Congratulations to the twelve U of T innovators and entrepreneurs selected to receive BFN Smart Start Awards.

The Black Founders Network (BFN) hosted an exclusive ceremony at KPMG to honour and announce the exceptional winners of the Inaugural BFN Smart Start Awards. This prestigious accolade recognizes and celebrates the entrepreneurial potential of 12 outstanding individuals, whose innovative business ideas have earned them financial support and invaluable opportunities for growth.

Alison Rose (centre) is a Partner, Life & Pensions Actuarial Practice at KPMG Canada.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship from KPMG, each recipient was awarded $4,000 CAD, which will play a crucial role in helping them transform their visions into reality. In addition to financial backing, these deserving entrepreneurs will also benefit from personalized mentorship provided by BFN mentors and professionals at KPMG. This guidance and expertise will be instrumental in nurturing their entrepreneurial journeys and facilitating their success.

The support for these aspiring founders goes beyond funding and mentorship. The 2023 Smart Start Award recipients will gain access to BFN Core programming, designed to enhance their capacity building, as well as co-working spaces located in Toronto’s vibrant innovation district. They will also be welcomed into a thriving and supportive community, comprising peers, mentors, allies, investors, and operators, who will contribute to their ongoing development and provide a valuable network of connections to build and scale their ventures.

BFN extends its deepest gratitude to KPMG for sharing its mission to support founders in the early stages of their ventures. This collaboration demonstrates the significance of BFN’s mandate of providing the right mix of capital, capacity building, and community to empower aspiring entrepreneurs.

To commemorate the achievements of the 12 Smart Start Award recipients and showcase their inspiring stories, BFN invites everyone to join in celebrating their success at the upcoming Summer Showcase event on June 16. This event will provide an opportunity to congratulate the winners in person and hear directly from them about their ventures. RSVP for the Summer Showcase here.

2023 Award Recipients

Get tickets to the BFN Summer Showcase on June 16.