Woman who started travel agency in Nova Scotia with one Instagram post gets funding to grow her business

A black Canadian working in the tourism sector has secured funding to expand her business. René Boudreau founded Elevate and Explore Black Nova Scotia, a tourism company for black travelers in the Atlantic region, according to Toronto Star.

She was recently accepted into a mentorship program through American Express called Blueprint: Backing BIPOC Businesses, aimed at Black, Indigenous and other minority business owners.

According to the Toronto Star, each business accepted into the mentorship program received a $10,000 grant to invest in their business.

“When I started I wasn’t registered as a business or anything, I was sort of starting with the goal of starting a business out of it,” Boudreau said of his tourism business. which she launched with a single Instagram post. of an African Nova Scotian visitor to Africville Park, the Toronto Star reported.

“I just started posting photos of black people exploring the province. It was about pictures that I took or pictures that I asked people to send me, and I just posted them. From there, I was able to build partnerships with different companies and organizations.

Elevate and Explore Black Nova Scotia, through its tours, sheds light on Nova Scotia’s Black history and culture to potential Black tourists.

“The goal and vision of Elevate and Explore is to encourage more black travelers to visit the province, but also to inspire people from all walks of life to also explore the province,” she told the Toronto Star.

She added: “I thought if more [Black] people could see themselves traveling around the province, so we would probably feel more comfortable going at different paces or more inclined to want to visit.

Boudreau plans to improve the visibility of his tourism business by launching an official website to promote his business and other Black-owned businesses and experiences across the province.

“It will be a good resource for people from afar to go to this website and just browse. And if they decide to visit Nova Scotia, here are different black-owned businesses you can support; here are some black-owned Airbnbs where you can stay; here are some cities and attractions; here [is an “about” section] to Raise and Explore; there will be pictures [from my] Social media.”

So far, it has attracted interest from people in the United States, Montreal, Ontario and other countries of African descent.

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