

Rachael Baptiste

Operations Coordinator
Rachael is currently studying to complete her PMP in Q1 of 2021. She has supported various teams in the Toronto Entertainment Industry such as Sauce Parlour, Crown Management and many others.
Her ability to ensure seamless transitions between all team projects, streamlined scheduling, project coordination and exceptional communication is unmatched. Currently, she is the Director and Founder of Crown Management, project support for Hightower Safety Supplies Inc. and will be starting her project management consultancy by Q2.

Sarah Juma

Strategic Human Resources
Sarah is a serial entrepreneur and champion for diversity and inclusion. While developing StyleID, a mobile app that identifies items worn and seen on screen, she discovered a lack of programs and mentors that took into account her unique perspective
In true entrepreneurial fashion, Sarah launched the not-for-profit Innovate Inclusion to advocate for the economic success of tech talent and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities. After getting her BA from the University of Waterloo, Sarah became a consultant specializing in strategic human resources management for the growth and development of strong companies. Sarah is a recipient of Canada’s top 25 Women of Influence award.

Stella Igweamaka, MBA

Research Facilitator & Analyst
Stella is a market and economic research professional with over 5 years experience. She worked with KPMG as a Research & Insights Executive and has also worked with Kantar as a Senior Research Analyst. Stella has an MBA from the University of Lagos.
She obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Covenant University in Nigeria. She is passionate about making a significant impact by interpreting data and uncovering insights. She volunteers with Slum2school – an organisation focused on providing educational scholarships & other support for disadvantaged children in slums.

Zamani Thomas

Intellectual Property Attorney and Corporate Affairs Legal Consultant
Zamani Thomas is a U.S. licensed trademark attorney and listed US trademark Attorney of Record with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for vast number of clients.
After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from The University of Mississippi, Zamani Thomas moved to South Florida. He attended Florida International University and enrolled in the Master’s of Economics Program. Following that he attended St. Thomas University School of Law and received his Juris Doctorate degree along with a joint Master’s in Sports Management. Currently Zamani is the Managing Attorney of Zamani Thomas Legal and his practice areas are entertainment, music, media and intellectual property law. Mr. Thomas is also a consultant for entertainment professionals in the music and media industry in Toronto, Ontario Canada and the Caribbean. Mr. Thomas’s client list is vast and includes influential artists, actors and industry professionals from around the world.

Zelalem Fantahun, MSc

Data Scientist
Zelalem is an experienced computational linguist and data analyst with a demonstrated expertise in research and implementation. He has a proven track record in applying cutting-edge technologies to solve data-driven problems.
They include extracting information from biomedical publications, web mining, Named Entity Tagging, Semantics, etc. Zelalem has over 4 years of experience in applying machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to solve real-world problems both in industry and academia. He received his first Information Systems degree from Addis Ababa University and his second degree from the same university. After moving to Canada, he studied Big Data at York University.

We want to hear from you.

We encourage all Black women founders to reach out to contribute ideas, thoughts and experiences that will help address the data gap issues and the lack of market information available for black-led / black-serving women’s organizations in Canada. Join the community and get access to the full report.

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