OUT For Business: Providing Mentorship for Canada’s LGBT+ Business Community

CGLCC’s OUT For Business Initiative is a mentorship program created to empower LGBT+ youth by providing them the support and guidance to establish or grow their own business.

Young LGBT+ business owners tap into the experience and expertise of mentors and other leaders in the LGBT+ business community. Through one-on-one and team mentoring, youth entrepreneurs sharpen their business skills and expand their networks, enabling them to better navigate the journey of an LGBT+ entrepreneur.

The program’s mentors are the counsellors and advisors to the young entrepreneurs. They facilitate greater learning and help build larger networks for their mentees. By guiding them to the path of business success, mentors find the program as a way of giving back to the LGBT+ community while expanding their own learning and networks.

“Being an entrepreneur can be a difficult road to navigate. Being a young LGBTQ entrepreneur adds a few more layers to this challenge because of the barriers faced due to sexual orientation, gender identity, and age. Business support and mentoring programs that not only nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of young LGBTQ entrepreneurs, but acknowledge and address these barriers (within the program and outside of it) can go a long way to ensuring not only success, but resilience.”

Annemarie Shrouder

Introduced in 2017, the program has helped a select group of LGBT+ youth entrepreneurs and will continue to do so as it is now launched annually and nationally.  We have started the recruitment process for the 2020 Cohort. The following program partners have invested in this valuable development initiative and we thank them:Higgins & Burke Naturals, TD Bank Group, Scotiabank, VIA Rail Canada, Freshco, CGLCC, Ontario 150, Ontario Trillium Foundation, City of Toronto and WJ Pallett & Associates.

Find more information and apply to be a mentor or mentee here.