Tribe Start Small Grant Program powered by Emera

Access barrier-free support to start your business or community initiative.

Do you have an IDEA? 💡

The Start Small Grant Program is here to help entrepreneurs and community leaders who are solving a problem related to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.

If you have a solution, and the desire to launch or grow a company or organization, you could receive between $500-$1000 to help you solve the problem.

In addition to non-repayable funding, we’ll build a support network around you with peer-to-peer networking opportunities and mentorship to help get your idea off the ground.

NOTE: Applications for this round have closed. This grant program is made possible thanks to the generous support of Emera.

Racialized entrepreneurs in an audience watching a speaker.

Successful applicants receive

  • One-time, non-repayable grant funding of $500-$1000.
  • Access to mentorship sessions with Tribe IDEA Fellows.
  • Peer-to-peer mentorship and networking opportunities.
  • Access to programming that includes webinars, workshops and networking events.

If you have any questions about the program, contact Jordan Banyan at

What do I need to do?

Applications for the Start Small Grant Program are now closed.

Scroll down to review program details and eligibility requirements. 👇


To be eligible for the Start Small Grant, applicants must

  • Be a member on Tribe Network’s platform (sign up here – it’s free!)
  • Identify as a racialized individual (i.e., Black, Indigenous and People of Colour).
  • Be a resident of Atlantic Canada (i.e., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, or Newfoundland & Labrador)
  • Be an entrepreneur or community leader looking to start or expand your business.
  • Complete the application form.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be assessed based on

  • The uniqueness of the product or service you’re offering.
  • How viable your solutions and objectives are.
  • The clarity of your application.
  • Your knowledge of the proposed customer base/industry.
  • Your experience and ability in relation to the product or service.
  • Your awareness of the logistics (e.g., planning, production, and distribution) of your proposed program, product, or service.
  • A demonstrated understanding of the resources required for your project’s success and honestly identifying some gaps in your knowledge to achieve the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications for the Start Small Grant Program have now closed. If you applied and have not heard back from us, please contact Jordan Banyan at

Applicants may only apply once during the Tribe Start Small Fund application period.

Tip: Give a clear explanation of what you need the funds for and how this will impact your business or community initiative.

Tribe Network will only review one submission per applicant during the application period.

If your application was submitted with incorrect info or if you require changes to your application prior to the judging period, please contact

Applicants may only apply once during the Tribe Start Small Fund application period.

Tip: Give a clear explanation of what you need the funds for and how this will impact your business or community initiative.

The Tribe Start Small Grant is meant for new or existing businesses or organizations with under $5000 of total revenue to date.

As long as your business is 33% owned by a racialized founder, your business is eligible for the Tribe Start Small Grant. A racialized representative must be the applicant and individual engaged in discussions involving the Tribe Start Small Fund.

There are no age restrictions on eligibility.

All immigrants, including those with temporary work permits, student visas, or who have Maintained Status, are eligible for this grant program.

Cash grants are difficult to come by in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Through this barrier-free program, we want to create opportunities that will allow racialized people to access funding and get the support they need to start businesses and community initiatives.

In 2021, Emera invested $375,000 from its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund to establish the Tribe IDEA Fellowship presented by Emera. The Fellowship provided participants with access to peer networks, mentors and industry experts, as well as financial support to pursue their community-based efforts.

In 2023, this program has evolved into the Start Small Fund, meeting the needs of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Atlantic Canada by providing cash grants to fuel ideas.

The overall pool of capital for the Start Small Grant Program is $50,000. This will ensure that anywhere from 50 to 100 racialized entrepreneurs and community leaders in Atlantic Canada are supported with barrier-free funding.

This program will allow for more racialized entrepreneurs and community leaders to register their businesses or community initiatives, and it will ensure that some relevant start up costs for products and services are covered. This will have ripples effects that will impact the ecosystem positively, by supporting recipients to take their business and community initiatives further.

If you have any questions or feedback on the program, we’d love to hear it! Please get in touch with Jordan Banyan at