New entrepreneurship program being offered to aid Niagara-based Black-owned businesses

Photo by: Mikelya Fournier on Unsplash

An entrepreneurship program to aid St. Catharines-based Black-owned businesses get on their feet is currently in the works.

Together, Future Black Female and Blackowned905 are partnering to create the “Marketplace Bootcamp” program, dedicated to searching for and aiding female Black-owned businesses in Niagara, run by women between the ages of 18 to 25 years old.

Once an established business is selected, the program will allow them to have a storefront inside of the Corbloc located on King Street in downtown St. Catharines. Selected businesses will also be given the opportunity to go through training, which will provide information on marketing and running and business. Selected establishments will also be able to keep all of the money earned at the store.

Those who operate within the storefront will have limited time to run their business, as vendors will shift throughout the program.

By offering select female Black-owned businesses the opportunity to open their company to Niagara for a limited time, Tapo Chimbganda, executive director of Future Black Female, hopes that these businesses will be ready to branch out and establish their own space. Chimbganda also hopes to offer Black-owned businesses opportunities which are not always available to them.

“When we look at it, a lot of grants and programs aren’t catering to Black businesses,” said Chimbganda in an article by Niagara this Week. “When they are, it’s with very limited resources and it’s just a one size fits all type thing because of limited resources.”

However, the “Marketplace Bootcamp” is working to change this.

Those interested in taking part of the program must be able to commit 25 to 40 hours a week, including Saturdays. Additionally, organizations should have an established business plan which they will be able to share with Future Black Female and Blackowned905, who will be implementing the selection process.

Future Black Female is a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding the educational and occupational paths of Black girls and women between the ages of 16 to 22. The organization also aids these young women in taking charge of their social, political and civic engagement.

BlackOwned905 is a movement that strives to aid and support Black-owned businesses in Niagara and surrounding areas. The organization hosts local and virtual markets to showcase and support local Black entrepreneurs, while also using their Facebook platform to share Black-owned businesses and events with the community.

For more information on Marketplace Bootcamp, be sure to visit Blackowned905’s newsletter. For additional information regarding Black-owned businesses both in St. Catharines and Canada, visit

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