RAISE Program/Grant for Indigenous, Black, & Racialized Entrepreneurs

The Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) is partnering with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Parkdale Centre for Innovation (PCI), and Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism (MCM) to deliver and administer the Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) service and grant program.

The RAISE program is a comprehensive grant initiative to support Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs in Ontario to start and scale their business. RAISE provides access to business development training, culturally responsive support services and access to grant funding.

By its targeted design, the RAISE program will promote racial equity, provide opportunities and resources for marginalized groups, and contribute to revitalizing local communities.

The objectives of the RAISE program are to:

  • Increase economic inclusion by supporting the Indigenous, Black and other racialized small business community with one-to-one culturally responsive services
  • Transfer knowledge through relevant online training and business plan mentorship (2 – 10 hours of online and business coaching support)
  • Provide funding to facilitate innovation and growth within the Indigenous, Black and other racialized small business community ($10,000 Grant)


  • Eligible businesses must be 18 years of age or older,
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents currently living and operating their business in Ontario
  • Self-identify as Indigenous, Black or other racialized.
  • Must be registered or incorporated and employ one to 10 full-time employees, including sole proprietorship, and up to 25 employees for businesses in the hospitality sector.

A complete list of eligibility requirements can be found on the Digital Main Street website.

This program can be accessed through the Digital Main Street platform and offers eligible applicants business coaching, comprehensive training and the opportunity to apply for a $10,000 grant to fund individual business transformation plans.

Requirements include completing 2-10 hours of business coaching and completing online training webinars (7 modules, 8 hours in length). Applicants can start the grant process now through the RAISE program link at www.digitalmainstreet.ca/raise.

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