A Message of Appreciation to Dr. Olutoyin Oyelade, and the entire Management & Staff of the Black Advisory Hub and Casa Foundation Canada

A VOTE OF THANKS by Juliet Kego Ume-Onyido, on behalf of the participants of Entrepreneur Exchange (EE31), and Cohort 4 of the Black Advisory Hub’s Business Accelerator Program.

I’ve never met her, and yet she has been so impactful in my life and in the lives of so many women and youth in Canada, especially blacks and minority groups. A loving shout out to Dr. Olutoyin Oyelade! Wherever you are, may God continue to bless and guide you!

I had shared this post on Twitter on July 24, 2021.

It is not everyday that you get to finally meet a mentor that has inspired and empowered you from afar! I was truly honored to meet Dr. Olutoyin earlier today, and it is such a pleasure to give this vote of thanks as the Valedictorian, on behalf of the participants of Entrepreneur Exchange (EE31), and Cohort 4 of the Black Advisory Hub’s Accelerator Program).

Some of my fellow participants succinctly captured the collective impact of the BAH Business Accelerator program on their lives and businesses.

Keda Edwards Pierre:

“This program is nothing short of transformative. The amount of conscientious effort, time and resources invested into the cohorts by the BAH team and all of the fabulous guest speakers & collaborators – in an inclusive, diverse and empowering environment – is tremendous, well appreciated and has guided me and my business to new heights. Thank you!”

Petra Grant:

“This is an Excellent Program. I have learnt so much in the past 2 months that has been life changing for my business and me. The facilitators are so knowledgeable and full of expertise. I am honored to be a part of BAH.”

Over the course of fourteen weeks, we networked and learned important skills to better start, pivot, manage, and/or scale our businesses. The transformative programs equipped all us as BIPOC Entrepreneurs.

Some of the things that I loved most about the BAH program was the core message from Dr. Olutoyin on the power of having the right growth mindset to build bankable, viable & sustainable enterprises regardless of the challenges we may face as racialized entrepreneurs. And the need for clarity about our vision, values, mission, purpose and partners… During the high immersion and experiential 3-day pitch boot camp, we were all equipped with pragmatic tips, tools, strategies and resources to speak confidently and with expertise about our various businesses/organizations. What an experience!

Once again, a huge thanks to Dr. Olutoyin Oyelade, and the CASA Foundation/BAH Team – Esther Olatunji, Vidhya Jayakumar, Mathy Kandasamy and many others including the alumni from previous cohorts.

We salute the Faculty and Guest Speakers such as the dynamic Cheryl Bedard, Jeffrey Edwards, Prof Odoi Yemoh, Chioma Ogbudimkpa etc., for co-creating a safe and empowering space for us to be vulnerable, ask questions, share, learn, and improve our personal, business and professional skills. We appreciate that the BAH team, faculty and guest speakers were accessible, representative, culturally informed, knowledgeable, always empathetic and encouraging! We also extend our appreciation to the funders, donors and partners like the Federal Government of Canada, TD Bank, FACE Coalition (The Federation of African Canadian Economics),…for making these programs possible. We also thank all the distinguished guests gathered today to celebrate our graduation on such a pivotal day – AFRICA DAY 2023! Thank you Thandiwe Florence Fadane, the Consul General of South Africa in Canada, Latanya Monteith Housen, Regional Manager, Black Community Business Development at TD Bank, Mr. Emmanuel Duodu, President, Ghanaian Canadian Association, Prof. Nancy Adossi, Advisor, Casa Foundation and Researcher UNHCR, Christelle Francois, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships, SFC

Thank you to all our family and friends for your support and understanding throughout this process. And to my wonderful fellow graduates, congratulations again on completing the program! Thank you for enriching our collective learning by generously sharing your wealth of knowledge, skills and lived experiences. This is just the beginning! Let’s continue to soar with purpose, build successful businesses and transform our lives. It is very exciting and humbling to realize that we are now all part of the BAH Alumni network and by extension, the global CASA Foundation Community!

I highly recommended the Black Advisory Hub Business Accelerator program to any BIPOC founder or entrepreneur who is reading, watching or listening. My message is simple, ‘go for it, register; join the next cohort, it will transform your life and business!’ Carpe diem! Daalu! Ese! Nagode! Merci! Thank you!


More about the Black Advisory Hub (BAH):

Black Advisory Hub (BAH) promotes the integration and socio-economic inclusion of Black People. It is Powered by #CasaFoundation for International Development (a Canadian Non-Profit-Organization), and Funded by the Federal Government of Canada. Follow @blackadvisoryhub on Instagram to apply for the next cohort of the Business Accelerator Program.

Congratulations to all the winners of Casa Foundation’s Black Advisory Hub (BAH) Business Accelerator Program Pitch Contest! Whole Woman Network (WWN), is excited and honored to be one of the winning organizations. We would like to extend a special thank you to TD Bank for sponsoring the winning prizes.

Breaking Barriers: 2023 Annual Conference of Women’s Economic Council of Canada

“The Women’s Economic Council is excited to announce that we are hosting an annual conference – Breaking Barriers: Promoting Inclusive BIPOC Leadership and Economic Development – where we will bringing together an amazing group of experts, leaders, and advocates from all over the country to dive deep into the challenges and opportunities facing BIPOC leadership and economic empowerment.” (Source: Women’s Economic Council Website)

(Source: The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation Website)

The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation is participating in the Women’s Economic Council’s (WEC) May 2023 Conference entitled “Breaking Barriers: Promoting Inclusive BIPOC Leadership and Economic Empowerment”. This theme aligns well with our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Business Conversion Project, as it focuses on engaging more members of Equity-Denied Groups (EDGs) i.e. BIPOC, women, youth etc. into the Social Entrepreneurship space. Representatives from CWCF were invited to present at this free, EDG focused online event.  

Presenters Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido and Janielle Maxwell will share their insights on “ The Need, the History, and the Legacy of Social Purpose”. This will involve an overview of CWCF’s JEDI Business Conversion Project (including its objectives, initiatives and events) and a discussion on why a JEDI centered approach to Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs) and the Canadian employment realm- is needed for true transformational change. 

Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido will tackle themes such as the cultural affinity of EDGs to SPOs, challenges faced by EDGs in traditional realms and in business conversions, and how business conversions to SPOs can benefit marginalized groups. With a focus on women, she will also share insights on how mutual aid and co-operative economics have uplifted women facing domestic violence, financial trauma and abuse. Juliet will share from the perspective of 2 organizations of which she is a co-founder, Black Women Professional Worker Co-op and Whole Woman Network (which is in the process of converting to a non-share co-operative).

Janielle will touch on the challenges various members of EDGs face in the workplace and financial spaces, and the subsequent need for reform. She will also discuss the JEDI Business Conversion Project, as it is situated to help combat such struggles EDGs experience in many traditional business realms. The session will last for ~ 1 hour and will conclude with a Question & Answer period.

Register for this free online event: 

Africana Feminist Political Economy Symposium

2023 Africana Feminist Economics Symposium holds on May 25th, 2023. Send an email to RSVP: Join the #DISE Collective and The Banker Ladies Council of Canada in this transformative and thought-provoking event. To read more about the Banker Ladies, see this article by Natalie Holmes: Strengthening the Black Social Economy and watch the documentary, Banker Ladies by filmmaker and director Esery Mondesir.