Toronto, Ontario–(Newsfile Corp. – March 24, 2022) – The Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) starts its second national outreach today for its Business Advisory Implementation Development Services (BAIDS) Program. The campaign’s objective – to strengthen Canada’s Black business community after the devastation of the past two years.
From March 24 to April 2, the BBPA will travel to St. John’s, Fredericton, Montreal, Thunder Bay and Vancouver to connect and support Canadian Black-led businesses.
BAIDS was created to provide Black entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in Canada’s competitive business market. A customized program, it’s designed to empower Black businesses lacking the resources and expertise to execute critical professional functions.
“We were at a point in our business that we needed to expand but we didn’t know how to move forward,” says Willie Ballard and Kevin Bailey, co-owners of Ladies Love Units, a customized wig business. “Being approved for BAIDS was a blessing. We now have a long-term business plan and we’re working with a marketing agency to update our brand, website and social media.”
Business and life partners, Bailey and Ballard established Ladies Love Units in their living room seven years ago. Over the past 4 years they opened a small store and worked to grow their client base. “When our BAIDS projects are complete, we’ll be in a great position to apply for financing to expand our store and hire more staff.”
Since the BBPA’s fall 2021 outreach, 728 Canadian Black businesses applied for support through BAIDS, with 227 active projects providing Black entrepreneurs the services, tools and mentoring they need. In addition, more than 27 established Black professionals currently provide services such as business and financial planning, accounting, tax filing and marketing.
“From the number of applications we received, it’s abundantly clear that Black businesses need support to recover from the pandemic,” says Nadine Spencer, BBPA Acting CEO. “Galvanizing Canada’s Black business ecosystem is one of the best ways of ensuring that the Black community thrives and contributes to the economic recovery we all require.”
Black professionals and experts deliver program services, ensuring all guidance is filtered through a Black lens and address the unique challenges that Black business owners face in today’s business climate.
“This is an amazing program that supports Black businesses from ideation to growth on a pro bono basis.,” says Chris Alexander, CEO of Zhoosh Service Enterprise and BAIDS service provider. “As an established Black business owner, it’s critical that I help other Black businesses grow and scale. We need a thriving Black business community to employ members of our community and to build generational wealth.”
The BAIDS national outreach campaign is intended to strengthen the program and ensure the association understands the needs of all Canadian Black businesses.
“While we have a good grasp of the skills and resources that are needed to succeed in the post-COVID-19 market, different segments of the population have varying specific needs and gaps in resource availability,” says Michael Pinnock, BBPA Treasure. “We want to ensure that we can customize our program specifically to their different situations.”
About the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA):
Founded in 1983, the BBPA is a charitable organization whose mission is to advance Canada’s Black community by facilitating the delivery of programs that support business and professional excellence, higher education, and economic development. Along with the BBPA National Scholarships, the BBPA presents the Annual Harry Jerome Awards, the National Black Business Convention (NBBPC), and workshops and programs at the BBPA Centre of Excellence.
CEO, Black Business and Professional Association