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Ryerson and Dream Maker Ventures team up to break down barriers for black entrepreneurs in Canada

First of its kind initiative pushes for broader inclusion in startup community

December 17, 2018

TORONTO, December 17, 2018 -- Diverse communities continue to face barriers in accessing lucrative entrepreneurship opportunities created by Canada’s burgeoning technology-driven innovation sector. Black entrepreneurs, in particular, encounter steep challenges when starting and growing a business, from accessing seed capital to fewer publicly recognized role models. These challenges can be multiple and magnified for Black immigrants and women. Ryerson University, in collaboration with philanthropist and founder of Dream Maker Ventures Inc. Isaac Olowolafe Jr., is aiming to address these challenges through the creation of the Black Innovation Fellowship (BIF), a first of its kind initiative in Canada. The BIF will support Black entrepreneur-led startups by providing support and mentorship from successful Black professionals, technologists and startup founders, and connect them to wider networks, including the innovation community, alumni and investors. One of those investors—Isaac Olowolafe Jr.—has founded the only venture capital fund in Canada led by a team of Black investors and focused on startups led by diverse founders. The Black Innovation Fellowship is slated to launch in early 2019.


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