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About Blueprint: Backing Businesses

Blueprint: Backing Businesses™ is a mentorship and grant program designed to support the advancement of small business owners that identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Colour across Canada.

50 business owners will be selected to take part in a comprehensive mentorship program designed to provide the tools, resources and community to help entrepreneurs thrive - plus, participants get a $10,000 CAD grant to help take their business to the next level.

Blueprint: Backing Businesses is powered by DMZ and was created in consultation with community organizations. The program is made possible by a grant from the American Express Foundation. Additionally, American Express Canada is contributing $500,000 in grants to be disbursed to the 50 selected participants.

Participants get access to

  • A 12-week curated mentorship and training program, delivered virtually, by subject matter experts and mentors
  • Tailored programing to help participants with industry-specific challenges and offer tailored insights on proven strategies for success in their sectors
  • A community network from across Canada connected through small group training and social events
  • Online resources and learning materials designed to support the small business community
  • A $10,000 grant to help unlock the next stage of their business growth

How it works



Check the FAQs to make sure your business is eligible.



Submit your application by December 13 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.



Applicants will be contacted about the results of their application by December 19.



Mentorship program begins on January 16 and runs until March 21.



Companies who submit their grant form by the program start date will receive their grants by February 15.


To be eligible for Blueprint: Backing Businesses, an applicant must:

  • Identify as a member of the Black, Indigenous or People of Colour community
  • Be a Canadian citizen, a Permanent resident of Canada, or Hold Current and Valid Authorization under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Be a founder, owner, or hold a senior position within a privately held, for-profit company, where the company is at least 50% owned by owners or founders who identify as members of the Black, Indigenous or People of Colour community
  • Have a business incorporated in Canada, where the business is primarily operated and managed in Canada, with a maximum of $500,000 CAD in annual revenue
  • Your business must be currently active in the Canadian market or have been previously active in the Canadian market (i.e. made sales and/or have an existing customer base
  • Speak English or French fluently
  • Businesses selected for the 2021 and 2022 program are not eligible to re-apply to the program in 2023

For more information on eligibility, including excluded industries, and the selection process, please refer to the FAQ.

Application closed

For questions relating to Blueprint: Backing Businesses, please contact