Blueprint: Backing BIPOC Businesses™, is a mentorship and grant program designed to support the advancement of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) business owners across Canada.
In 2021, 100 Blueprint recipients will take part in a comprehensive mentorship program designed to provide the tools, resources and community to help BIPOC entrepreneurs thrive – plus, recipients will receive a $10,000 CAD grant to help take their business to the next level.
Blueprint is powered by the DMZ, in consultation with BIPOC-focused community organizations across Canada. The Blueprint mentorship program is made possible by a grant from the American Express Foundation. Additionally, American Express Canada is contributing $1,000,000 in grants to be disbursed to the 100 selected participants.
Blueprint: Backing BIPOC Businesses received over 1000 applications for the 2021 program. Following a very competitive selection process we are proud to introduce our 100 inaugural participants and want to thank all of the businesses that applied.
Check the FAQs to make sure your business is eligible
Program applications under review.
Selected participants will receive a grant letter by August 17, 2021.
Mentorship program begins August 31, 2021 and runs until December 10, 2021.
To be eligible for Blueprint, an applicant must:
For more information on eligibility, including excluded industries, and the selection process, please refer to the FAQ.
Blueprint: Backing BIPOC Businesses is a mentorship and grant program designed to support the advancement of BIPOC business owners across Canada. The mentorship program is a 15-week virtual program run on a part-time basis consisting of workshops, one-on-one sessions with designated mentors, and networking sessions. The grant program provides selected participants with $10,000 CAD, and requires participation in the mentorship program.
The program consists of workshops, small group sessions, and one-on-one meetings with experienced program mentors focusing on the areas of sales, marketing, operations, and leadership. The program also includes access to Blueprint’s online learning platform as well as virtual networking opportunities. The program is run and supported by leaders and mentors that identify as members of the BIPOC community.
The program is 15-weeks and runs on a part-time basis. Blueprint participants can still work on their business full-time while attending the workshops and meetings required to complete the program. One-on-one meetings will be scheduled based on a participant's availability. If a participant cannot attend a live workshop, recordings will be available. Participants will need to be able to commit to two hours per week.
To be eligible for Blueprint, an applicant must:
To be selected to participate in Blueprint, your business must federally, provincially or territorially incorporated. If the status of your business incorporation changes before the application deadline you are still welcome to apply for Blueprint. While American Express cannot provide business advice, feel free to check out the resources linked below that may be of help to you.
Eligible business owners can apply via this site until July 27, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. For more information on what to expect after you complete your application, please refer to the How it Works section.
No. There is no participation fee to apply or take part in the program.
You will receive access to all elements of the mentorship program as well as individualized support. The individualized support includes an assigned Program Lead from the DMZ who will ensure you are able to access all available resources, answer questions, provide guidance and help troubleshoot any issues you may have.
The program will run virtually and take place anywhere you can connect to the internet.
Applications open June 15, 2021 and close July 27, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Once applications have closed, the Blueprint team will review all submitted applications. Applicants will be contacted to learn if they are moving to the next stage in the selection process via email from DMZ staff by August 17, 2021 informing them of their application’s status.
For applicants moving on to the second stage of the selection process, a staff member from DMZ will reach out via email and schedule an interview where we will ask applicants to confirm details of their business and answer any outstanding questions that arise while the committee reviewed applications.
Selected participants will receive a grant letter by August 17, 2021 and will receive their grants by August 31, 2021.
All eligible applicants will receive access to our learning platform. The platform includes content and advice from subject matter experts and seasoned entrepreneurs.
If you are not selected for the 2021 program, you may have the opportunity to re-apply for future programs as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Blueprint mentorship program is made possible by a grant from the American Express Foundation. Additionally, American Express Canada is contributing $1,000,000 in grants to be disbursed to the 100 selected participants.
The DMZ is administering both the mentorship program and the grant.
Members of the news media interested in learning more about Blueprint: Backing BIPOC Businesses should email their inquiries to email@example.com.
Blueprint: Backing BIPOC Businesses is powered by the DMZ with programming developed in consultation with BIPOC-focused community and business organizations across Canada.