UP | Unite and Prosper

A Digital Marketing Platform to Support Entrepreneurs from Black Communities

0rijin Village is launching UP, a technology platform to equip entrepreneurs from Black communities with new solutions and support innovative projects that have a strong social impact and feature sustainable business models.

Although people of Afro-descendant origin have been in Quebec for many generations and statistics show a high graduation rate, they still face several obstacles hampering their prospects for economic growth, including poverty and unemployment rates generally above the Quebec average, and a lack of access to financing. Black communities are also underrepresented in tech.

With the goal of closing this consistent economic gap, 0rijin Village has set up a digital platform aimed at supporting businesses run by entrepreneurs from Black communities. An ecosystem will be deployed, with collaboration from Zù, to support 0rijin’s technology village.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that to protect and encourage the local economy, and thereby preserve the vitality of our neighbourhoods, we must distribute resources in equitable ways and take into account the needs of Montreal’s diverse communities,” 

Carla Beauvais, co-founder of 0rijin.

0rijin provides businesses in Black communities with tech solutions for reaching new market segments and narrowing the digital divide. The first phase of the project will consist of a digital marketing platform that lists companies (services, products and organizations) owned by people of Afro-descendant origin. This tool will be supported by various apps that will identify user trends and business opportunities so that companies can develop strategies and targeted promotional and marketing campaigns to increase their market share.

Three services will be deployed on the platform to promote consumer access to products and services offered by entrepreneurs from Black communities.

UP – Digital Marketing Platform

The UP web application allows entrepreneurs to reach consumers directly. It will ultimately become a transactional site serving Black communities, as well as businesses, organizations, and service providers.

UP – Plug-in

A browser extension will be deployed to connect businesses and consumers. The functionality provided by this extension will also be available via a mobile application and a decentralized one. This extension will first serve as an identifier for businesses, organizations, and suppliers of goods and services. Consumers will be able to search for promotions directly in the browser extension and apply them to the sites of entrepreneurs from Black communities. This will make it easier to identify them on the web. In addition, users will be rewarded each time they use the platform.

UP – Amplify

This forum is a collaborative support tool that will allow entrepreneurs registered on the platform to submit urgent needs faced by their businesses, allowing the community to share resources. The forum aims to foster a spirit of cooperation, and forge connections and partnerships between various industry players. The goal is to strengthen Black communities’ entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Through the use of technology, we want to support and spur growth among small- and medium-sized businesses run by members of Black communities, thereby empowering their communities during this difficult time (and beyond), and enabling them to fully take part in Quebec’s economic recovery.”

Williamson Dulcé, co-founder of 0rijin.

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