INNOVATE Vancouver

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INNOVATE™ Vancouver

The Black Business Association of BC was founded by Nerissa Allen and Clavia Alleyne out of a need and passion for helping businesses at a critical point of time, when the Covid 19 pandemic was ravaging small businesses. They set out on a journey to not only support businesses through the pandemic, but to create growth strategies and increase market access opportunities that would empower businesses to better navigate crisis in the future.

We are innovating in the space of how nonprofit organizations traditionally run. We’ve implemented a hybrid model at the core of which employs business growth strategies within the non-profit ecosystem. This is what sets us apart. We are creating a sustainable operational model for ourselves using the same impact growth strategies we employ to support our member businesses. We’re doing it with a pulse on global citizenship, we’ve partnered with Radicle to become Climate Smart Certified, along with a cohort of our members.

We launched a proprietary digital platform called Black Biz Global that integrates B2C, B2B, and B2G ecommerce functionalities. We provide “Virtual Commercial Real Estate”, while supporting the diversification of our regional and national supply chains. Black Business Directory and Marketplace

We opened a retail social enterprise called U.E.L, this physical marketplace located on Granville Island in Vancouver offers our members the opportunity to showcase and sell their products from a physical location. The retail learning development along with the brand awareness gained through this exposure is bringing extreme value to both the businesses and the communities at large. U-E-L

The BBABC is a leader in the non-profit business service space because we are innovating the way in which we engage. We are harnessing the power of community spirit through story telling to create a more inclusive society, which in turn drives commerce.

Canadians have been responding and they love what we do. Here are some features of BBABC in the news:

o Black-owned business directory launches in Canada | Watch News Videos Online (
o Black Canadian non-profit opens 1st retail store on Granville Island to help boost community’s profile | CBC News
o This new Granville Island store is a permanent retail space for Black entrepreneurs – BCBusiness
o New Black-owned business directory and marketplace launches in Canada | Venture (
o Jelly Academy Partners with Black Business Association of B.C. to Provide Skills Training Canadian SME Small Business Magazine
o This new store on Granville Island is BC’s first retail space for black entrepreneurs (
o Supporting Black Business Owners | CTV News

We’ve built a passionate team of individuals who are dedicated to the upliftment of the Black community. The BBABC will continue to build on the foundation we’ve built on our mission to support Black owned businesses, drive commerce, and contribute to the Canadian economy.

BBABC is the fertile soil where creative ideas are grown, and businesses thrive. Incorporated in July 2020 to support black businesses and start-ups; and prepare our youth to grow up with an entrepreneurial mindset, the journey has been one of resounding success!

We have spearheaded numerous events and initiatives to date which, together with our programs, services and resources , has helped to position our members to be globally competitive in their various lines of business. Our focal point, amongst other things, is to:

  1. Enable entrepreneurs in the ideation stage to articulate their business ideas and start a new business through:
    o Business plan preparation
    o Business registration support
    o Trainings on Financial cash flows & forecasting, business marketing & tools, entrepreneur skills development, taxes for business
  2. Support small businesses to optimize their potentials as we guide them in the following areas:
    o Loan application
    o Grant application
    o Procurement readiness
    o Selling on Amazon
    o Website development
    o Digital technology adoption
    o Business strategy & growth planning
    o Email marketing & social media
    o Imports and exports
    o Accessing legal advice
    o Negotiating contracts
  3. Empower youth through programs aimed at preparing our youth to identify their innate creative skills and empower them towards carving a path for themselves in the business world. We are very passionate about supporting them to:
    o Brainstorm on product ideas
    o Decide on a concept
    o Create their own products
    o Determine a viable price
    o Display, market and sell their products
    o Evaluate business performance on a regular basis and offer strategic advice through our various workshops

BBABC also showcases our members’ businesses on a regular basis, through our proprietary platform Black Biz Global for ecommerce trade, networking, and collaboration.

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