April 19th, 2024

Museum event showcases Black entrepreneurship


By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on February 28, 2024.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Michael Agbabiaka speaks about the BIPOC Foundation ahead of judging the Pitch Competition during the BHM Showcase on Saturday at the Galt Museum.

The BIPOC Foundation-Lethbridge Chapter was joined by the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association and Galt Museum to stage a Black History Month Showcase at the Galt Museum on Saturday.

On top of an immersive experience of creativity and entrepreneurship, the showcase illustrated BIPOC’s community impacts in Western Canada.

“It’s an annual event where we celebrate the culture or diversity among the Black, Indigenous and the people of colour community in Lethbridge,” said Michael Agbabiaka, BIPOC Foundation’s operation manager and programs lead.

BIPOC had the opportunity to premiere their ground-breaking documentary “BOLD Ventures” on black entrepreneurs in Lethbridge, followed by the pitch competition where eight black entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas in hopes of seed funding and a talent show that showcased artists in categories such as spoken words and dancing.

“It’s also to celebrate Black excellence, that’s part of the line-up of events (to) celebrate the Black History Month,” he said.

“We’re trying to collaborate more with individuals (and) leaders with the City of Lethbridge and private organization(s) … especially within the downtown core of the City of Lethbridge,” he said.

“We’re trying to raise awareness because we know that there are more Black people within the City of Lethbridge. They just only need to be aware of the work that we are doing at BIPOC Foundation. It has been full of challenges but we are making progress.”

Common challenges that BIPOC is finding with Black people is entrepreneurs are struggling to get access to funding and access to information being newcomers.

BIPOC has seen the black community grow in the last two years.

“Over the last year alone, we had over 160 programs to empower the community and also we’re seeing more black entrepreneurs coming to set up businesses and opening of the organization for business advisory,” said Agbabiaka.

There were also cultural artifacts and historical presentations on display and the learning opportunity about diverse cultural groups.

The Foundation’s vision is to make advancements in economic development and financial inclusion in effort to make sure that underestimated entrepreneurs are represented worldwide.

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