LGBT+ Youth Entrepreneur Program Application

What is the program?

The OUT For Business Mentoring Program empowers LGBT+ entrepreneurs to thrive as they start or grow their business. The program connects mentors and mentees to create mutual learning, build relationships, bolster networks and overcome the specific challenges of an LGBT+ entrepreneur, fast-tracking the youth entrepreneurs’ success.

The Program leverages existing small business/enterprise programs supporting entrepreneurs. However, this program is unique in a way that specifically assists LGBT+ Youth Entrepreneurs.


As a Mentee, you will be able to:

  • Better navigate the journey as an LGBT+ entrepreneur, uncovering and getting help addressing specific challenges and roadblocks
  • Gain the knowledge or know-how to thrive in your business by tapping into the experience and expertise of LGBT+ mentors
  • Increase your accountability and focus to your business by stimulating thinking, challenging perspective and inspiring creativity
  • Build and strengthen a relevant network to help increase your profile and your business’, stimulating business development and growth
  • Get and provide support to the LGBTQ+ community as you start and/or grow your business, in terms of learning you gain and share, and the relationships you build and nurture

As a Mentor, you will be able to:

  • Provide guidance and advice by leveraging your experience and expertise to direct mentees to the optimum path to success
  • Expand your own network by creating new or revitalizing current connections as you help mentees expand theirs
  • Learn from other mentors and some mentees themselves, increasing your self-awareness, enhancing your leadership and expanding your knowledge and perspective of other businesses
  • Boost your profile in the LGBT+ and business communities and inspire others
  • Empower the LGBT+ Community by facilitating the success of LGBT+ youth entrepreneurs

The program runs annually, with a minimum five qualified applicants selected per year. Applicants are screened to ensure they meet various criteria, including LGBT+ self-identification, age (18-39), and demonstrated high commitment to starting or growing their own business.


The Program consists of four core components:


  1. Access to funding – via a “start up” or “grow” grant to participate in the program and/or to help run the business. Financial benefits include a free OUT For Business membership to the CGLCC and free admission to CGLCC networking and learning events, during the mentorship period;
  2. Formal mentorship and networking opportunities with entrepreneurs, business leaders, supporters and partners of the community – The mentee will be matched with a mentor who can best meet the mentee’s critical learning and development needs.
  3. Business skills development, such as business planning, finance, sales & marketing and human resources – via exclusive access to learning events and development tools.
  4. Access to information resources regarding all facets of starting and operating a business – including access to the CGLCC’s “Small Business Enterprise Resources Hub”.

To participate in the program, a MENTEE must:

  • Be a member of the LGBTQ2 community and be willing to be identified as LGBT+ and publicized
  • Be 18-39 years of age at the time of application
  • Be registered or in the process of being registered as a legal business entity/sole proprietor or Incorporated. The business must be past the Ideation Stage; and, at least, a product or service, or a prototype, has been developed or delivered
  • Agree to complete a MENTEE Profile Form
  • Be prepared to commit to a 12-month period of mentorship
  • Meet key program requirements including development and implementation of Individual Development Plan and Business Plan; and, participate in program events relevant to their learning and development needs
  • Ensure commitments of the Mentoring Agreement are fulfilled


To participate in the program, a MENTOR must:

  • Be a member of the LGBTQ2 community and be willing to be identified as LGBTQ2 and publicized
  • Have business experience, preferably in running a small business/enterprise or holding a senior role in a corporate business environment
  • Agree to complete a MENTOR Profile Form
  • Be prepared to commit for a 12-month period of mentoring
  • Ensure commitments of the Mentoring Agreement are fulfilled

The deadline for applications to the 2020 Cohort is JULY 24.

Click on the appropriate link below!

The 2020 MENTEE application

is now open. 

The 2020 call for MENTORS

is now open. 

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