Design Challenge

Open Sky Ventures - UX Research

Project Details



Human Rights

Skills Requirements

Service Design




Current situation

In Canada, Black, indigenous, and people of colour continue to face disadvantages due to systemic racism. While protest and public education are often the means used to create change, these are more often ineffective. Access to the tools of commerce has never been easier, as a smartphone and some ambition can be the only requirements to create a business. Through commerce, disadvantaged people can transform their lives - but they need help with financial literacy and the principles of entrepreneurship.


Open Sky Ventures seeks to bring the tools and knowledge for commercial success to Black people, as well as other people of colour, to empower them to overcome their disadvantages and shape their futures. By reaching and teaching young people of colour, Open Sky Ventures will help them harness the potential of entrepreneurship to create greater personal and community success. A more just and equitable future lies in the economic well-being of all.


  • Young adults of colour (primary audience, white people are also welcome) in typically disadvantaged communities in Canada
  • People who have a poor understanding of finance and commerce


  • Empowering users to create their own business through the use of widely available technology
  • Helping users to understand the principles of finance, and how to use them to create wealth
  • Providing users with learning material and resources to use individually and share within their communities
  • Advising users on career planning and personal development, including resume work, leadership training, and standing out in a company


  • Knowledge as a means to empowerment
  • Supporting the ambition of young people in particular (but all ages welcome)
  • Commerce is a more effective means of social change than protest
  • While the project has a focus on Black people, all are welcome

Potential Deliverables

  • User research insights
  • Create personas
  • Recommendations for the best possible channels to reach the audience
  • Empathy maps

Other Notes

  • The project will initially focus on Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto
  • Emile Mclean is the primary stakeholder, but will have support from other partners
  • This first project is intended to establish an understanding of the audience to be reached - who are they, what are their specific needs, and how might we engage with them in the followup projects

Final Executive Summary

Emile Mclean is a business person who intends to make a positive impact on the lives of Black people, Indigenous people and other people of colour. Emile understands these individuals’ need for career advice, financial literacy and entrepreneurship so that they can feel empowered and take control of their future. Commerce is a key way to provide an equal future and Emile desires to push this idea forward. In order to make this happen, Open Sky Ventures is collaborating with Emile to provide tools and knowledge to help Black people, Indigenous people and other people of colour become successful as it relates to their careers, finances and businesses. As a result, users will be able to take control of their lives in these core areas listed above. The goal of this design sprint was to gather insights that inform how to empower and consistently engage with Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour about career advice, financial literacy, entrepreneurship. We applied desktop research to confirm assumptions to develop a survey. Through this survey, we gathered quantitative data about the primary audience as well as their motivations and the challenges they face.