R.A.I.S.E. is a program focused on assisting Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs to start and scale their business. The program will provide coaching, mentorship, advisory services and grants to entrepreneurs looking to increase their capacity and scale their business.

What are the steps of the program?

Thank you for your interest in the RAISE program. Due to an overwhelming response, the program is oversubscribed. By signing up you will be placed on a waitlist, have access to online resources and notified by email in the event grants become available.

Step 1:

Create an account on the Digital Main Street website (skip this step if you already have created an account)

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Step 2:

Continue the intake process here. Once complete you will be connected with our partners at the Parkdale Center for Innovation:

The link to start intake will show once you have created your account and refreshed the page.


Provide non-repayable grants of up to $10,000 to eligible racialized small businesses and entrepreneurs upon the completion of a structured coaching program.

To deliver a coaching program that will provide individual business advice and coaching to applicants as part of the program to support implementation of the required business transformation plan.


Applicant Eligibility

RAISE is open to applicants that meet the following requirements:

  • Is a registered business in Ontario and/or is incorporated
  • Employing 1-10 full time equivalent employees equivalent including sole proprietorship, and up to 25 employees for businesses in the hospitality sector
  • Is NOT a franchise, including those individually owned and operated
  • Is NOT a wholesaler or manufacturer
  • Is NOT a not-for-profit or charitable organization

Owned by:

  • Indigenous, Black or racialized individual (mandatory self-identification is required in the application)
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents currently living and operating their business in Ontario

Has completed the application process, which includes:

  • Initial application
  • Online training
  • 2 to 10 hours of Business Coaching
  • Completed Business Transformation Plan

Additional Notes

  • May be a home-based business
  • Owners with multiple businesses and/or locations may only apply for one grant
  • French translation assistance will be available for applicants upon request

Please review the frequently asked questions for additional information.

Please review the notice of collection for additional information on collecting race-based data.

Eligible / Ineligible Costs

Eligible Costs Ineligible Costs
  • Fees for expertise/professional services (excluding owner/staff wages and salaries)
  • Marketing and communications costs (e.g. print media, signage, promotional ads etc.)
  • Costs related to digital transformation (e.g. website, digital marketing, software etc.).
  • Travel costs necessary to attain business transformation plan objectives
  • Capital costs including POS systems, small equipment and tools
  • Business related materials and supplies
  • Knowledge development activities (e.g. training, certifications etc.)
  • Costs related to attaining disability supports
  • Digital Main Street reserves the right to determine what is deemed eligible / ineligible on an as needed basis. These are merely an outline and represent best practices.
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