Black Entrepreneurship Webinar: Accessing Funding to Fuel Long-Term Growth

May 4 @ 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Join Invest Ottawa, BDC, EDC, and RBC for a free workshop for Black entrepreneurs in Canada. We will explore how to grow your business and access funding, with a special focus on a variety of programs available for Black entrepreneurs and exporters. If your business is Black-owned or led and you’re looking for tips and guidance on how to grow, we look forward to meeting you!

This workshop will include tips and insights from entrepreneurs Ajoa Mintah (Four All Ice Cream), Dave Hale (Craft&Crew) and Aquilas Dapaah (Women Investors Network Canada & Financially Savvy Girl). Additionally, hear from our partners BDC, EDC, and RBC to learn about gaining access to funding pipelines for your growing venture. Spanning both tech and non-tech, product and service-based companies, there will be useful knowledge for any business owner looking to get ahead on their growth strategy.


1 PM: Welcome by Invest Ottawa

1:05 PM: Black-Owned Business Panel Learn from the experiences of our expert panelists as they discuss their growth journeys, securing funding and what advice they have for other entrepreneurs looking to expand.

  • Moderator: Aquilas K. Dapaah, Lawyer | Wealth Coach | Founder of Financially Savvy Girl Inc and Co Founder of Women Investors Network Canada (Ottawa)
  • Dave Hale, CEO, Craft&Crew (Ottawa)
  • Ajoa Mintah, Founder, Four All Ice Cream (Kitchener-Waterloo)

1:35 PM: Remarks from BDC, EDC, and RBC

Hear from our partners, who will each share information on services, programing, and financing opportunities dedicated to Black Entrepreneurs

1:56 PM: Open Q&A

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to our panelists and representatives from BDC, EDC, and RBC Royal Bank

2:15 PM: Event Concludes

Our Speakers

Ajoa Mintah

Ajoa Mintah is a professional engineer, turned ice cream entrepreneur and the Founder + CEO of Four All Ice Cream. A University of Waterloo graduate, Ajoa earned her Chemical Engineering degree in 2001 and spent the next 16 years in various roles, ranging from product development in the automotive industry to technical consulting in the finance industry, before pursuing her dream of becoming a “maker”. Four All Ice Cream, which aims “to bring the joy of ice cream to all regardless of dietary choices and restrictions”, is the culmination of Ajoa’s education, experiences and above all else, her desire to create. Her strengths include goal setting & problem solving.

Dave Hale

Dave Hale is an ambitious, Ottawa-based entrepreneur focused on creating better professional experiences for people both within his business and beyond.

In his relatively short career, he has helped design, produce, and market award winning events and experiences that have been experienced by more than 1 million people, was named one of Profit Magazine’s 20 Future Entrepreneurial Leaders Under 30, and one of Marketing Magazine’s 30 Under 30. Dave has led large-scale brand, marketing, product, and service design transformations for companies like Bell Media, Google, Honda,, SurveyMonkey, and TD Canada Trust. And he has built a $15 million dollar global business from what started as a college project thirteen years ago.

More important than what he has accomplished is how: Dave’s company, Craft&Crew Corp., is focused on creating the most fair, equitable, and enjoyable environment possible for its people. As a fully remote business with more than 50 employees, the company prides itself on a near perfect Employee Net Promoter Score quarter over quarter. As a Black-owned business, Craft&Crew fundamentally understands the importance of creating a corporate culture that is inclusive, honest, and transparent. As a millennial-owned business, Craft&Crew demonstrates what “modern” business leadership looks like.

Aquilas Dapaah

Aquilas K. Dapaah is a lawyer by trade and international real estate investor focusing on multi family unit, land development and luxury rentals.

She is the CEO & Founder of Financially Savvy Girl Inc – a platform, e-courses and coaching programs that help busy professionals build wealth and free their time with financial intelligence.

Aqui is also co founder of The Women Investors Network Canada Inc – a national corporation that empowers women from all walks of life to build confidence in their wealth journey, network and expand their mind with financial and mindset literature.

She sits on a number of board of directors including being a director for Invest Ottawa.

As a proud mother and fulfilled wife, Aqui believes in the importance of prioritizing self care, filling your cup with a good morning routine and health journey before pouring into your loved ones and the world.

Aqui is on a mission to show high earners how to convert their hard earned money into passive and investment income. She is passionate about empowering investors to manage their personal finance with estate planning knowledge and intelligence; to not over leverage in their real estate journey and yet reach tremendous success and financial freedom

Catherine Leteinturier-Guisse

Catherine Leteinturier-Guisse is an experienced development banker with over 20 years working at various Canadians banks in multiple cities. In her current role as Business Centre Manager at BDC, based in Ottawa, she leads a team of professionals and experts who support Ottawa and Eastern Ontario business owners, helping them to realize their entrepreneurial dreams and achieve their growth potential by providing advice and flexible financing solutions.

In addition to her role as Business Centre Manager, Catherine is actively involved with various initiatives including Diversity & Inclusion, Women Entrepreneurs and Social Entrepreneurship.

Myriam Francisque

As EDC’s national lead for Black and racialized exporters, Myriam Francisque dreams of an equitable economic system where all businesspeople, regardless of race, ethnicity, and gender, will have a seat at the table and benefit from the same opportunities and support. She strives to create generational wealth and economic power through capacity-building, unbiased access to capital and equity awareness.

As a former entrepreneur, and having worked on three continents, Myriam brings passion and energy to her new role in supporting Canadian business owners. She will continue to deepen EDC’s understanding of the specific needs and challenges of the Black and racialized exporter communities, to advance the long-term strategy and solutions for serving these markets and to help them achieve their global ambitions.

Myriam has more than 15 years of experience in the field of international trade and has worked in both the private and public sectors managing various portfolios and projects focused on trade, business development and innovation—with an emphasis on Black and racialized businesses. She holds a master’s degree in international business law obtained in France and the United Kingdom and has a post-graduate degree in finance and management from the London School of Business and Finance.

Valerie Anka

Valerie Anka joined Export Development Canada in 2008 following her studies at the University of Ottawa. She is a Senior Relationship Manager, and has been working in this role for the past four years, most recently supporting Canadian technology companies located in Eastern Ontario. Every day, she identifies and delivers innovative financing, insurance and risk management solutions designed to help Canadian asset light, IP rich technology companies expand their business internationally.

Huen Knox

Huen Knox is the senior manager of initiatives and implementation, and executive sponsor for the Black Professional Network (internal employee resource group) for Ontario North and East at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

He has an MBA in financing and banking, certified professional accountant in Ontario with more than 30 years of banking experience. Before his current role at RBC, he performed several other roles from entry-level to management, providing support to personal banking needs, small business entrepreneurs, and private and public companies in Canada and the USA. His professional accreditations extend to personal financial planning and real estate.

He volunteers with RISE Asset Development in Toronto and with Onyx as a global mentor. Huen is driven by the passion of seeing businesses and individuals achieve their goals and contributing meaningfully to their communities.

Event Sponsor Thank-You’s:

We proudly host our Black Entrepreneurship webinar series in partnership with BDC, EDC, and RBC. Sincere thanks to each of our partners for their generous support and commitment to our shared goals and community.


2023-05-04 13:00:00 2023-05-04 14:15:00 America/Toronto Black Entrepreneurship Webinar: Accessing Funding to Fuel Long-Term Growth Details Date: May 4 Time: 01:00 pm - 02:15 pm Event Category: Invest Ottawa Events Click to Register: Organizer Invest Ottawa Education Centre Website: May 4 @ 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm Join Invest Ottawa, BDC, EDC, and RBC for a free workshop for Black entrepreneurs in Canada. We will explore how to […]