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Ontario entrepreneur wins nationwide Black Pitch Contest, $25,000 grand prize

Micheline Khan’s company aims to improve mental health for underserved communities
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Micheline Khan is shown in a handout photo. Khan, a Black entrepreneur from Hamilton, Ont., has won the nationwide Black Pitch Contest.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Micheline Khan

A Black entrepreneur from Hamilton, Ont., has won the nationwide Black Pitch Contest.

Micheline Khan’s company, Althea Therapy, helps people get access to culturally responsive mental health professionals and resources, with a goal of destigmatizing therapy and improving mental health outcomes for underserved communities.

Khan says she is grateful for the opportunity and the funds will be used to “grow and scale” her business.

She was one of five Black finalists from across Canada vying for the $25,000 grand prize, which is funded by the non-profit Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses of Canada Society.

The society says the contest was designed to help Black entrepreneurs who may be otherwise shut out of loans, grants or other business financing because of systemic barriers.

Rather than requiring entrants to have full business plans with their pitches, the contest called on people who self-identify as Black to submit a short video outlining their ideas.

“I am incredibly grateful to the BEBC, the judges, and my fellow pitchers,” Khan said in a news release. “Opportunities like this don’t come along very often and I’m thankful to have access to the funds to grow and scale Althea Therapy to provide more culturally responsive resources to the community.”

The society says more than 100 people entered this year and the winner was chosen at the Black Business Summit, a free annual summit for the Black community in Canada.

“We are leaving the Black Business Summit inspired and equipped to change the game for Black business in Canada,” says BCEC Founder Jackee Kasandy, congratulating Khan on the award.

“We’re taking steps toward our goal: empowering the Black community to build generational wealth, aim higher and dream bigger.”

The Canadian Press

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