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Business & Leadership Essentials Certificate Program

Tune in to your leader instincts with lessons from one of Canada’s top business schools.

In partnership with

Business & Leadership Essentials Certificate Program

Find your focus. Develop your leadership.

Designed in partnership with Schulich ExecEd by the Schulich School of Business at York University, this free, 2-month certificate program gives Black professionals & entrepreneurs the business and leadership foundations to succeed in today’s competitive landscape.

Through a series of virtual sessions, you’ll develop your business acumen and flesh out your ideal leadership style. Whether you plan to start your own business or join a top company, this program is designed to equip you with the need-to-know business and leadership skills that will improve your business performance immediately.

All successful participants of this virtual program will be awarded with an encrypted digital credential from the prestigious Schulich ExecEd Centre.

Apply If You’re

An early-in-career or aspiring Black-identifying entrepreneur looking for accessible, intensive business & leadership courses taught by top-ranked instructors and industry leaders.

Our upcoming session

Business & Leadership Essentials Certificate (Fall 2024)


September 9th - November 11th, 2024



Apply From

February 1st - July 31st, 2024

Get notified when applications open:

Ignite your leadership spark

In partnership with

Topics In the Program

Business basics & beyond

Format: Live Virtual Sessions


Strategy carves a path forward. Without it, many organizations and leaders fall short of their goals. Be prepared to dig into the essentials of strategy.


  • Analyze industry structure and environmental trends.
  • Assess how a firm’s resources and capabilities generate a competitive advantage.
  • Formulate new strategies under different contexts.
  • Explain how firms add value to multiple businesses.
  • Implement strategies and organize the firm for success.

Format: Live Virtual Sessions



Sales and Marketing are the foundations of revenue. Together, they can be their best allies. Learn how to use sales and marketing to grow a business.

  • Understand the concepts, analyses and activities that comprise marketing.
  • Learn how to communicate marketing analyses in an effective manner using professional formats.
  • Understand key drivers of success in sales.
  • Learn the basics of how to operate a sales force and key activities used in effective sales management.

Format: Live Virtual Sessions



Finance is the language of business.  In University, students are evaluated by their GPA. In the corporate world, management is evaluated by the financial results of the organization.

  • Define the various financial statements and how to utilize and interpret them to evaluate the health of an organization.
  • Have a basic understanding of the Time Value of Money concepts and why it is important in business investment decisions.
  • Understand the various Management decision tools used to evaluate projects.
  • Develop the basics of budgeting.

Format: Live Virtual Sessions



This course breaks down what makes a manager great. It looks at the foundations of effective management such as communication, managing emotions and performance.

  • Define the foundation of effective management.
  • Develop communication skills to improve your management performance.
  • Identify strategies to manage your emotions and how others react and feel.
  • Explore how to manage others’ performance.

A program that opens new doors

The BEA Learning Community gives members access to ongoing online content, community events, and more.

Hear from our graduates

“I recommend this program to anyone willing to learn how to better themselves and grow their business. On top of networking opportunities outside of class time, I found a great support system of peers to help each other mentally. I learned a lot about myself as a business owner, and how my emotions can affect my profit, growth and skills. Getting to learn different points of view in a free environment helps us build better opportunities to work together in the community by connecting and supporting each other to ensure growth in our business goals.”

Christine Robinson

Chef Chrissy Cuisine

“Joining this program was probably the most powerful professional and developmental experience that I could have had… The collective experience of different minds from the city coming together under one roof was so inspiring. We were all at different points on our career path, so I learned a lot from both the professors and my peers.”

Fahad Y.

Manager at a social housing provider

“Being in a supportive space week after week with Black entrepreneurs and end engaged educators was what germinated the seeds that had been planted. Being in the program through BEA helped open our doors to customers in the summer of 2023.”

Samantha Harris

Our Neighbours’ Farm and Homestead

“BEA is the real deal! There are many programs in our community seeking to help entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale their businesses. BEA makes it happen! Not only do they provide you with the necessary training, skills, and education—they provide the connections that can give you the right opportunity to network and catapult your business to the next level.”

Donna Gardner

Mehetta Bammies

The BEA program allowed me to meet with amazing mentors and business resources that allowed me to "think outside of the box" where my business is concerned. With the help of this program, I can now pivot with confidence and reassurance. A big thank you to everyone involved with BEA. If you have a food or beverage business idea and want to take it to the next level, this is the program to get in.

Julie Denny

Sweet Treatz

The BEA team has been incredibly supportive of my early entrepreneurial journey. They've created an amazing community to help local Black founders like myself take their first steps!

Jonathon Bloomfield


Honestly, since joining BEA I've grown exponentially as a founder. Their wealth of resources & amazing workshops have helped me accelerate the growth of our business. I truly believe BEA will be a catalyst to creating the top Black owned startups in Canada!

Meveille Mukoko


This program was one of the best programs I’ve come across for my own personal growth in business but also just in confidence and readiness.

Chanee Dowdie

Honey Soul Food/ Cornbread Café

When MyPreconUnit.io becomes a household name...literally, and all puns intended, BEA will be the very group responsible for the shift in wealth equity because they believe in me and didn't let me quit.

Mutait Bello


Our application process

Program & application faq

Learn more details about the program below, or get in touch with us for all other enquiries.

The BEA’s Business & Leadership Essentials Certificate program is a free, 2-month program designed to give Black professionals & entrepreneurs the business and leadership foundations to succeed in today’s competitive landscape. Participants will join a series of virtual sessions to learn core skills. At the end of this virtual program, participants will be awarded with an encrypted digital credential issued by Schulich ExecEd.

Participants will join a series of virtual sessions to learn core skills while completing their Capstone Project with their peer group.

At the end of this virtual program, participants will be awarded with an encrypted digital credential issued by Schulich ExecEd.

Issued by Schulich ExecEd, digital credentials are recognized symbols acknowledging that the owner of the credential has successfully completed a program and has acquired all the new skills offered by the program. Your digital credentials are stored in a blockchain-encrypted digital wallet linked directly to you, and cannot be duplicated by anyone else.


Once shared on your online profile or resume, employers and clients can easily and securely verify your qualifications and level of expertise.


Learn more about digital credentials

Sessions for our upcoming cohort (Fall 2024) will take place on the following dates:

September 9, 16, 23; October 7, 21, 28; November 4, 11, (Graduation TBD).

Applications for our upcoming cohort are due on July 31, 2024.

Applicant interviews will be on a rolling basis, and successful applicants will be notified by August 21.

To ensure successful graduation, participants must:

  • Attend all sessions*
  • Actively participate in sessions (Participants participate virtually by keeping their cameras on)
  • Complete all reading materials
  • Submit a finished Capstone Project


*Participants are allowed a maximum of 1 absence if the BEA team is notified in advance.


Participants who do not meet the above criteria will not be eligible to graduate or receive a digital credential.

Nothing! All BEA programs are free and non-dilutive (we take no equity).

Our Business & Leadership Essentials Certificate program is open to all Black-identifying individuals over the age of 18, located within Southern Ontario.

Early-in-career employees, business leaders and founders/entrepreneurs looking to quickly develop their business acumen and skills from highly rated instructors.

No, applicants do not need prior university or college credentials.

Participants are expected to contribute a minimum of 5 hours per week to participate in the educational workshops and connect with their mentors. Any additional time they have to complete the work required to push their business idea forward will be up to the participant.

A maximum of 30 applicants will be chosen for the program during each cohort.

Innovation Infrastructure In Underserved cOmmunities:

Innovation Hub Feasibility Study

Make Innovation Accessible for All. Fill out the survey to provide your insights, perspectives, and recommendations to inform a proposed Innovation Hub that will support underrepresented entrepreneurs and professionals. 

The survey closes on August 18, 2023.