Are you a Black entrepreneur, Black-owned small business or Black-led non-profit or community group, live in Ontario’s Southwest, and have a new tourism idea?
If so, we want to hear from you!
Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization, Southwestern Ontario Black Entrepreneurship Network, Empowerment Squared, WEtech Alliance, Libro Credit Union and the Tourism Innovation Lab have partnered to launch the Ontario’s Southwest Black Tourism “Spark” Program.
Whether you are an individual, a start-up or an established small business or non-profit organization, there can be many challenges and barriers to bringing a new tourism idea, experience, or partnership to fruition.
We want to help. The Ontario’s Southwest Black Tourism “Spark” Program will match selected candidates with a tourism mentor and provide seed funds to help take their new tourism idea to the next level of development.
Our goal is to inspire Black entrepreneurs, Black-owned small businesses, and Black-led non-profit organizations and community groups in Ontario’s Southwest to come forward with creative ideas that will generate new tourism offerings and experiences, and help make the tourism sector more accessible, diverse, equitable and inclusive.
THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 22, 2023
The program includes:
- Call out for applications from Black individuals, Black-owned small businesses, and Black-led non-profit organizations and community groups based in Ontario’s Southwest
- Application reviews by a jury including local and provincial tourism leaders and entrepreneurs (majority of whom are Black)
- Finalists’ Pitch Session (our friendly take on a tourism Dragon’s Den):
- Save the date: Tuesday, January 9 @ 4:00-6:15pm (virtual)
- Selection of 3 winning applicants in Round 1
SELECTED APPLICANTS WILL RECEIVE:
- 3 month mentorship with a tourism innovator, experienced operator, industry leader and/or sector expert
- $3,000 in seed funds to support tourism idea development activities
- $2,000 in tech adoption support and advisory services
- Additional partner support and resources
- Access to a support network of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders
All program applicants will be invited to join our “Spark” community of tourism innovators, idea makers, partners and supporters for special networking events, one-on-one’s, and development workshops.
Visit the Applicant’s Guide for more information