Black Founders Network – Career Advancement Program
Bridging the gap between Black youth seeking job opportunities and Black-owned businesses in need of skilled talent.
About the BFN Career Advancement Program
The Black Founders Network (BFN) Black Career Advancement Program (BCAP) provides tailored employment readiness support to equip Black youth with the necessary skills and knowledge for various career pathways and fill hiring gaps facing the Black-led companies in the ecosystem. In addition to connecting Black youth to opportunities, Black-led startups will benefit from financial support through the provision of $4,000 hiring grants to up to 70 Black-led companies registered on our job board.
This program is delivered in partnership with the Federation of Black Canadians and is supported, in part, by the Ministry of Citizenship & Multiculturalism and their Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP) which works towards eliminating systemic, race-based disparities by increasing opportunities for Black youth across the province.
Select the category that best identifies you for quick access to BCAP resources and more:
- Tailored employment readiness support and training to help you launch and advance your career.
- Access to paid work placements facilitated and funded by BFN
- Access to BFN job board that hosts over 250 Black-led companies
- Sign up to enjoy free access to our job board. Post job openings hassle-free, connecting directly with qualified, motivated Black talent. Streamline your recruitment, contribute to diversity, and find the perfect match for your team effortlessly.
- Benefit from our financial support of providing $4,000 hiring grants to up to 70 Black-led companies registered on our job board — easing the financial burden associated with hiring while providing valuable opportunities to Black youth.
- Please Note: Registering for the BFN Job Board does not automatically guarantee that you’ll be awarded a $4,000 hiring grant. Interested companies will have to apply by 5 pm November 09, 2023. See below for eligibility and how to apply.
$4,000 Hiring Grants
- Black-led Startups: Companies must be Black-led, meaning they have Black founders or executives in significant leadership roles within the organization. Priority will be given to small an early-stage startups.
- Location: Must have operations in Ontario Province
- Legitimate Businesses: Companies must be registered (sole proprietorship or incorporated). You must have a CRA business number and a payroll account prior to applying for the grant as you will be required to administer payroll directly to the youth if selected. You can learn more about opening a payroll account here.
- Alignment with BFN Values: Companies should align with the values of the BFN community, promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for Black talent.
- BFN Job Board: Must have registered and updated your company profile on the BFN Job Board. You can apply to join the job board here.
- Career Fair: Be willing and available to participate in the BFN Career Fair (tentatively scheduled for mid-January)
- Quality work experiences for Black youth: The job(s) you create must offer a salary above the provincial minimum wage. You are expected to have a plan in place to retain the hired youth as an employee even after the conclusion of the BCAP agreement. This retention can be in the form of full-time or part-time work. Additionally, a well-defined supervision plan is required, focusing on task-oriented guidance tailored to the specific job activities.
- Skill Development Opportunity for Black Youth: Demonstrated commitment to providing skill development opportunities specifically tailored to empower Black youth. If selected, you will be required to use the BCAP Employment & Learning Plan with the Black youth you hire to identify the skills that will be developed during their work placement and outline a clear strategy for enhancing the skills and capacities.
- Strategic Business Impact: Clearly articulate why and how hiring Black youth through the $4,000 grant will benefit your business. Outline specific ways in which the addition of these individuals to your team will enhance productivity, innovation, or market presence.
- October 20 – Applications Open – October 20
- November 17 – Applications Close at 5pm.
- Late November to Early December – Grant Recipients Selected and Notified
- December 15 – Deadline to Submit Employer Agreement (contract between your company & BFN)
- December to February – Youth Recruitment
- Mid-January – Career Fair
- March 15 – Deadline to Submit Employment Contract (between your organization and the youth).
- August 30 – Portion of work placement facilitated by BFN ends. While the portion facilitated by BFN ends by August 30, we encourage you to explore other funding options to retain the youth for a longer term.
- September 01 to 30 – Post-Program Evaluation
Submit your application by 5:00 pm on November 17, 2023.
- Who can access the job board on BFN as an employer? The job board is accessible to Black-led startups, defined as companies with Black founders or executives in significant leadership roles within the organization.
- Where should the company be based to qualify for the job board? The company can be based and operate anywhere, but the Founders must be based in Canada as per BFN’s mandate to support Black founders in Canada. Please that you must be based and have operations in Ontario if you intend to apply for and leverage the $4,000 hiring grant from BFN’s Career Advancement Program.
- What kind of businesses are eligible? Eligible businesses must be registered, either as sole proprietorships or incorporated entities.
- How many job openings should a company have to register? Companies must have at least one active job opening at the time of registration. Alternatively, they can demonstrate their intention to have a forthcoming vacancy, ensuring continuous engagement with our applicants.
- What other criteria do you look for in companies applying to join the job board? Participating companies should align with the values of the BFN community, promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for Black talent, and maintain a positive, inclusive, and respectful work environment. Additionally, they should demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices, reflecting social and environmental responsibility.
- What type of job opportunities can I post on the job board? You can post job opportunities that align with the skill gaps your company needs to fill. These opportunities should provide fair compensation and growth potential. We encourage a wide range of positions across various industries, promoting diversity and inclusivity in entrepreneurship and various sectors.
- Is there a cost associated with posting job opportunities on the job board? There is no cost
- How can I ensure a diverse pool of candidates for my job postings? BFN is committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity. We encourage you to provide a detailed job description that is void of coded bias and emphasizes your commitment to equal employment opportunities. Additionally, our platform attracts a diverse community of talented Black youth, ensuring a broad pool of candidates for your job postings.
For Job Seekers
- How can I leverage the job board as a job seeker? To access the job board, simply visit our Job Board. You can opt to receive email alerts with new jobs that match your preferences and start exploring the diverse job opportunities available. Customize your search based on your skills, career aspirations, and location preferences.
- Can I customize my job search? Yes, you have the flexibility to customize your search based on your skills, career goals, and location preferences. Tailor your job hunt to find positions that match your unique qualifications and aspirations.
- What kind of job opportunities are available? Our job board hosts a diverse range of job opportunities. Explore various fields and industries to find the perfect match for your skills and ambitions. Start your journey to a rewarding career today.
- What other perks come with being a part of the BFN Talent Network? You gain access to job opportunities from over 250 Black-led companies, including 70 funded by BFN. You also receive employment readiness support and training to help you launch and advance your career, and exclusive access to large-scale conferences like Collision, Elevate Festival and BFUTR; the perfect opportunity to network with industry leaders, expand your connections, and propel your career forward.
- Who are these placement opportunities designed for? These opportunities are specifically tailored for individuals who identify as Black or of African descent.
- Is there an age requirement for participation? Yes, participants must be between 18 – 35 years old to qualify for these opportunities.
- Do I need to be a resident of a specific location to apply? Yes, applicants must be residents of the Ontario Province to be eligible for these placements.
- Are there mandatory workshops as part of the program? Yes, Black youth interested in these placements must actively participate in employment readiness workshops provided by BFN and our delivery partners. These workshops are designed to enhance employability and prepare participants for successful job placements.
- What skills and qualifications are necessary? Participants should possess the skills and qualifications relevant to the specific placement opportunity. These requirements will be detailed in the placement description. Upskilling training may also be provided if necessary.
- What is the commitment and availability requirement? Participants must commit to actively engaging in the placement program, attending training sessions and conferences, completing assigned tasks, and participating in required activities. Placements will run during the Winter and Summer 2024 terms. Some employers may retain the youths beyond these work terms based on funding and business needs.
- How long do the work placements typically last? The duration of work placements can vary depending on the specific opportunity and the needs of the participating businesses. Placement durations can range from a few weeks to a maximum of 4 months. The details regarding the duration of each placement will be communicated to participants during the placement recruiting process.
- What conduct is expected from participants during the placements? Participants are expected to exhibit professionalism, adhere to guidelines, rules, and codes of conduct set forth by the employer. Respectful and responsible behaviour is essential throughout the placement period.
- Are there specific requirements for each placement? Yes, depending on the placement employer, there may be additional eligibility criteria or specific requirements communicated to participants during the application process.
- What defines a Black-led Startup for BCAP eligibility? A Black-led Startup must-have Black founders or executives in significant leadership roles within the organization to qualify for BCAP hiring grant. Priority will be given to small an early-stage startups.
- Does the company need to have specific operations location? Yes, companies must have operations in the Ontario Province to be eligible as this program is funded by in part, by the Ministry of Citizenship & Multiculturalism and their Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP) which works towards eliminating systemic, race-based disparities by increasing opportunities for Black youth across the province.
- What registration status is required for businesses applying for the grant? Companies must be registered, either as sole proprietorships or incorporated entities. A CRA business number and a payroll account are mandatory prior to applying. You can find information on opening a payroll account here.
- Is registration on the BFN Job Board mandatory? Yes, companies must have registered and updated their company profiles on the BFN Job Board to be considered eligible. You can apply to join the job board here.
- Should companies be available for the BFN Career Fair? Yes, companies need to be willing and available to participate in the BFN Career Fair, tentatively scheduled for mid-January.
- What is the expected salary level for the jobs created through the grant? The jobs created must offer a salary above the provincial minimum wage to be eligible for the BCAP grant.
- How should businesses explain the impact of hiring Black youth through the grant? Companies need to clearly articulate how hiring Black youth through the $4,000 grant will benefit their business. They should outline specific ways in which these individuals will enhance productivity, innovation, or market presence within the organization.
- How many hours per week are the work placements expected to be? The work placements are typically expected to be part-time, ranging from 5 to 30 hours per week due to the limited funding. The exact hours will depend on the specific placement and and will be decided by the company based on their needs company needs.
If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact our Program Coordinator, Justina Kanza (email@example.com).
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