Canada’s BETA-i Launches World’s First Search Fund Incubator Focused on Supporting Black Entrepreneurs

By March 11, 2021News

Providing an Alternative Path to Entrepreneurship for Black Canadians Through the ETA Model

Black Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Incubator (BETA-i) is equipping Black Canadians that are passionate about entrepreneurship with the tools to become CEO’s through the acquisition of existing private, small-to-medium sized businesses.

As the first non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) model making it more accessible to Black entrepreneurs  and providing the tools and knowledge needed to continue to pursue their dreams and achieve their aspirations. ETA was first developed in 1984 at Harvard University, was standardized at Stanford Graduate School for Business and has since spread steadily to business schools and entrepreneurs globally. While primarily focusing on Black entrepreneurs, BETA-i’s search fund incubator will act as a vehicle that will eventually allow all entrepreneurs to locate, acquire, manage and grow a privately-held company early in their careers.

“After seeing the traditional approaches used by Black entrepreneurs, we realized it needed some enhancements to be successful in today’s evolving marketplace. We decided to take the reins in Canada to do that. It is for this reason, that BETA-i was created—we offer enhanced and proven alternatives that will support our driven and promising young professionals to become successful business owners and operators,” says Joe Halstead Chair of BETA-i’s Board of Directors. “For us, the best way to do so is to expose and teach the process of purchasing an existing profitable private business because without it, the search to acquire and run a company can be extremely challenging.”

The incubator aims to create opportunities for success beyond the traditional route of starting a business from the ground up. BETA-i provides a proven systematic process for the acquisition of existing businesses, which historically have a substantially greater probability of economic and entrepreneurial success. Their success, in large part, resulted from their ability to identify the right business and structure and negotiate its successful close. In fact, over the past 35 years, 67% of searchers successfully made a business acquisition within two years of starting their search and went on to later sell that business for an average 5.5x return on invested capital.

BETA-i works closely with its searchers and provides one-on-one mentorship and coaching. We utilize the expertise from a variety of business professionals and search experts. This is critical as the pipeline from the beginning of a search to closing the deal can be long and arduous. Having a mentor and the collegial atmosphere of cohorts helps guide our entrepreneurs through the process, ensuring they are laser-focused on the very best deal and then efficiently navigate the transaction to a successful close.

“Being the first organization in Canada to roll out this type of program highlights our commitment to altering the course of these emerging entrepreneurs by giving them the right tools and mentorship needed to set them up for success,” says Debbie Ford of BETA-i’s Board of Directors. “We’ve built an unparalleled bank of resources and are working with world-class experts who will guide and prepare our young searchers in becoming Canada’s future CEOs.”

BETA-i is currently seeking new African-Canadian searchers and aspiring CEOs to join its inaugural 2021 cohort.

About BETA-i:
BETA-i, founded in 2020, is the first Black-focused search incubator in the world and the first search incubator/ accelerator in Canada. It leverages the Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) model and expands and enhances it to meet the needs primarily of Black searchers. BETA-i offers exclusive training, coaching, resources, support in financing, and world-class expertise in search. It aims to dramatically increase the probabilities of success for entrepreneurs and to accelerate their lead time in completing the ETA journey and becoming successful CEOs early in their careers. It is active in and a proud member of the global search fund community. To apply to BETA-I or to financially support the evolution of black entrepreneurship, please visit

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Shane Ropp

Author Shane Ropp

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