Social entrepreneurship has become a rapidly-growing approach to business, and for a good reason – social entrepreneurs are pioneers focused on tackling some of the world’s biggest societal issues. Fuelled by Unilever Canada, the Black Innovation Program’s (BIP) Social Impact Stream is a 6-month virtual business incubator program designed to help Black entrepreneurs scale operations, make lucrative industry connections, and build sustainable solutions to maximize their impact on Canadian communities. Over the course of the 6-month program, socially-driven organizations are equipped with the tools, mentorship and community needed to generate company growth, while accelerating their ability to create meaningful change and contribute to their core mission.
With more than 400 iconic brands in over 100 countries, Unilever’s vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business, and demonstrate why having a purpose-led, future-fit business model can contribute to superior performance. The organization focuses on unlocking capacity through agility and digital transformation, and aims to be a beacon for diversity, inclusion, and values-based leadership.
A select cohort of 15 Black-led social enterprises will receive access to:
Here's what your journey will look like in the BIP Social Impact Stream.
If your business is eligible, submit your application by August 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
Applicants who are accepted into the program will be notified by September 15, 2021.
The 6-month program begins on September 20, 2021 and runs until March 2022 with a 2-week break at the end of December.
The DMZ Black Innovation Program (BIP) Social Impact Stream is a 6-month virtual business incubator program fuelled by Unilever to help Black entrepreneurs with a social mission and purpose to scale operations, make lucrative industry connections, and build sustainable solutions to maximize their impact on Canadian Communities.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must:
No. There is no participation fee required to be a part of the program.
This is a part time program. Participants should expect to commit two to three hours a week to gain full benefits of the program.
The BIP Social Impact Stream is a 6-month, part time virtual program that consists of workshops, mentorship, peer-to-peer sessions, and guidance from DMZ Program Leads.
Over the course of the program, participants will also receive:
Together, Unilever Canada and the DMZ will distribute up to $70,000 in grants over two cohorts. Up to $35,000 in grant funding will be distributed to participants of the program’s first cohort (September 2021).
During the program graduation and Demo Day, program participants will pitch their companies to a panel of judges for an opportunity to secure grant funding. More information on the grant prize amounts will be available soon.
Yes, applicants who are not selected for the September 2021 cohort are welcome to apply for future programs should they meet eligibility criteria.
Applicants who are not selected to be a member of the September 2021 cohort will still be granted access to online learning content and video resources from workshops covered in the BIP Social Impact Stream’s core programming. Workshops include: Design Thinking 101, Selling for Social Enterprise, Brand & Marketing, Getting your Legal in Order, Setting up Your Finances for Success, Business Modelling, Pitching and Storytelling, and the Fundamentals of Raising Capital.
The Black Innovation Program’s Social Impact stream is funded by Unilever Canada with programming administered by the DMZ.
Not sure if you qualify for this program or want to learn more? Get in touch with our Recruitment Lead here.