Schulich partners with non-profit to provide free program to Black community

Two Black women talk together

Two Toronto organizations are teaming up to teach business know-how and entrepreneurship skills to members of Toronto’s Black community.

The Schulich School of Business at York University, Canada’s pre-eminent business school, and A Different Booklist Cultural Centre (ADBCC) – The People’s Residence, a non-profit hub and destination that provides opportunities to experience the culture and history of Canadians of African and Caribbean ancestry, have launched an “Introduction to Business” webinar series.

The eight-week business certificate program, which is free of charge, covers topics that range from marketing and accounting to leadership and human resources management and concludes with a session on how to develop a business plan. Each webinar is 75 minutes in length and includes a lecture from a Schulich professor, a discussion with a Black entrepreneur, and a Q-and-A session to conclude.

Guest entrepreneurs include Michael Jobity, co-founder of 2Unify; Akosua Asare, founder and CEO of Essence Luxe Couture and a Schulich graduate; and Granville Mayers, owner of Athletic Leaders. Registration for the program is full but individuals can add their names to a waiting list.

The idea for the “Introduction to Business” program was conceived by Ashwin Joshi, director of the MBA program at Schulich.

“We’re delighted to be able to partner with ADBCC to create community-based learning that will help people grow their businesses and turn ideas into new business ventures,” says Joshi. “The certificate course will provide participants with the basics of running a business, while also giving them the opportunity to learn from entrepreneurs and draw inspiration from their success.

“It’s important for our School that we reflect the diversity that is Toronto. This webinar series is part of a more sustained and purposeful engagement between Schulich and the Black community in Toronto.”

“ADBCC – The People’s Residence is pleased to share this collaboration with Schulich as it brings community and academia together,” says Itah Sadu, managing director. “Innovation and change take place when academia is located in its very essence – the community. The course strives to open doors to the business and corporate world and, as former MLA Rosemary Brown said, ‘to hold those doors open so others can come through.’”

Participants who complete all the webinars will receive a Certificate of Completion.

For more information on the webinar series, visit