â€œA dynamic and vibrant Black presence
within the Nova Scotia Business Community.â€?
Black to Business
Special Anniversary Issue
June 18-20, 2008 Halifax, Nova Scotia
for more information visit our website at www.bbi.ns.ca
Black to Business
Table of Contents Messages of Congratulations Message from the Board of Directors The Mark of a Leading Organization Message from the Chief Executive Officer When it Rains in New York, They Sell Umbrellas Your Future Starts Today... Past Chairs Take 5 Black Business Community Investment Fund
Summer 2007 – Issue 36 Special Anniversary Issue
1 9 11 17 27 32
Key Businesses – A Day in the Life IT Interactive
Task Force to Enterprise Ten Years of the Black Business Initiative
Black Business Initiative Key Partnerships
Key Businesses – A Day in the Life SLIC - Laser Hair Removal Clinic
Building the BBI
BBI - Then and Now
Key Businesses – A Day in the Life Bin Doctor
Black to Business is the official periodical of The Black Business Initiative and is published quarterly spring, summer, fall, and winter. Its goal is to support the BBI as it fosters a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community. For Advertising Information, Rates, Submitting Stories, Notices or Community Events, or for more Information, call: 902-426-2224
The Black Business Initiative Head Office: 1575 Brunswick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2G1 Telephone: 902-426-2224 Fax: 902-426-6530 Toll Free: 1-800-668-1010 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.bbi.ns.ca Training Office: 2101 Gottingen Street Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 3B2 Telephone: 902-426-8683 Fax: 902-426-8699 Toll Free: 1-800-668-1010 e-mail: email@example.com web site: www.bbi.ns.ca
Published by: The Black Business Initiative Editor in Chief: Rustum Southwell Art Direction: Design North
Community Economic Development Black Loyalist Heritage Society
Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association (VANSA)
African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA)
Production by: Mirabliss Media Productions
The Black Business Initiative
BBI – Corporate Partnerships
BBI – Statistics 1996 - 2007
Growth of Black Business in Canada and Nova Scotia 1996 to 2001
Gus Wedderburn made a difference
is funded by:
Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 1599402
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business
Messages of Congratulations
I am pleased to offer my sincere congratulations to everyone celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Black Business Initiative (BBI). The Black Business Initiative is a true success story, and I am pleased that the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, has been able to assist this remarkable group. For a decade, BBI has worked diligently on behalf of Black businesspeople in Nova Scotia. As you mark this special occasion, you should take great pride in your achievements. The BBI tirelessly promotes and recognizes successful Black businesses in Nova Scotia. The training and networking opportunities that BBI offers to Black businesspeople are keys to success, as are the innovative tools like the Black Business Community Investment Fund and Business is Jamminâ€™. These programs are a testament to how individual business skills can be used to support the entire business community. I commend everyone involved with this organization for their service to their community and for sharing their entrepreneurial passion. On behalf of the Government of Canada, please accept my best wishes for a memorable anniversary and for continued success.
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Congratulations on ten years of success! It is a pleasure to be a part of this special Black to Business edition, celebrating ten years of successful business enterprise development in Nova Scotia. Over the past decade, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) has supported the Black Business Initiative (BBI) to assist entrepreneurs with business start-ups and expansions, while providing access to capital, skills development and business counselling opportunities. ACOA understands what drives the BBI in its pursuit to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to be successful in today’s marketplace: the sense of pride that comes from taking your business idea and making it a reality - the feeling of accomplishment that comes from making our region a better place in which to live and work. By supporting initiatives like the BBI, Canada’s New Government is taking real action to build a strong and vibrant economy, creating the right conditions for businesses, communities and families to thrive, and improving the quality of life of all Canadians, regardless of where they live. Together, we’re helping to provide Nova Scotia’s communities with the resources they need to ensure continued economic growth for years to come.
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Message from the Board of Directors
nniversary is defined as the annually recurring date of a past event, es-
pecially one of historical, national or personal importance, or a celebration commemorating such a date. Congratulations to the Black Business Initiative (BBI) on your tenth anniversary of operations.
Typically on a tenth anniversary, the gift would be tin – if it was a traditional gift – or aluminum, if it is a modern gift. In the case of BBI, the gift is neither the traditional nor the modern, but indeed is twofold: firstly, it is the success of its client base and, secondly, the ongoing endurance and growth of the organization.
Let’s talk about the success of BBI’s client base. From its inception, BBI focused on designing and implementing policies and practices that facilitated and supported the success of its client base. BBI formed that bridge between client and mainstream business. One of the many measures of BBI’s success was evidenced when clients succeeded with their business plans and revenue forecasts and as a result were able to develop strong ongoing relationships with their bankers. This resulted in the clients building a credit history and recording strong business results that facilitated them going directly to the bank for additional financing as required.
While this number is impressive by itself, the success of BBI’s practices is further emphasized by the fact that its loan recovery rate was better than the rate of similar agencies in the industry.
Over the 10 year period, BBI approved approximately 200 loans.
On a secondary note, the endurance and growth of BBI over the last 10
Organization Cassandra Dorrington, Chair
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years is to be celebrated. The design of the BBI model is step one. The true success came from the implementation of that model. While we celebrate BBI’s success, it is important to note that it did not come without some lessons learned. Suffice to say, we have learned a lot in our first 10 years of operations.
What is the mark of a leading organization? I was at a conference recently and the discussion turned to what is the mark of a leader. While the mark of a leader may be different, depending on the individual or organization, there are common elements: 1. Vision. BBI’s vision is that of “A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community.” This will be accomplished by BBI’s promotion and assistance in the development of Nova Scotia owned Black businesses. 2. Belief. BBI’s board, staff and other key stakeholders continue to believe in BBI’s ability to make a difference. In the beginning, it was only a belief but as time passed and more businesses were established, it became apparent the model was working. The belief was easily supported by real evidence. 3. Commitment. Whether we are speaking of the task force members or of the men and women who comprised the board, staff and stakeholder groups over the past 10 years, commitment is and has been evident in every action. It is important to note that BBI’s client base has certainly benefited. 4. Passion. If we listen to the words of Dennis Kimbro, passion is vital for a successful business and BBI is no exception. Look around you at the staff and board members past and present, listen to them talk about BBI and you will certainly hear the passion in their voices.
The hard part is knowing when and where to disburse the funds while maintaining a focus on distinct lending criteria with a focus on improving provincial economic development.
In my opinion, BBI clearly possesses and demonstrates all the elements of a leading organization. In the 10 years since inception, BBI has worked hard to bring all the elements together. As a result of these efforts, BBI can attest to the establishment of over 100 companies and the addition of more than 500 jobs to the Nova Scotian economy. One of the secrets to longevity of a business is the ability to recognize the need for change. Originally established as an organization focused on driving economic development throughout the province, BBI was funded by both the federal government via the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the provincial government through the Office of Economic Development. This
business model had worked well over the years. However, given the changing political and economic landscape over that last few years, the BBI board had identified the need to lay the foundation for sustainability in years to come. Step one in the sustainability strategy involved the establishment of the Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF). I am pleased to announce the CEDIF has recently completed a successful fourth offering. Step two is the design of a structure that will facilitate and support the long-term sustainability strategy. In addition to BBI and the CEDIF, the new structure encompasses the following entities: • •
a revenue-generating organization (Black Business Consulting); a restructured Business is Jammin’ program that is positioned to align with continued on page 34 >
The BBI has been an integral part of the Nova Scotian business community for more than a decade. On your 10th year Anniversary, African Nova Scotian Affairs wishes you continued success in assisting African Nova Scotians achieve economic independence.
Hon. Barry Barnet Minister, African Nova Scotian Affairs
5. Courage. The establishment and the ongoing operations of BBI are definitely not for the faint of heart. The easy part is having $1-million to disburse.
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Message from the Chief Executive Officer
S.I. Rustum Southwell, Chief Executive Officer, Black Business Initiative
On a recent trip to the Big Apple my wife and I went to see Ground Zero. At least, I thought that is what we were doing. However, she had shopping at Century 21 across the street on her mind.
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Everything was fine on our way there, nothing out of the ordinary. As we returned to our hotel, it began to rain. Suddenly, on every corner, and in everyone’s hands, umbrellas started to appear. Vendors selling hot dogs had them. People were walking down the streets selling them. They were hanging on construction pylons. Red, black, blue, yellow and green – umbrellas were everywhere. We got back to the hotel and they were giving them out to the guests. We ventured back out with our free umbrellas. Suddenly the rain stopped and, like magic, all of the umbrellas disappeared. There was not one in sight. Forget The Apprentice – this was the height of capitalism in action. In the time it takes to eat lunch, hundreds of umbrellas were sold in response to a market need. Once the skies cleared, the sellers went back to their regular products. That is what we are trying to teach at the Black Business Initiative. The “blue ocean strategy” states there is always a market out there, if you have the right product at the right time. In red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted. As the number of competitors increase, the chance for growth and profit diminishes. In blue oceans demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for profitable and sustained growth. As a true entrepreneur, your job is to find it. Twelve years ago in 1995, when Dolly Williams, Joan Jones, Grace White, Tony Ross and John Madison – members of the task force – wrote their report, it was before the concept of community capacity building became the buzzword it is now. However, instead of an umbrella organization, they envisioned the Black Business Initiative (BBI) as the economic driver for existing local community socioeconomic development (CED) organizations throughout the province. That model has worked.
Today, the BBI is an initiative for Black-owned businesses in Nova Scotia, funded by the federal government via the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the provincial government through the Department of Economic Development. We are not in the lending business; we are in the “building a strong economy in our community” business. We are in the business-skills development business. We are here to help Black-owned businesses succeed. We’ve just completed 11 years of operations. We are still in business and our business is still about having the courage to care about our people, our clients and our staff. The business model in place today surpasses the original expectations set down by the task force. However, the original vision, “A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community” and our four objectives are still relevant today: 1. Create economic independence for individuals. 2. Create/Improve access to private and public sector support. 3. Build partnerships and linkages to business community. 4. Further Entrepreneurial Development, educational & training. As it implements its mandate, the BBI sets very high standards for itself, its staff and the businesses applying for loans. The BBI’s management recognized early on that in order to be effective and efficient and to protect the integrity of its activities, policies must be put in place to manage its operations. During our first year of operation a detailed policy manual was developed, outlining expenditure, loan approval and operational policies. A set of best practices and service standards to guide the BBI’s activities and to ensure smooth internal controls were put in place.
What seemed like an initiative with more than its fair share of challenges and less than its proper share of resources at its inception now receives more compliments and accolades than criticism. Our efforts to mainstream our clientele taught us the nature of business and the need to grow our companies profitably. We have already analyzed the gaps and planned the route. We are now deciding on the steps we need to move from the present to the future, and we fully intend to be with you to manage the journey and find resources to take the next step. We will continue to invest in our youth and forge relationships with like-minded organizations in the United States and Canada. The “Business is Jammin” youth program will continue to ensure a strong Black business culture results from our efforts. Special mention must be given to the achievements of our community partners, including the African Nova Scotia Music Association, The Black Loyalist Society in Birchtown, African Nova Scotian Employment Partnership Committees, Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and the other Black community organizations. African Nova Scotian Employment Partnership Committees belong to a province-wide network of committees working together to improve employment skills and create opportunities among Black Nova Scotians. The network is funded by federal grants from Service Canada. The Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs assists, supports and enhances the provincial government’s delivery of services to African Nova Scotians and is a partner in developing innovative solutions that lead to self reliance and sustainable development for African Nova Scotians and their communities. continued on page 13 >
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â€œSystems do not produce quality, people do. We must define ourselves by the best that is in us not the worst that has been done to usâ€? â€“ Edward Lewis, Publisher, Essence Magazine. When it comes to our two primary funding partners, we can proudly state that the BBI exemplifies the principles and values of ACOAâ€™s community development strategy. In addition, our relationship with the province is long-standing, effective and based on a solid partnership designed to deliver results. Because we take our partnership with these two levels of government seriously, we have created an organization that is transparent, accountable, entrepreneurial, and dynamic. Weâ€™ve made a major impact on the Nova Scotian business community and weâ€™ve done it with a budget that averages $1-million per year â€“ or the amount of revenues generated by a smaller McDonalds.
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Business periodical and the Business is Jamminâ€™ youth entrepreneurship program, then â€œvibrant and dynamicâ€? is a more apt descriptor than â€œinterestingâ€?.
1st BBI Staff
On June 10, 1996, we became fully staffed. When we first started we knew what were about to do, but were not sure how to make it interesting. A decade later, we had created over 100 companies and financed another 41 existing ones; approved some 198 loans; trained hundreds of clients; and created more than 500 jobs. The people who have passed through our doors are contributing millions each year to this provinceâ€™s economy. In addition to the $5.7 million investment from ACOA and the $4.35 million from the province, the BBI has raised approximately $950,000 through investment gains, sponsorships, services, and events. We have leveraged $1.7 million for other funding partners and $1.4 million in ownersâ€™ equity for an additional $4.1 million to be invested in the Black business community. This does not include the $350,000 now in the Community Economic Development Investment Fund, the benefits of the Global TV campaign, or operations within the community. If we toss in four summits that attracted world-class speakers â€“
Ambassador Andrew Young, Dennis Kimbro, Farley Flex, Les Brown, Susan Taylor, Daymond John, Stedman Graham, Coach Carter and others â€“ the quarterly Black to
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In 1996, the direction we were about to take was one which many of our own community were not willing to travel, while others salivated with anticipation that an economic development organization would selfdestruct once again and implode for Black businesses.
1st BBI Board of Directors
However, the assembled team of board members â€“ led first by Hector Jacques then Gordon Tynes, Barbara Manning, Mike Wyse, Garnet Wright and now Cassandra Dorrington â€“ and all the extremely bright, young staff over the years were determined we would get it right. We did. Now, we just display our results as we move on. Requests come from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Moncton, Edmonton, the United States, South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana, and the Caribbean for consultation based on the business model we created ÂŹâ€“ a made in Nova Scotia, successful, Black business empowerment solution that works. None of this is possible without the right people and so we celebrate the achievements of everyone who participated to produce these results.
business succeed. We do that by using every possible business method.
2nd BBI Board of Directors
BBI is now well on the way to creating a viable, long-term business model, which will assist in sustaining community development and the growth of Black-owned companies in Nova Scotia. This model is fashioned after New Dawn Community Economic Development in Cape Breton and Mondragon Cooperative in Spain. The new direction we are about to embark on builds on the same vision and strategic wish list the BBI Task Force and the Ad-Hoc Committee outlined in their 1995 reports. It is also in alignment with the provincial government and ACOA’s economic development strategies. We have the right team in place to do the job. Ultimately we are here for one thing; we are here to serve (sounds like Sobeys). We are here to help Black
At the Black Business Initiative, we walk on a razor’s edge, a tightrope balanced between extreme highs and distress. When you walk on the razor’s edge, you have to know where you legs are when you fall. We have mastered the walk on the straight and narrow. We are here at an historic time in the history of mankind, seven years beyond the eve of a new millennium. One thousand years ago, we were merchants in the markets of Venice, Seville, Granada and Lisbon. Our Moorish brothers were building castles in Spain and Portugal and everyone knew where you were from. During the last few centuries, there was vibrant trade in the cities of Africa among kings and communities. Toussaint L’Ouverture and Henri Christophe were holding off the mighty Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in Haiti in a free Black economy. African explorers were building the Brazilian economy. At the same time, the western economy thrived, built on our backs, creating wealth for everyone but us. We can reclaim our role. Today we are charged with building an economic organization with enough funding to build some cot-
tages. Yet we have gone ahead and built the foundation of a palace because together we can overcome all odds. Canada exports billions of dollars in trade and a variety of ventures to sub-Saharan Africa. We must become part of that trade. When Grace White of Canjam Trading, a fish processing company with about 100 employees, needed some support, we intervened with the Minister of Economic Development and helped her get a fair hearing to fix the issues she was confronting. When the Bin Doctor, a company that found a unique niche market in the environmental sector, wanted to secure bonding – and was unable to – we helped them. Here in Nova Scotia we have a monumental community and business opportunity. In the north end of the city, beneath the A. Murray MacKay Bridge, lies Africville, a community not yet at peace, a situation still unresolved. Africville was a small neighbourhood in the north end of Halifax, Nova Scotia, populated entirely by Black families from a wide variety of origins. The area was destroyed during the 1960s and the inhabitants relocated to public housing projects downtown or continued on page 15 >
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in the suburbs, most near Uniacke Square, Mulgrave Park, or Spryfield. We are now working with Africville Genealogy society to help them get things moving along. What we are trying to achieve is not rocket science. However, it is important for us to create more companies like EXXON than Enron. It is important to realize that it is less about money and credit and more about good business management and practices. It is less about flash and more about results. Be under no illusion, this is not an easy job. There are some whose life long ambition is to look only for dependence and to discredit others as they aspire to deliver good results and succeed. So to us the words of Sir Winston Churchill who said, “When you are going through hell, keep going,” and “Kites rise highest against the wind . . . not with it,” are words of comfort and wisdom. When other communities are talking of wealth creation, we speak about poverty reduction. Poverty is measured in three principal ways: 1. 2. 3.
The standard of living; Opportunity for consumption, and The right of citizens to participate in society.
We all have to sustain to survive and we must also grow our own to such an extent that we are leaders in commerce. In Halifax, we are seeing more companies making it to the $1-millionin-sales level – there are now at least 10 in our Black business community. We know that collectively they represent over $100 million in sales. There are several companies in this province owned by racially visible and aboriginal entrepreneurs doing hundreds of millions of dollars in sales per year.
“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them”. The BBI team of fresh faces continues to lead at the forefront of this change. With our ever-changing climate here in Nova Scotia, maybe we can take a leaf from New York’s book and further explore the umbrella market. As a matter of fact, it looks like rain. I think I’ll go sell some umbrellas.
If we are achieving this now, we must believe that we can do better. Look at Michael Lee Chin, a selfmade billionaire who started with a million dollar company in the 1980s and is now number 11 on the richest-person list in Canada. We must believe that a young Black child, already born right now and living in Nova Scotia, will run a company that will do a billion dollars in sales some day. We at the BBI fully intend to continue to help Black businesses succeed, to help Black businesses grow, and to help Black businesses export as we build a solid business community. Our success is a result of the work of dozens of committed people over the years. Albert Einstein once said,
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“Come to the edge he said and he said no, Come to the edge he said and he said no. Come to the edge …and he came and he pushed him and he flew. - Guillaume Apolliniare (With thanks to Dennis Kimbro. Think and Grow Rich, the Black Perspective).
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Your Future Starts Today â€“
We thank those who have paved the road before us, and who have given us the strength to forge ahead with the knowledge and experience they share. In this very special edition, we talk to past Chairs of the Black Business Initiative Board of Directors, who talk about their experience with the BBI, in business and also in life.
Juanita Peters Angela Johnson, Ed
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CASSANDRA DORRINGTON 2006 – present
Vale & Associates Human Resource Management and Consulting Inc.
Cassandra and Cynthia Dorrington, co-founders of Vale & Associates Human Resource Management and Consulting Inc. are not only sisters but best friends. Three years ago the Dorrington sisters took a chance at running their own business after two decades working in the high-tech / telecommunications / consulting industry. Cassandra worked for 20 years with organizations like Aliant Inc., Xwave, and Deloitte Consulting, specializing in accounting and human resources. While Cynthia’s background in information technology, project management, training and development saw her working 19 years with Aliant Inc., Xwave, and Minacs Worldwide Inc. The sisters developed a viable business plan, and Vale & Associates was born. Since opening its doors in
2003, Vale & Associates has significantly broadened its client base to include clients in the Caribbean and Africa. (Taken from Issue 34 / Fall 2006)
1. What do you think is the BBI’s legacy so far? BBI’s legacy is its positive and tangible impact on the Black Business Community over the past ten years. Just to review the statistics, BBI is accountable for over 500 new jobs as well as a number of viable business start-ups in the Nova Scotia economy. This is an impressive record by any standard. BBI has created a legacy of sound business practices and is known for continued on page 19 >
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its transparency in business practices and its accountability to our stakeholders, including funding bodies, clients and constituents in general. 2. What do you think is BBI’s impact on business in NS?
At the start of my business, I limited my thoughts and thus limited my business opportunities. Through consultation with business mentors, I learned not to limit myself but to dream big dreams and they will happen.
Overall BBI has become and continues to be a key player in the Nova Scotian business landscape
7. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in business?
3. Describe your relationship with BBI.
I wish that I had known to let go of my anxieties and fears and simply enjoy the process.
I have long been a supporter of the organization. When the opportunity presented itself to become an active participant of the board, I took advantage of it and have since moved into the role of Chair of the BBI Board. 4. Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? For a long time, I had wanted to own my own business but not until my interaction with BBI, did it become a tangible dream. As an entrepreneur, I am able to design my work, select my clients and create the world as I see it. Being an entrepreneur has allowed me to manage the quality of my life and work. 5. List your top 5 achievements in business. As I am early in my entrepreneurial career, my list is just beginning but my achievements to date include: • Successful transition from the corporate environment to the entrepreneurial world
• Starting my own business
• Bidding on and winning my first international contract • Steady organic business growth year over year as a result of good contracts, good clients and good work 6. What is the biggest mistake you have ever made in your entrepreneurial career?
time and for a reason. I have been blessed by my relationships with many incredible people, family, friends and business acquaintances, etc… who have enabled me to actively participate in an exciting journey both personally and professionally and for that I am incredibly thankful.
GARNET WRIGHT 2005 – 2006 The Stone Gallery
8. How many people work for your company? Two principals work in the company but a good portion of our work is completed via work with associates. 9. What are three pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? • Dream big • Be persistent • If you are not happy in your business then you are doing something wrong 10. What do you think are the most telling things about you?
• Astrological sign - Capricorn
• Cat or dog person - With two cats and a dog, I am a huge animal fan • Most liked movie - The Count of Monte Cristo / The Scarlett Pimpernel • What sport are you best at playing - Distance Running • At the end of your life, what would you like to be remembered for? - Doing my part to make it a better world. • If you had to do it all over again, what would you change? • I would not change a thing. Everything happens in its own
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Garnet Wright has a favourite phrase when he talks about his company: natural evolution. It’s his way of describing how a business – like a life – grows organically in stages, and not all at once or always according to plan. From building a stone patio in his backyard to tracking down a supplier that happened to be looking for an importer for their product to the creation and launch of Stone Gallery in 2002. Wright, a financial planner and investment banker with the Royal Bank of Canada at the time, continued at the bank during Stone Gallery’s first few years. His business began in a yard in Harrietsfield, focussing on installing patios, walkways and pool-sides and then branching out to include floors and countertops. In August 2004, Wright left the Royal Bank to focus
on Stone Gallery full-time. In spring 2005, the company opened a showroom in Bayers Lake Business Park. (Taken from Issue 30/Summer 2005)
1. What do you think is the BBI’s legacy so far? The BBI’s legacy is credibility, integrity, network in the economic development arena. The BBI unlike other organizations in the past has continued to build on itself, growing to meet the changing needs of our community. We have made it to 10 years by continually learning and adapting. We have a forward thinking board that strives to ensure we are ready to assist in the future. 2. Describe your relationship with BBI I have been a board member since 1999, and sit on many committees. I too have benefited from the work that BBI does. Marketing assistance, communication strategies, help with planning and growth strategies in my own business. 3. Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? I chose to be an entrepreneur partly because of an opportunity I saw and part because of my involvement in the BBI. I saw the ability for me to directly benefit from my hard work and dedication. I had reached a point in my career where I lost my passion and needed to harness my interest in working with my hands and the satisfaction gained from creating something from nothing. The stone business just developed from an idea.
- successfully building the retail shop for the stone gallery - having employees that are content and happy/ actually making money 5. What is the biggest mistake you have ever made in your entrepre neurial career? Extending too much freedom to my employees, and trade relationships, and finding out the hard way that not everyone in business is as honest as I am. 6. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in business? I wish I knew more in the beginning about contracts and accounts receivable systems so I can manage the cash flows better. Now I have a system in place to invoice, receipts, operating systems etc. This makes things much more manageable and professional. 7. How many people work for your company? The business is seasonal so in winter we are a staff of only 4-5 but in the peak season May-November we have anywhere from 8-10 staff, plus now I utilize subcontractors so they offer 5-6 additional bodies.
to go without for a while in the beginning so have a reserve fund in place to help you through • Do Not hire family and friends it just makes it difficult to make clear decisions for your business without the stress of feeling obligated • Understand your strategy in business and stick to it, you will have ups and downs but you have to believe in your business for it to succeed. 9. What do you think are the most telling things about you?
• Astrological sign - Sagittarius
• Last book read - The Hidden Life of Dogs • Cat or dog person - Definitely a dog person ( I have a baby dog named KOTA) • Actor you like most - Morgan Freeman • Most liked movie - Lord Of The Rings • When I grow up I would like ... - to be healthy and happy • Which sport do you like to watch the most? - Basketball
8. What are three pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
• What sport are you best at playing? - Basketball/ pool/ golf
• Understand that you may have
• One thing you would do to
4. List your top 5 achievements in business. - surviving the start up - sustained growth over the last 5 years - developing a reputable name in the industry
continued on page 21 >
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change the world - Get rid of money
1. What do you think is the BBI’s legacy so far?
• What do you do to chill out? - Go camping or hiking
As an organization, the BBI has become a role model. Its events, transparent financial accountability, successful partnerships and professionalism have raised the bar for organizations throughout Nova Scotia.
• At the end of your life, what would you like to be remembered for? - Being a genuinely generous and kind person
MIKE WYSE 2003-2005
CG International Consultants
In addition, the BBI has been strategically resourceful and innovative in responding to the support and advocacy needs of the Black Business Community. In its commitment to serve, the BBI has remained committed to expanding its suite of demand driven products and services. In doing so, it proudly stands as one of the most innovative and successful business support organizations in Atlantic Canada. 2. What do you think is BBI’s impact on business in NS? Entrepreneurship is about people development. From day one, the BBI was focused on building capacity and business skills within the Black business community. This investment in human capital is now paying huge dividends.
Mike Wyse spent two years at the Black Business Initiative, from September 1996 to September 1998 as Regional Business Development Manager for the Central Region serving and then as board member overseeing the BBI’s training mandate, and finally as chair. His career has included working as the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Education & Development’s regional co-ordinator for “Open for Business” and Venture Centres. His time with the BBI was both challenging and rewarding. He says. “It was meaningful to see dreams come to fruition and to contribute to the economic development of the Black community.” (Taken from Issue #7 / Winter 1998)
By celebrating local successes, hosting trade missions, coordinating round table discussions, hosting conferences and much more, many more people now believe that they have the ability and support to start and or expand their business. Taking action is at the core of entrepreneurial success and the BBI has been an instrumental catalyst in supporting people to pursue their business dreams and goals. 3. Describe your relationship with BBI . I was a RBDM, a training manager, a board member, the Chair and now one of BBI biggest advocates. 4. Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? Initially, I started in business to supplement my income. The more
21 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
I explored the business world the more interested and engaged I became. I like the challenge of creating and building things. 5. List your top 5 achievements in business. My passion is social entrepreneurship. My satisfaction comes from doing good business while doing good. 6. What is the biggest mistake you have ever made in your entrepreneurial career? Starting a business for the money. I have since learned to do what I have fun doing and the rewards follow. 7. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in business? Successful businesses are lead by people that are able to get staff and other stakeholders excited about and committed to their vision. Success is not based on how hard you work; it is about how well you align your team and their actions with your vision. 8. What are three pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? • Success is about you and how you choose to define success • Build a strong team around you and your company • Have fun and plan to maitain life balance – family, friends and “me” time 9. What do you think are the most telling things about you? • Last books read: -The Market for Virtue, The potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility by David Vogel •
Capitalism at the Crossroads, A pioneering roadmap to responsible corporate growth by Stuart L. Hart
• Which sport do you like to watch the most? – cage fighting • What sport are you best at playing? – combat sports
BARBARA MANNING 2001-2003 IT Interactive Inc.
You don’t choose to become an entrepreneur, you either are or you are not. Business people can be built, entrepreneurs have the spirit within them.
• One thing you would do to change the world – Encourage “each one to reach one” – Each of us is the beneficiary of the effort, struggles and sacrifices of those who have come before us. We have a privileged opportunity to reach out and help others realize their goals and dreams. Each of us has something special to offer.
5. List your top 5 achievements in business. Difficult question, don’t believe I have achieved them as yet. Notable to date would be developing export markets for IT Interactive Services; Always being able to have a vision of where our company should be; Learning to become a better leader and to mentor my team to bring out the best in them.
• I have the distinguished privilege of working with communities in parts of South Africa, Ghana and other developing regions to address issues of poverty, inclusion and economic development. Though I am not changing the world, I am improving the way some people experience their world. • What do you do to chill out?: Travel, scuba dive, exercise - but not as much as I should. • At the end of your life, what would you like to be remembered for? - That I gave more than I took. That I left a “foot print” that makes a difference. • If you had to do it all over again, what would you change? - I would change nothing. I am who I am because of the challenges and successes that I have experienced. Each door that closes offers an opening to new possibilities that I am better pre pared to champion.
4. Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?
6. What is the biggest mistake you have ever made in your entrepreneurial career? 1. What do you think is the BBI’s legacy thus far? The BBI has raised the bar in terms of helping to develop and grow small businesses in Nova Scotia. The BBI is well respected and has been able to bring credibility to a government funded organization as well as to the businesses that it supports. 2. What do you think is BBI’s impact on business in NS? BBI is a model for not only providing educational supports for new businesses but now is developing a roadmap for taking deserving small businesses to the next level. 3. Describe your relationship with BBI I served as a Board Member from 1995, became the vice-chair under Gordon Tynes and the Chair upon his retirement. After resigning as Chair I have always been extremely proud of the organization and have attempted to the best of my ability to support the BBI whenever possible.
The only mistake one could make in an entrepreneurial or business career is not making decisions or taking actions whether positive or negative in a timely manner; everything else is a learning experience. 7. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in business? I have a much better sense of myself now and that always improves your ability to be effective. Trusting your own judgment is one of the biggest advantages one in business can have. Being accountable and making everyone accountable for the success of the business is critical. 8. How many people work for your company? We currently have 30 employees. 9. What are three pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? Plan, Implement, React, adapt to change quickly and trust your instincts. continued on page 23 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 22
10. What do you think are the most telling things about you?
• Last book read - “Get Your People to Work Like They Mean It! by Jean Blacklock & Evelyn Jacks
• When I grow up I would like... - Don’t intend to grow up, intend to continue to use my imagination, dream big dreams and believe
• Which sport do you like to watch the most? - Figure Skating and Football
• One thing you would do to change the world - Greet every one with a smile and a loving and generous thought
• What do you do to chill out? - Curl up with my life-mate and friend, John
• At the end of your life, what would you like to be remembered for? - For bringing some joy to people in my life
• If you had to do it all over again, what would you change? - Not a thing!
GORDON TYNES 1997-2001
Gordon worked in the engineering field for more than 15 years.
“My father was in the Armed Forces so I lived in different places across Canada until we arrived in Dartmouth in 1968. I graduated from Graham Creighton High School in 1974 and went to university but didn’t stay.”
HECTOR JACQUES 1996-1997 Jacques Whitford
“I quit school and worked for two years at odd jobs - at the KMart and Woolco, washing cars, at a bakery, and as an orderly at Camp Hill Hospital. I realized that I needed something more substantial to get a better job.” “I went to the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology on Leeds Street from 1976 to 1978 and graduated with a Diploma in Engineering Technology. Then I worked for Michelin in Bridgewater for a while. I got two job offers, one from Atomic Energy of Canada in Port Hawkesbury and another from Koppernaes Engineering in Bedford. I went with Koppernaes and began work on my engineering degree. So, from 1980 until I graduated in 1985, I worked full time with them and went to school full time.” After graduation, Gordon was sent to Boston to help set up a pultrusion plant for Koppernaes. The next step on his journey to opening his own business led him back to Halifax, where he worked with the Advanced Materials Engineering Centre from 1987 until he left to set up T W Pultrusions in 1994.
Hector Jacques grew up in Goa, a Portuguese colony off the coast of India, approximately 300 miles south of Bombay. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, he came to Nova Scotia to study for his Master’s degree in Engineering at the Technical University of Nova Scotia. After his first few years of working for another engineering company, Hector Jacques knew he could do better. In 1972, he and co-founder Michael Whitford decided to strike out on their own and Jacques Whitford Group, Ltd., an international environmental engineering and consulting firm based in Burnside, was born.
Since then the company has had a solid stream of profits that have elevated the “I got involved with the Black business from a handful of employees to Business Initiative because I truly thousands. Jacques Whitford offices can believed in the objectives that were be found in most provinces in Canada, stated in the Task Force Report. My several U.S. locations, and in Trinidad. concern initially was whether or not Today, Jacques’ vision is to continue to there was a true desire to achieve shape and build his company for anoththese objectives. When I met the er nine or ten years. He then hopes to other board members, I saw that have his employees buy out his ownerthere were some very qualified people ship and allow him the freedom to retire involved, and I decided to and explore new horizons. get involved!” Taken from Issue 3 / Fall 1997
23 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
Taken from Issue 14 / Fall 2000
1. What do you think is the BBI’s legacy so far?
for aspiring entrepreneurs?
• Have a simple but effective game plan and pursue it with vigor
• Hire the best and create around them a winning culture
2. What do you think is BBI’s impact on business in NS?
• Kill your ego and seek help from whoever is prepared to offer it to you
In my view again, it has been good to great but Rustum could give you the stats to back it up.
10. What do you think are the most telling things about you?
3. Describe your relationship with BBI
• Most liked movie - Sleepless in Seattle
None currently other than you always empathize with an agency that you were the first chair of.
• Which sport do you like to watch the most - Golf
Been a great one. Done a lot of positive things and has remained an agency free of any controversy which has been good for BBI and an example to others that things can be done effectively.
4. Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? Really because it was the only way that I could positively affect my life and the lives of those around me.
• What sport are you best at playing - Tennis
- Outlaw all forms of Communism and Socialism as it impoverishes humankind. History has shown that over and over again and still we do not learn. Make this a better world for all by equality of opportunity for advancement and look after those who really need help.
• What do you do to chill out • Spend time and travel the world with my wife Sharon.
• At the end of your life, what would you like to be remembered for? - That is for others to decide. Hopefully that I desired a better world!
• If you had to do it all over again, what would you change - Not sure, but I do not think very much!
• One thing you would do to change the world
5. List your top 5 achievements in business. Really this is for others to judge. From my perspective, it was building a national, and now a growing international organization from humble Nova Scotia roots. 6. What is the biggest mistake you have ever made in your entrepre neurial career? There have been many but to name the biggest would be difficult.
Looking for opportunity? Let us show you.
7. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in business?
If you’re looking for independence, success, and an opportunity for financial rewards that reflect your efforts, then you should consider a career as a Clarica advisor in the financial services industry.
Much more about business taxation and human behavior.
May I show you the opportunity?
8. How many people work for your company? Over 1600 at the current time. 9. What are three pieces of advice
Please call or email.
Jeanette Reynolds, Sales Manager Bus (902) 481-0022 ext 2243 firstname.lastname@example.org Clarica Financial Services Inc.
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 24
Staying connected. From Information Morning on CBC Radio One to CBC News at Six on CBC Television, weâ€™re proud to be a part of the community.
CBC News At Six
With Don Connolly and Elizabeth Logan
With Norma Lee MacLeod
cbc.ca/ns Congratulations to the Black Business Initiative on 10 successful years.
Congratulations to the Black Business Initiative on your 10th Anniversary, from all of us at Stewart McKelvey.
Barristers, Solicitors and Trademark Agents
Harvey H. Millar, Ph.D., P.Eng. Take 5 was a successful business column we featured for several years written by professor and business consultant, Dr. Harvey Millar. In this special issue we have opted to reprint two of his most popular columns. Why Strategic Plans Fail Most leaders of private and public agencies will argue quite fervently that strategic planning is a powerful and valuable management tool. Yet, surprisingly, only a small fraction of these leaders have taken their organizations through a formal strategic planning exercise. Even worse, many of those who have would probably need to dust the cobwebs off their strategic plan before showing it to you. Surprisingly, a strategic plan often ends up sitting on a shelf or buried in a drawer, patiently waiting. Instead, it may soon be joined by a new plan reflecting “new” conditions. Sadly, this plan too will suffer the same fate. Why do so many organizations spend thousands of dollars to produce a document that will sit on a shelf? Or make a half-hearted attempt at implementing the plan, only to abandon it partway through the organizational changes? You might conclude that
Dr. Millar is a Professor of Operations Management in the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University, and a management consultant specializing in strategic planning and performance improvement of organizations. He can be reached at Harvey.email@example.com or through his website www.harveymillar.com. strategic planning has failed. On the contrary! I submit that strategic plans do not fail, but rather, those organizations have failed their strategic plans. A strategic plan does not just get up and enact itself. It has to be made a living document. So where do all these well-meaning companies go wrong? What is Strategic Planning? Strategic planning is a process by which an organization makes decisions today that will determine its pattern of success tomorrow. Strategic planning requires a thorough understanding of an organization’s internal and external environments, the trends taking place within those environments, and the inherent critical issues that have the potential to affect the success of the organization. Strategic planning sets out to answer three key questions: 1) Where are we? (awareness);
27 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
2) Where are we going? (analysis); and 3) How will we get there? (action) To answer the first question the organization must understand its internal and external environments. To answer the second question there must be a strategic vision, a mission, and a set of clear goals and objectives reflecting the mission. Answering the third question means developing strategies and allocating resources to achieve the mission and vision. Successful strategic planning is a continuous process. It starts by viewing the future as unpredictable and considers a range of possible futures. It asks basic questions, such as “what business should we be in?” and “are we doing the right thing?” A successful strategic plan focuses on results; it’s information-based, properly documented and communicated, ongoing and flexible, a driver of operations, and measurable.
Benefits of Strategic Planning If carried out successfully, strategic planning has several attractive and important benefits. These include: • • • • • • • • • • •
providing a framework for action that is embedded in the mind-set of the organization’s employees providing a framework for managers and employees to assess alternatives and make decisions using a common language and a shared sense of values and beliefs enabling the leaders to direct the organization’s energy behind a shared vision and a belief that the vision can be achieved enabling the organization to better understand its operating environment and develop the necessary capacity to allow it to capitalize on emerging trends providing a basis upon which to evaluate the organization’s performance developing an explicit under standing of the organization’s purpose, business(es), and values among the stakeholders developing a blueprint for action improving communication and teamwork between management and staff providing a framework for taking advantage of the organization’s strengths and eliminating or reducing its weaknesses providing a framework for taking defensive steps to reduce threats facing the organization offering a rational basis for resource allocation
Given their promise, why then do so many strategic planning initiatives fail to produce the desired results? Why do so many gather dust? I would like to highlight five major ways in which organizations fail their strategic plans.
1. Resistance to change Resistance to change leading to a lack of organizational support for the strategic planning process is perhaps the single most important reason plans are abandoned. Some people simply are not willing to deal with the changes that typically emerge from the planning process. Others question the motivation behind the process. Why this? Why now? What is the hidden agenda? Is this going to lead to restructuring and downsizing? Factors such as the level of understanding about strategic planning, the extent to which the organization’s leadership feels there is a need for change and the sense of urgency all affect attitudes towards the process. Before embarking on a strategic planning process, an organization’s leaders must ensure that there is sufficient understanding and support for it. Issues that drive fear of change must be adequately addressed. 2. Lack of integrity of a plan Several factors can cause staff to distrust the plan’s integrity: poor preparation, lack of input from key stakeholders, insufficient data resulting in speculation about issues and performance, and insufficient time to absorb, analyze, and synthesize information and ideas. Consequently, data, ideas, strategies, budgets and projected results tend to be subjective and are instinctively treated with suspicion. When the planners themselves do not fully accept the product it’s difficult for them to sell the plan to others. 3. Lack of implementation strategy Many organizations try to produce a strategic plan too quickly, often during a weekend retreat. Strategies hurriedly brainstormed in 30-minute sessions are often vaguely defined. It is also quite common for the process to end without prioritization
of goals, objectives or strategies. Organizations often do not allow enough time for the complex task of establishing strategies for each goal and defining the outcomes, activities, budgets, scheduling, coordination and allocation of physical and human resources, etc. So it’s not surprising that when the planners return to the workplace it’s business as usual. 4. Lack of effective communication A lack of effective communication can relegate even the best-prepared plan to the shelf. If people do not know what is expected of them, how can they align their work to suit the plan? Organizational leaders must first accept the plan then become its disciples. The plan becomes a “bible”. Each divisional head must understand the plan, communicate it to their staff, and develop the mechanism for making the requirements of the plan part of their daily work. 5. Lack of effective leadership and/or organizational skills No matter how good the strategic plan, a lack of effective leadership and/or a lack of appropriate skills and competencies can spell failure. When strategies are being brainstormed, there is often insufficient attention given to competency requirements and ease of implementation. Before blaming the process, leaders should take a long hard look at themselves and their organization. A skills inventory audit can help identify competency gaps that threaten the strategic plan. An innovative plan will often require changes in systems, processes and organizational culture. There may be a need for new or improved systems for data collection, reporting, budgeting, evaluation, performance measurement, customer management, human resources, etc. continued on page 29 >
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I believe many leaders shy away from strategic plans, in part because the plans provide significant challenges to their organizationâ€™s current skill capacity. Summary All organizations are facing challenges today. These include increased globalization and competition, increased pressures to do more with less, a greater push towards structural adjustment and reform, a growing thrust towards e-government, increased demand for customer-focused service delivery, and increased decentralization and privatization. Strategic planning and strategic management offer effective mechanisms for addressing the challenges of this new environment. However, organizations embarking on the pro-
cess of strategic planning must strive to circumnavigate the traps and pitfalls that force plans into early extinction. They must commit to supporting their strategic plans by taking the following steps. 1. Giving the planning process sufficient time to bear fruit. 2. Dealing head-on with the fears driving resistance to change. 3.
Allowing sufficient opportunity for collecting and introducing meaningful data, and sufficiently vetting ideas.
29 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
4. Carefully designing an implementation strategy to roll out the plan 5. Communicating the plan effectively so it becomes part of everyoneâ€™s daily work. 6. Ensuring the organization acquires or develops the competencies needed to support
Towards Business Excellence
Today’s business environment is not for the faint-hearted. Rapid changes in customer demographics and needs; the pace of technological change; the unpredictability of the local economic climate; the impact of globalization on the intensity of competition; and the impact of extraneous phenomena such as SARS, September 11 and war are all critical factors that keep business leaders up at night pondering their next strategic move. Managing for business excellence has become a challenge of mammoth proportions. Many well-known businesses such as Air Canada, Nortel, American Airlines, IBM, Microsoft, are all struggling to keep their pocket books “in the black” against this volatile backdrop. To survive, business leaders must hold steadfast to the principle that survival requires “a commitment to managing for excellence”. It is important to keep in mind that organizational excellence has contextual and temporal dimensions, among others. By that, I mean the critical context for excellence is expectations. Excellence requires meeting and exceeding internal and external stakeholder expectations (shareholders’ profit expectations, customers’ quality/value expectations, employees’ expectations around salary and benefits, job enrichment, and so on). Recognizing that the operating environment for an organization is not static, a state of excellence has a life span. As the operating environment changes, stakeholder expectations often change too. Consequently, the requirements for excellence also change. What was great yesterday might very well be perceived as mediocre tomorrow. So how do business leaders develop a focus on excellence?
Five Requisites for Business Excellence There are several factors that affect an organization’s ability to achieve excellence. I would like to highlight what I think are five imperatives: • • • • •
establishment of a shared strategic vision nurturing of a burning passion for the vision and for success development of committed talented people with a balance of leadership and followship skills development of the capacity to create and/or acquire knowledge the existence of a critical mass of creative capacity within the organization, creativity being about the transformation of knowledge into strategic value
The Vision I don’t know of an organization, private or public, that can truly claim it is successful without a strategic vision. A shared strategic vision provides the rallying image of success for the organization. It is necessary in order to provide meaning to the organization’s purpose (its mission). Realizing an organization’s vision requires visionary and actionary leadership. For success, it is crucial for the vision to reflect a commitment to social responsibility, innovation, employees, and strategic partners. Visionary leadership must create and communicate the image of success. Actionary leadership must move the entire organization toward that image. A Burning Passion It is not uncommon to find vision statements in modern organizations. But is there sufficient passion to drive the organization towards that vision? Commitment and passion cannot be created in a threeday business retreat. It comes from passionate leadership inspiring the flock to follow the vision. To use a
Christian analogy, a passionate preacher delivering fiery sermons on the greatness of Jesus nurtures the passion for Jesus Christ. Find a boring preacher and you will find a passionless church with a wandering flock. Business organizations have little chance at success without passionate leadership. Committed Talented People Having committed people with no talent or talented people with no commitment is a recipe for disaster. People need both talent and commitment. Talent can be developed through many of the great tools of human resource management, such as employee development, empowerment and training. Commitment, on the other hand, must be driven by providing opportunities for employees to develop a stake in the organization. In the past, job security drove commitment to organizations. Job security is quickly becoming a thing of the past, so business organizations must search for new ways to inspire commitment. Another crucial element of the people dimension of excellence is having a balance between leadership capacity and followship capacity. All leaders and no followers, or all followers and no leaders will cripple an organization. The organization will become immobile or lack direction, both of which are paths to failure. The capacity to create and acquire knowledge There is a saying that “what is important gets measured, and what gets measured gets improved.” Any organization focused on excellence must invest in measuring what is important. Excellence requires continuous improvement and continuous improvement requires knowledge. A business must provide itself with transformative opportunity. continued on page 31 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 30
Such opportunity comes with the active acquisition and interpretation of data to create knowledge. There are too many organizations willingly managed by speculation and not by fact. For excellence, organizations must adopt a management-by-fact philosophy and become active in the acquisition and interpretation of data. Creative capacity An organization with vision, passion, commitment and knowledge, but with no capacity to create meaningful solutions out of its “messes”, cannot achieve excellence. Creative capacity goes beyond the capacity that science and technology gives us .
Science and technology provide consistency, repeatability, reliability, but they do not create the solutions – they support them. Art and creativity in management is about the unique deployment of talent, resources and knowledge, blended with a passion for excellence to create innovative and sustainable solutions in unstructured environments. Organizations often have to deal simultaneously with multiple issues, which can easily result in unstructured messes. Without creative capacity, excellence is not achievable. Organizations can maximize their creative capacity by leveraging diversity among customers, stakeholders, employees, suppliers, and technologies.
31 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
While I have identified five requisites for business excellence, this list is by no means exhaustive. However, it is a crucial list, which suggests that if any one element is lacking, chances for business excellence are seriously compromised. There is no simple recipe that I can provide that will lead to automatic success. If that were the case, I wouldn’t be writing this article. What I have identified are the key tools for the “business painter.” Now it is time to take each of these elements, conjure up all your artistic creativity and begin to create your masterpiece. Dr. Millar can be reached at Harvey.firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website www.harveymillar.com.
Questions for Entrepreneurs
Belinda States, Bezan 1. Astrological sign? - Capricorn 2. Last Book read? - Entrepreneurship for Dummies 3. Favourite movie star? - Halle Berry 4. Favourite Movie? - Lord of the Rings
he story of the Black Business Community Investment Fund is a true testament to the BBI’s vision of helping Black Business succeed.
The decision to create a Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) began when Chris Payne of the Department of Economic Development made a presentation to the Black Business Initiative’s (BBI) board in the summer of 2001 explaining the government’s new strategy of encouraging investments in our local economy. The statistics he shared were alarming; only two percent of the half billion dollars that Nova Scotians contribute annually towards their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) is reinvested in their own province. To encourage individuals to invest in these funds the government provided a 30% equity tax
5. Why did you choose the life of an Entrepreneur? - Personal choice, this is my third time as an entrepreneur 6. What is your favorite sport to watch? - Boxing 7. What sport are you best at playing? - Volleyball 8. What is your word of wisdom? - Think first 9. One thing you would do to change the world? - Stop racism
credit. Recently, this credit was revised so that if you leave your money in for 15 years, you can get up to a 60% tax credit. The board saw this investment strategy as an excellent vehicle to compliment BBI’s loans portfolio. So after almost a year of research and due diligence the Black Business Community Investment Fund was created with the BBI board executive serving as its start-up board. On February 6, 2003, the fund was launched at a formal ceremony at the Prince George Hotel in Halifax. With a deadline of March 1, the fund had the challenge to market and raise at least $100,000 within 30 days. On the last date of the offering, March 1, we had raised some $80,000 of the minimum target. We decided at that point to withdraw the offering rather than extend
10. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your entrepreneur career? - Thinking I know everything 11. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started out? - Marketing 12. How do you know if you have what it takes to strike out on your own and become an entrepreneur? - You have to be determined 13. How many people work for your company? - Six 14. What do you do to chill out? - Hang out with my family. 15. If you had to do it all over again what would you change? - Finding a better location 16. What is your three pieces of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? - Cash flow - Believe in what you are doing - Be determined 17. What drives you to work every day? - My work ethic
continued on page 33 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 32
the deadline, since extending it would have meant our investors would not have been able to claim their tax credits for that year. Following the decision, the subscribers were quickly informed so they could redirect their RRSP contributions for that year.
Announcement of the creation of the BBCIFL in 2003. l-r Gordon Doe, Garnet Wright, BBI Vice Chair, Chris Payne, NSOED, Mike Queripel, NSBI
A number of factors contributed to our inability to meet the $100,000 minimum target. First, the financial markets in 2002 were still recovering from the shock and scandals that had plagued the industry and people were cautious and even fearful to invest. To
make matters worse for us, financial advisors were discouraging their clients from investing, citing the fundâ€™s risk profile. Secondly, the CEDIF product was new and had not gained mainstream recognition. Finally, but not least, the time was short. Raising $100,000 within 30 days was not a long time considering the fact that we were new in the game. In fact, we had underestimated the time we would require to obtain a non-objection (approval) from the Nova Scotia Securities Commission, a key reason we found ourselves under the 30-day time crunch. So armed with these valuable insights we decided to reoffer the shares the coming year. We had a very successful close of $130,000 and have been very fortunate since. Today, four years later, we have had
33 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
four consecutive successful offerings and have been able to raise a total of some $350,000, with the most recent offering netting $60,000. We achieved this success because of the tremendous support of so many people, particularly our list of some 70 investors to date, and the team effort of all BBI board and staff. The good folks at the NS Securities Commission, Department of Finance and Office of Economic Development have been extremely supportive of this initiative. We have ensured from the very start, that this model is sustainable over the long term. At the very first Annual General Meeting a 12-member permanent volunteer board was elected to replace the interim BBI executive. The board functions as both a policy and an operational board with two active subcommittees: an investment committee and a
subsequent-offering committee. At our first AGM, shareholders voted to have Grant Thornton serve as accountant and Waterbury Newton as legal counsel. We have held three annual general meetings, and have currently set Thursday, June 28, as our date for the fourth AGM. We have seen some activity and success in our investment portfolio. To date, we have made a total of four different investments totaling $250,000. We have equity investments to the tune of $150,000 in the Bin Doctor, an environmental company, for product development and expansion into the national retail market. Today, the company is strategically placed in the Toronto business market and its products can be found in your local grocery stores including Wal-Mart. The second investment was in C.A. Wilkins Construction Ltd., an electrical installation company based in Dartmouth. An initial $50,000 subordinate debt investment was
provided to support a short-term contract. This was repaid and currently a second $100,000 shortterm investment has been made to the company. The average return on these debt investments is 8%. Going forward, the fund will continue to assist with the growth of Black-owned business and to create shareholder wealth. Accordingly, we aim at growing our capital base (through selling shares) to at least a few million so the fund is able to achieve long-term sustainable growth through dividend income and capital gains. Also, the rich volunteer skill-set at the board and BBIâ€™s continued solid support will be most critical to achieve this goal. Last, but not least, we are very confident that our shareholders, current and prospective, will continue to stand with us in this journey of wealth creation in our community. We encourage you to join us.
#ONGRATULATIONS TO THE "LACK "USINESS )NITIATIVE ON SUCCESSFUL YEARS &ROM EVERYONE AT
4HERIAULT &INANCIAL )NC %MPLOYEE "ENEl TS 3PECIALISTS
0HONE &AX WWWTl CC
#ONGRATULATIONS TO THE "LACK "USINESS )NITIATIVE ON SUCCESSFUL YEARS FROM EVERYONE AT
4HERIAULT &INANCIAL )NC %MPLOYEE "ENEl TS 3PECIALISTS
Message fron the Board continued from page 10
industry to promote and support youth entrepreneurship
an overarching organization, Black Business Enterprises, that facilitates and supports integration and governance across the entities
Step three is the implementation of the new structure. BBI is currently in the throes of implementing the new structure. Black Business Consulting is operational and has recently incorporated its first subsidiary, focusing on project management and construction services. Business is Jamminâ€™ has begun to enjoy the successes of its recently received charitable status. Black Business Enterprises, while established, is currently awaiting the new governance guidelines to fully define its operational requirements. BBI and its related entities are in the midst of implementation and upon completion will lay the groundwork for step four, the evaluation and feedback of the new sustainability strategy. It has been an exciting journey from BBIâ€™s inception in 1996 to now. It is anticipated that this ongoing journey is expected to be challenging as BBI moves forward towards meeting the changing needs of the Nova Scotian Black Business owners. Thank you to our many partners and stakeholders over the past 10 years. Please know that we appreciate your support and we welcome your ongoing support in the years to come. In the words of Ben Sweetland, â€œSuccess is a journey, not a destinationâ€?. So whatâ€™s next for BBI? As you can tell, it has been an exciting 10-year journey. Given the evolving business environment, the shifting political landscape and changing client needs, it is anticipated that it will continue to be a challenging and exciting future for BBI and its client base. Stay tuned as BBI continues on its path towards the establishment and support of a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community.
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 0HONE &AX
Key Businesses â€“ A Day in the Life
feels that IT Interactive has just arrived at the beginning...
Barbara and John Manning owners of IT Interactive
IT Interactive Chad Lucas Photography by: Paul Adams
35 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
The web-technology business will launch its flagship product, a focused web crawler called GenieKnows.com, at the end of June. “Basically this is the beginning of a return to what we started out to be,” said Manning, president of IT Interactive and a former chairwoman of the Black Business Initiative’s (BBI) board of directors. “When the company started, it was our intention to do research and come up with a super-search facility.” But when the dot-com bubble burst early in the new millennium, the company had to change its original plans, focusing instead on research and business-to-business applications. The switch was a success – IT Interactive has always been profitable, Manning says, and its research into web technology has gained respect and attention worldwide. “As we speak, a good part of our research staff is in Banff (Alberta) presenting at a conference,”
Manning said in an interview in mid-May. But now, with the launch of GenieKnows.com, IT Interactive is returning to what it set out to do in the first place. “It’s almost like starting a new business for us,” Manning said. The difference between GenieKnows and a search engine like Google is that GenieKnows is focused on a particular interest. The first “vertical” will be geared to the gaming community – diehard fans of online video games and consoles such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Gaming is a growing industry, with contests and tournaments offering increasingly lucrative cash prizes. Searching GenieKnows for a topic will only turn up results relevant to gaming. But it’s more than just a search engine, said Manning. The site will include things such as blogs, links to major gam-
ing sites and competitions. “What we’re doing is picking communities that we’re going to build around our searches,” she said. “We’ve targeted specific areas and users. We’ll have everything that you’ve told us you want to find on the Web in one destination.” The launch is leading to new growth in the company, which currently employs about 35 people. “But we’re hiring every day, right now, so if you call me tomorrow, it’s different,” Manning said. The company plans to launch other focused verticals in the near future, starting with one on health. But the goal isn’t to cover every topic under the sun, said Manning. “You have to find your niche, which is why we’ve very carefully selected an area right now that is unique,” she said. “The point is not to have 30 or 40 verticals, the point is to have three or four and do them really well.”
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 36
The African Canadian Services Division Extends Best Wishes to the Black Business Initiative in recognition of its 10th anniversary publication The department works with various partners to develop educational programs, resources and materials to promote a greater understanding of the history, culture and contributions made to our province by African Nova Scotians. Scholarship Program for African Nova Scotian Students - There are several scholarships available to African Nova Scotian Students which include the University Entrance Scholarship, Post-Secondary Award, Community College Award, Performing Arts Award, Science Profession Scholarship and Teacher Education Scholarship. Please visit our website at http://acs.ednet.ns.ca for additional information and deadline dates. New Initiative: Short Term Job Training Grants now available at the African Canadian Services Division. Preference given to applicants enrolled in trades with high job growth and demand which will lead to immediate employment. These include policing, fire fighting, oil rig work, heavy construction equipment operators and health care professions such as medical technologists and technicians. Call: 424-4290 New at NSCC...African Canadian Transition Program - Are you 19 years or over and looking to upgrade? Have you successfully completed Grade 10 but do not have a high school diploma? Nova Scotia Community College and the African Canadian Services Division are proud to announce the African Canadian Transition Program. Call NSCC: 491-4874 Nova Scotia Department of Education African Canadian Services Division (ACSD) 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2S9 Phone: (902) 424-2586 Fax: (902) 424-7210 Email: http://acs.ednet.ns.ca
37 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
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Task Force to Ten Years of the Enterprise Black Business Initiative
hen Dolly Williams was asked to join the task force that would launch the Black Business Initiative (BBI) she hesitated. Then she realized how different her own path would have been if such an organization already existed. Williams and her husband, Sinclair, ran a construction company. Like many Black entrepreneurs, they had the job skills but found the business aspect daunting. “We knew we didn’t have those skills without people coming in to sit down with us and help us,” Williams said. “We had a lot of pain to get through that process.” The East Preston woman realized an organization like the BBI could spare other entrepreneurs those headaches and help them get the foundation they needed to go from floundering start-up to thriving company. That was all the convincing it took. “I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
Hindsight: The Beginning Federal and provincial politicians gathered at the Black Cultural Centre on May 25, 1995, to announce a five-year, $5-million commitment to a new initiative for Black entrepreneurs. But the stirrings that led to the birth of the BBI began well before that date. By early 1994 two programs that supported black business – the Black Entrepreneur Program and the Preston Area Development Fund – had been terminated. Black entrepreneurs were looking for help: not a handout program, but something to make their ventures sustainable and vibrant. “One of the most limiting boundaries is the lack of economic development in the black community,” Raymond Sheppard told The Chronicle Herald in June 1994. Sheppard was president of the Minority Construction Association and one member of a coalition looking to bring about change. He orga-
Dolly Williams and Wayne Adams
39 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
nized a meeting of Black business owners and government officials in May 1994 that had both sides talking about something new. Yvonne Atwell and Bryan Darrell were part of a voluntary committee that spent 18 months working on a comprehensive program to improve the state of Black communities in Nova Scotia, including economic development. “The business part of the community, especially the construction aspect, was getting kind of a raw deal,” said Atwell. Much of that committee’s research went into the beginning of the BBI – though not without some hard feelings. Many members of the committee felt that government officials cherry-picked from their hard work to create something that was just a portion of their original vision. “They really took it out of our hands,” said Atwell. “We wanted it in the hands of the community.”
Hindsight, Insight, Foresight “Having said all that, in retrospect, I think what the BBI has done is right on the mark,” Darrell said. “They’re doing a great job.” That initial task force – Dolly Williams, Grace White, Tony Ross, John Madison and Joan Jones – was formed in June 1995, with a September deadline to report their recommendations. They visited 18 Black communities across the province and identified weaknesses to address: underdeveloped business skills in the community; lack of access to capital; few role models; no or little knowledge of how to take advantage of financial programs; and discrimination at the institutional level. “There was just no information on how to get from A to B,” Williams said. “If you went (to a bank), a lot of the time you were steered into a brick wall.” The committee identified four main components that should make up the BBI: a strategic plan for communities; a Black business centre; a focus on regional business development; and a loan fund. The task force also recommended locating the BBI in Halifax, rather than in the Preston area as originally planned. The logic was two-fold: the city was central for entrepreneurs needing to visit banks or government offices, and it would foster the idea that Back business should be brought into the mainstream, rather than relegated to its own community. “We wanted to say, ‘Don’t just take your business and keep it in the Black community,’” Williams said. “Move it outside. Learn to do international trade, learn to do whatever, but you’ve got to work in partnership to get that done.”
Michael Wyse Trade Mission
Insight: The Early Years The Black Business Initiative held its grand opening at Pier 22 on October 25, 1996. Michael Wyse remembers the excitement of those early months – and the feeling of being overwhelmed as people poured in for help. “The demand was so huge,” said Wyse, one of the BBI’s first regional development managers. “It was really exciting. Looking back on it, as hard as it was – and we put in huge, huge hours – I can’t imagine replacing those years with anything else.” Wyse spent two years with the BBI, first as a regional manager then as training manager. He later joined the board of directors and served as chairman for two years. One of the organization’s earliest struggles was changing people’s perceptions of what the BBI was. “I think the initial expectation of a lot of folks was this should be some sort of money-granting agency,” said Hector Jacques, the first chairman of the BBI’s board of directors. “A lot of folks believed that, ‘I am a Black businessman, just give me my cash and let me go.’” While offering loans has always been part of the BBI’s strategy, it was only one part. The Initiative set up training programs to give people
the skills to sustain their companies. “Just throwing money at an issue has never solved an issue ever, that I’m aware of,” said Jacques, founder of the environmental consulting firm Jacques Whitford. “We turned around and said, we want to have businesses survive. Everything was set up with the basis of, ‘Let’s do this thing right.’” The results have been clear. According to the BBI’s 2005-2006 annual report, the initiative has helped fund 108 new businesses and 41 existing ones while creating and maintaining 514 new jobs in industries from automotive and photography to tourism and retail, with a success rate much higher than the provincial average. Another key benefit the BBI provided was exposure to a larger audience, through things like trade missions to Boston and the Black to Business magazine, which has brought its subjects into shops and offices across Nova Scotia. “It’s brought many of the businesses into the mainstream, and it’s brought the mainstream into many of our businesses,” said former BBI regional manager Larry Coles. The BBI also launched the Business is Jammin’ program in 1999 that exposes youth to the business world. But one of the major undertakings continued on page 41 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 40
that led the organization into the mainstream was the first BBI Summit in 2000. Coles remembers the anxiety leading up to that first summit. “Would people show? How would it be received? How many people outside of the (Black) community would enjoy it?” he said. “It was a meeting of two cultures, almost.” But the summit was such a success that it has become an annual event, attracting top-notch entrepreneurs such as Stedman Graham, FUBU founder Daymond John and motivational speaker “Coach” Ken Carter. “I think the summits were eye-openers,” Coles said. “It’s put some visible role models out there. There are successful businesses out there that people can say, ‘They’ve done it. We can do it.’” To get a full picture of the BBI’s value, one need look no further than Darla Johnston. The Sackville woman was looking for a new path after being laid off, and she started attending BBI training programs before she had any idea of what business she wanted to start. When she came up with a plan – a laser hair-removal clinic – “They said no,” Johnston said with a laugh. “They said go get some more money first. So I did.” Johnston opened her doors in early 2003, with some financial help from the BBI, and she was operating in the black by her second year. A BBI commercial that ran on Global TV helped boost her sales exponentially. “The commercial just took things to a whole new level,” Johnston said. “My sales increased 133 percent from one year to the next. “When I think of my success, I think synonymously with the BBI. There’s no way you can do anything alone, and they’ve been there to help me along the way.”
Foresight: The Next 10 Years Throughout its first decade, the BBI had to blaze a new trail to help Black businesses succeed. “If you map the BBI over 10 years, you see this continual evolution of strategies,” said Mike Wyse. “The BBI has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, trying to do things better today than we did them yesterday.” The next several years will see the BBI further that spirit. While the organization has always drawn the support of government, the BBI has recently restructured to become more self-sustaining.
“We’ve been operating for 10 years on the same budget,” said Garnet Wright, the past chairman of the BBI’s board. “If we want to expand what we do, we have to find new ways to earn revenue. These new branches allow us to grow and do what we couldn’t do before.” Robert Loppie can attest to the value of the investment fund. The co-owner of the Bin Doctor has seen his business grow from a mobile cleaning unit to a full product line that recently expanded into Ontario, with the help of a $100,000 invest-
“Coach” Ken Carter
Robert Loppie and Garnet Wright
Business is Jammin’ in Shelburne
The BBI now operates as a society with a limited-by-guarantee company, Black Business Enterprises, as the flagship operation that houses the company’s other arms: the Business is Jammin’ charity, Black Business Consulting company and the Black Business Community Investment Fund. The consulting and enterprise wings of the company can generate revenue to support other projects.
41 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
ment from the BBI. “It’s very costly to introduce one new product, let alone five,” Loppie said. “(The investment) was amazing in terms of allowing us to develop our products and expand into the Ontario market.” Another new branch just launching is the BBI’s Adepa construction firm. Adepa – a Ghanian word representing quality craftsmanship and integrity – will bid on large commercial
and government projects and subcontract the work out to smaller Black construction firms. “The idea is to build a credible construction firm (where) we’ve got a number of subcontractors, we’ve proven ourselves and been successful,” said Wright. “Once we’ve got a track record, we can put pressure on the government to give a piece of the pie.” The BBI has built that strong track record over the past 10 years, said Wyse, which is one of the reasons the future looks bright. “My hope is that somebody someday will acknowledge the BBI’s success is unequalled,” he said. “I have not seen an organization anywhere show the kind of successes the BBI is citing.”
Lifetime Board Members
Larry Gibson and Gordon Tynes
Wright said he expects the BBI will continue to thrive – and by the next time a major anniversary comes along, hopefully it will have a home all its own. “It would be nice if 10 years from now, when we’re celebrating our twentieth anniversary, the BBI owns a building and is getting 10 percent of government contracts,” he said. “I think the next 10 years will be really exciting.”
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 42
Key Partnerships Initiative
43 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
very year, there’s usually a flurry in the media about commercials on Superbowl Sunday. Advertisers know that a commercial during the game is a tried and true way to get their product in front of a wide audience. Well, here in Canada, we don’t get to see those trumpeted ads on Canadian TV but viewers who tune into Global will see Black Business Initiative (BBI) ads in their stead.
Global Maritimes’ marketing and production manager Patricia Gallagher says Global has been working with the BBI for the past seven or eight years. “The original way we connected with the BBI was through the June summit,” she says. “It started at one
of the Atlantic Progress Face to Face meetings when the BBI talked to Global about supplementing the publicity about the summit. Les Brown was the speaker that time and we helped with a broad campaign to let people know he was coming to town and where to get tickets.”
beyond the Maritimes. Recently, Global made those mini documentaries available to the entrepreneurs for their own use. That enables them to purchase their own airtime on Global and use the previously produced material, rather than incurring costs for producing new spots on their own.
What started as promoting the guest speakers at the summits turned into telling the stories of BBI clients through 60-second minidocumentaries.
“We know that the businesses being profiled have seen an increase in awareness of their business and their sales,” Gallagher says. “In some cases, these were businesses that couldn’t afford to buy a 60-second commercial on their own. We’ve also given the spots good runs on the air, with lots of exposure. We put them in shows like Entertainment Tonight, Survivor, and the Super Bowl.”
“We took that idea to the BBI’s board and they jumped on it. We’ve been doing this for approximately the last five years.” Those spots, three or four per year, not only tell the story of some of the BBI’s successes but also let Global’s viewers know about the BBI. Because Global is seen on satellite, the message of the BBI has spread
She gives credit to the producer of the spots, Andy Rice, for his storytelling. “I’ve heard that some of the BBI’s clients think he walks on water.” Global has also done a series called “One on One” where the keynote speakers for the summit, people like Ambassador Andrew Young and Coach Ken Carter, have sat down with anchor Allan Rowe for a brief chat. Not only is that a chance to create awareness of the summit but it’s also a chance for them to discuss issues of importance on the air.
Allan Rowe- Global Maritimes
From the very beginning, telling the story of the BBI has been an important part of its work, beginning with the inaugural issue of Black to Business in the spring of 1997. So, the work with Global is a way of carrying that work forward on another level by adding visuals to the words on the page. continued on page 45 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 44
ne of the reasons the Black Business Initiative has been so
successful is that it was built on a strong foundation. That’s what Michael Hayes, who serves as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) resource member on the Black Business Initiative’s Board of Directors believes.
“A lot of time was spent consulting widely before the BBI Society was formed in order to create the organization the community wanted to see,” Hayes says. “The Task Force that Grace White headed and that had a number of high profile people from the Black community consulted widely within the community and outside. That process led to approximately 39 recommendations for the provincial and federal governments to set up an organization that would be a champion for small business.”
Creating the “right recipe” for success included creating the right team to put those recommendations into operation and that, Hayes believes, was the second key for the BBI’s success. That recipe was also a strong selling point in obtaining financial support from both the federal and provincial governments. “They made sure they had the right people at the helm to carry out the strategic planning that had been done.” A third key is the fact that the organization has always been transparent and open. “There has always been excellent communication and that’s one of the underpinnings of the BBI’s success,” Hayes says. “It’s been important to tell the BBI’s story and not only to its constituent base but also to its funding partners and to the rest of the province. There has been an air of credibility around everything the BBI’s done and that has paid off.” ACOA has invested more than $8.1 million into the BBI since its early days. The most recent assistance
l-r, Mike Hayes- ACOA, Bruce Johnson - BBI, Dr. Ffrench-BBI,
Rustum Southwell- CEO, BBI,
Geoff Regan, MP.
Debbie Windsor, VP, ACOA
45 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
came in the form of a commitment of $3 million during the period of April 1, 2005 through March 31, 2009. “It is truly a model of bottom-up economic development, which is widely recognized for its accomplishments and has been successful at developing effective partnerships with government, the community, and the private sector,” Hayes adds. In addition to the strong staff complement, Hayes says the Board of Directors has provided strong leadership through the years. “They’ve always been flexible and able to adapt. They’re also carrying out strategic planning exercises every year so they know, from a governance perspective, what is working and what needs to be changed so that the BBI continues to remain relevant. The BBI has an excellent governance structure and a board that understands and appreciates its role.” “The original Task Force members knew the right way to develop a sustainable organization,” Hayes says. “That will be their legacy.”
Hon. J. McGuire- Minister of ACOA- 2004
Watson stepping in at that point and continuing to this day. One of the major changes he has seen has been in the funding arrangement for the BBI.
ne of the strengths of the Black Business Initiative rests in the support it has received, from day one, from the provincial and federal governments. This support comes in a number of guises – political support, economic support, and staff support. “Nova Scotia Economic Development has been a funding partner of the Black Business Initiative with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency since the beginning,” Brian Watson, a Corporate Strategist with Nova Scotia Economic Development, says. “Staff of the department have sat as resource members on the board of BBI and provided guidance and support with respect to government programs and policies.” From the beginning, until 2001, Nancy Ives was the resource person for the provincial government, with
“Funding for the BBI was under the Canada/Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement on Economic Diversification, an agreement jointly funded by the federal and provincial government,” he says. “With the agreement’s end in 2003, the federal and provincial government as represented by the Department of Economic Development, continued to partner to fund the BBI, this time on an individual basis.” As Rustum Southwell said, in the most recent annual report, “We have the ongoing support of government, both federally through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which announced a new four-year funding commitment to the BBI, and provincially, through the Nova Scotia Office of Economic Development – a tremendous vote of confidence from our two funding partners. Their policies
and principles are embedded in our strategic direction.” In Watson’s eyes, some of the highlights of the past decade include such initiatives as Black to Business, Business is Jammin, the summits, trade missions (such as the one to Atlanta), and “the launch of the successful Community Economic Development Investment Fund and subsequent investments.” He also points to the “expansion of several African Nova Scotian owned business such as the Bin Doctor” as evidence of the BBI’s success. Personally, Watson says his role as a resource person for the province has been rewarding. For him, another highlight has been “Working with the existing and retired staff and board members over the years; experiencing their dedication and commitment to fulfilling BBI’s mission, and hearing many success stories of newly started businesses with the support and encouragement of the BBI and its staff.”
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Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 46
Key Businesses â€“ A Day in the Life
Darla Johnson owner of SLIC
Laser Hair Removal Clinic Chad Lucas
Photography by: Paul Adams
47 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
etting laid off turned out to be one of the best things that ever
happened to Darla Johnston. Just about five years after losing her government job, the Lower Sackville woman is calling the shots at SLIC Laser Hair Removal Clinic and loving every minute of it. “I get up every morning and look in the mirror and I say, ‘OK boss, let’s go handle things,’” Johnston says with a laugh. “It’s such a great feeling.”
treat people in a sensitive business. “It’s not going to be easy … if I could clone myself I’d have no problem,” she says with a laugh.
Johnston says while she loves the freedom of being her own boss, the biggest reward of the job is helping people who come to her with GT BBI 10 Years May3 5/3/07 3:12 PM unwanted or embarrassing body hair and go home happy.
Grant Thornton LLP congratulates the Black Business Initiative for their decade long
Johnston estimates she treats about 60 patients in the run of a week, and she’s booked most days. Her company did more than $100,000 in sales last year.
achievement in creating a powerful network of business enterprises and key alliances that stretch from Nova Scotia across Canada. Grant Thornton LLP. A Canadian Member of Grant Thornton International.
Johnston, who also offers esthetic services and microdermabrasion (a skin treatment), is looking to hire a second technician. She anticipates it’s going to be a big task to find someone who approaches the job with the caring and empathy required to
Congratulations on 10 years of powerful networking!
Johnston incorporated her business in October 2002 and opened her doors on Valentine’s Day 2003. It didn’t take long for the clinic to become a success. Johnston says she was operating in the black by her second year, and she has already paid off her $50,000 start-up loans and her first treatment laser, worth more than $160,000. “I feel very blessed that I’ve been able to pay the bills and that the business has incurred the success that it has,” she says.
She has recently expanded her business, adding a second laser at the end of April that will allow her to perform new treatments for things like vascular lesions, hyperpigmentation and roseacea. “With this laser I can broaden my business up and bring in a whole new spectrum of people,” she says.
“The other day, driving down Sackville Drive, I thought to myself, ‘Darla, you are so blessed. God has given you a job where you’re helping people,’” she says. “People tell me I’m their angel, that I’m a miracle worker. I tell them that’s a magic machine and God gave it to me.”
Congratulations BBI, we’re all better connected because of you! David Nicholson, CMA Principal Assurance and Business Advisory Services Suite 1100 2000 Barrington Street Halifax, NS B3J 3K1 T (902) 421-1734 F (902) 420 -1068
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 48
THIS AD PREPARED BY:
n the last decade or so,
the business community has heard a lot about brands and branding. Those terms have entered the lexicon and they get bandied about with varying degrees of knowledge as to what they actually mean. Rob Frankel is recognized as a leading expert in branding and, on his website (www.robfrankel. com) says, “Branding is way more than just your logo or name. It’s the reason why people evangelize you. Real branding raises your bottom line revenues, lowers customer acquisition cost, increases customer retention and profitability.”
From its very inception, the Black Business Initiative (BBI) has consciously built its corporate identity and its brand. Some of the initial elements are still in place while others have been added as the BBI has evolved. One of the most recognizable elements of the BBI is its logo – the Dwanimen or double ram horn symbol used by the Akan people of Ghana.The Akan used a great deal of symbolism in their language and Dwanimen symbolizes the following elements: • • • •
strength, strength of purpose, character, and resolve.
The colours chosen for the logo – yellow, green, red and black – were selected because they are the prevailing colours of many African nations’ flags. The logo has been used alone or in conjunction with symbols that represent some of the core values of the BBI – prosperity, unity, strength, and togetherness. Gordon Doe, the BBI’s Director of Business Development,
49 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
says the use of these symbols can be traced back to Rustum Southwell’s interview for the position of Executive Director for the BBI and were adopted at the time the BBI was formed. Black to Business The BBI logo and those four symbols adorned the first copy of Black to Business in the spring of 1997. The magazine has been a major tool in telling the BBI’s stories and building the brand. The title had its genesis in a term coined by Robert Upshaw of the African Services Division of the Department of Education, “Black to School”.
shakers in the community, and information on training opportunities offered by the BBI. Another element of its success is its consistency – having the periodical appear quarterly means that readers do not have long to wait for the next edition to appear. “It was our first experiment in communicating,” Doe says. “We find our readers really relate to it and it’s a good way for us to tell our stories.” Website Like Black to Business, the website (www.bbi.ns.ca) has been an element of the BBI’s communications program
Originally, it was going to be an eight-page newsletter. The first few editions were in a larger format, with a colour cover on glossy stock and newsprint-type paper inside. After the initial experimentation, it changed to the 8.5-by-11 format, with a combination of black and white and colour pages that is still in use today. While the format is different from edition number one, Black to Business still combines news of activities within the BBI, profiles of entrepreneurs and trailblazers in all corners of the province, snippets of information on the movers and
from the very beginning. The website has changed its look through the years as the technology evolved. The current site is a comprehensive look at the entire BBI operation. It’s an easy to navigate site, in keeping with the BBI’s long term commitment for transparency and accountability, where the surfer can find information on events, programs, back copies of the annual report (for the past four fiscal years) and Black to Business and a searchable online copy of the BBI directory.
Directory In addition to the online database of entrepreneurs, professionals and organizations within the community, that same information is available in hard copy in a directory that is published annually. The content is all encompassing, so that it’s easy to source everything from a carpenter to a lawyer to a church group or musical act. The directory launch is timed to coincide with the BBI’s anniversary and the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. As a result, it is a time to celebrate another successful year of operation, to network, and to enjoy some holiday cheer. The directory itself is produced so that it is easy to use. It’s compact enough to slip into a briefcase or kept close at hand in a top drawer and the coil binding means it’s easy to keep pages open at the desired spot. Business is Jammin’
Business is Jammin’ (www.businessisjammin.ca) began in 1999. Doe says it stemmed from a clear need to focus on youth, between the ages of nine and 30, to instill a business culture early so they will grow up with it. Activities are age appropriate, offered at a number of locations around the province, and divided into programming for ages nine to 15, 16 to 20, and 21 to 30. They are designed around the BIJ’s four activity areas – training, mentoring and counseling, communication activities, loan and equity lending, and strategic initiatives. The name of the program can be traced back to Lynn Crawford and is an offshoot of the Hip Hop culture. Since Business is Jammin’ was started, it’s used a number of programs and services to bring the entrepreneurial culture to young people, including Break Into Business camps, youth summits, involvement in the BBI summit, and financial assistance. continued on page 51 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 50
The logo chosen for the bi-annual BBI Summit combines the familiar BBI logo with one of Halifax’s most recognizable symbols, the historic Town Clock. “By using this signature Halifax landmark, we’re linking to Citadel Hill,” Doe says. There is significance there because some of the province’s earliest Black settlers, the Maroons from Jamaica, were involved in the construction of Fort George (the original name of the Halifax Citadel) under the direction of Edward, Duke of Kent, in the 1790s. The Maroon Bastion of the fort, Doe says, is emblematic of Black strength in this province. One can also think creatively in terms of the word “summit” used to describe this major conference in that one of the BBI’s major efforts, since its inception, has been to figuratively “storm the bastions” of the existing business community. Part of that storming has been carried out through communications efforts, such as its partnership with Global Maritimes and the series of interviews with the keynote speakers conducted by Allan Rowe that has been broadcast on Global Maritimes. Training From the very beginning, the Black Business Initiative has maintained a presence on Gottingen Street. Today, it is the home of the BBI’s Training Centre. There, clients (and non-clients) can take part in a wide range of reasonably priced training programs that deal with issues familiar to every entrepreneur, including
taxation, marketing, financial planning, accounting, and web page design. Some of these courses are one-night sessions while others are offered over a number of evenings. From its early days, the BBI has been involved in a number of roundtables, involving the music industry, the construction industry and the food service industry. These roundtables provide a forum for discussion about a number of issues, including training, and the summary reports for some of them can be found at the www.bbi.ca site. CEDIF In 2004, the BBI embarked on an initiative designed to increase the level of economic activity within the Black community. The instrument chosen was the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL), a community economic development investment fund operating under the Nova Scotia Equity Credit Act. These funds are pools of capital that are raised from investors and the money raised is invested in local businesses. In the case of the BBCIFL, at least 30 per cent of the ownership must be African Nova Scotian. As of the last annual report of the BBI in 2006, approximately $300,000 has been raised through this investment instrument, with half of that amount invested in two companies. Whether the double ram’s horn has appeared in print, on TV, or on a t-shirt, it has become a very visible symbol within the business community throughout Nova Scotia. Now that’s successful branding.
51 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
Questions for Entrepreneurs
Robert Loppie, Bin Doctor 1. Astrological sign? - Taurus 2. Last Book read? - The Measure of a Man 3. Favorite author? - Napoleon Hill 4. Who do you think is a good role model as an entrepreneur? - Oprah Winfrey 5. Cat or dog person? - I love dogs! 6. Favorite movie star? - Jamie Fox 7. Favorite Movie? - Oliver Twist 8. When I grow up I would like to be like? - Mike 9. Why did you choose the life of an Entrepreneur? - Self Reliance 10. What is your favorite sport to watch? - Basketball 11. What sport are you best at playing? - Basketball 12. What is your word of wisdom? - “Believe and Succeed” 13. Top five achievements? 1. Being a great father 2. Being a great husband 3. Becoming a Christian 4. Employing people 5. Seeing our products at Wal-Mart 14. One thing you would do to change the world? - Eliminate world hunger 15. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your entrepreneur career? - Not staying hands-on. 16. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started out? - Do not take anything for granted 17. How do you know if you have what it takes to strike out on your own and become an entrepreneur? - If you are prepared to take risks and not listen to the status quo
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 52
BBI â€“ Then and Now TASK FORCE MEMBERS Joan Jones John Madison Tony Ross Grace White Dolly Williams
1995 1995 1995 1995 1995
PAST BOARD MEMBERS Mike Wyse, Chair Percy Paris Richard Bartolo Regina James Cheryl Munroe, Resource Member Leonard Parsons William Reddick Hector Jacques, Chair Barbara Miller-Manning, Chair Lynn Crawford Gordon Tynes, Chair Geraldine Browning Rudolph Ffrench Paul Walter Silas Kpolugbo George Doleman, Resource Member Nancy Ives, Resource Member Daurene Lewis Theresa Halfkenny Jessyln Dalton, Resource Member
2001-05 1996-01 1996-98 1996-98 1996-98 1996-98 1996-98 1996-99 1996-99/01-03 1996-00 1996-05 1996-05 1996-05 1996-05 1998-99 1998-02 1998-02 1999-02 2001-04 2002-03
CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS Mike Hayes, Resource Member Bruce Johnson Carlo Simmons Garnet Wright, Past Chair Brian Watson, Resource Member Joseph Parris Rose Davidson, Resource Member Cassandra Dorrington, Chair Jocelyn Dorrington Greg Browning Candace Thomas Milton Williams Andrews Oppong Shirley Robinson-Levering
19961998-07 1998-07 19992000200120022006200220042004200420052006-
53 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
PAST STAFF Devon Matthew Darlene Oâ€™Neill, Relief Controller Tyrone Williams, Youth Coordinator Funmi Joseph,Training Manager Janet Johnson, Youth Intern Stanleigh Mitchell,Youth Coordinator Terry Wright, Youth Coordinator Stephanie Parsons, Accounting Clerk Shawn Grouse, Youth Coordinator Tracey Thomas, Dir., Client Dev. Amal El-Maazawi, Co-op Student Jill Provoe, Training Associate Melanie Clarke Jr., Training Assoc.
1998-98 1998-98 1999-00 1999-04 1998-99 1999-01 2002-04 2000-04 2005-05 2000-07 Summer 03 2004-06 2006-06
Regional Business Development Managers (RBDM)
CURRENT STAFF S.I. Rustum Southwell, CEO Idy Fashoranti, Controller Matthew Johnson, RBDM Gordon Doe, Director of Business Development Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver, Accounting Clerk & Training Associate Starr Francis, Executive Assistant Evan Williams, RBDM Bernard Elwin, RBDM & Acting Dir., Client Devlopment Shawn Smith, RBDM Dorothy Fletcher, Admin. Assistant and Acting Training Associate Yolande Grant, Accounting Clerk
Lou Gannon Luke Jefferies Mike Wyse John Wedderburn Sheldon States R. Connor Smithers-Mapp Larry Coles Gordon Blackmore Jay Metcalf David Noylander Julius Kanyamunyu Godfrey Frank
1996-96 1996-98/05-06 1996-98 1997-97 1996-99 1998-00 1998-01 1999-00 2000-04 2003-04 2004-07 2006-07
Administrative Assistants Bonnie Williams Elfinesh Zwede Lisa Best Dana Colley-Provo Lisa Willis Tabitha Cromwell Violet Fletcher Ellen Johnson Katrina Jarvis Kyndra Taylor
1996-98 1996-00 1998-00 1998-03 2001-02 2002-04 2004-05 2004-05 2005-05 2005-06
Contract Staff Beverley Parker, Admin. Assistant Annette Slawter, Project Assistant
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 54
Key Businesses â€“ A Day in the Life Chad Lucas
Bin Doctor Jason Valliancourt (front) and Robert Loppie owners of Bin Doctor
55 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
Photography by: Paul Adams
in Doctor began with a relatively modest idea – a mobile cleaning business aimed at Halifax Regional Municipality’s compost bins. Seven years later, co-owners Jason Valliancourt and Robert Loppie have grown their company from that simple start into a multidimensional operation that has carved out a successful niche in the enviro-business market. From that one van for cleaning green bins, Bin Doctor has grown to include two facilities in Halifax and Burnside, 25 full- and part-time employees and a wide range of products and services. The company’s biggest focus right now is product development, says Loppie, the CEO of sales and operations. “We’re always looking for ways to make products of better quality and reducing costs,” he says. Bin Doctor makes a line of Binfresh products for cleaning and maintaining compost bins, a roster that includes cardboard bin liners, deodorizers, degreasers, organics containers and a full cleaning kit. Wal-Mart carries the Binfresh line in Nova Scotia and beyond, says Loppie. “Right now, we’re working on expanding throughout Atlantic Canada and Ontario,” he says. The company also runs an Enviro Depot on Clifton Street in Halifax, where people can return recyclables like bottles, cardboard and scrap metal. Bin Doctor has a number of commercial customers such as hotels and universities whose recyclables
they handle, and also runs a larger processing facility on Gurholt Drive in Burnside where bottles and containers are brought in by the trailerload to be baled and shipped to market for the provincial Resourse Recovery Fund Board. The Burnside plant sees about 10 or 11 trailers of recyclables each day, Loppie says. “We do about 80 to 85 million containers a year.”
But the Bin Doctor empire still includes the services that got Loppie and Valliancourt started – a mobile van that cleans about 2,000 green bins in HRM on a regular basis during the summer, as well as pressure-washing houses and cleaning graffiti. The company is online at www.bindoctor.com.
Effort has its own rewards Congratulations to the Black Business Initiative on 10 years of business in Nova Scotia.
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Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 56
Trailblazers Edited by Angela Johnson
There are several trailblazers within the African Nova Scotian community and over the years, we have tried to profile as many as we could. For our anniversary issue, we thought it only fitting to again share again a few with you... Please note: profiles have been taken from previous issues; some situations may have changed.
1998 Issue 4 Inaugural Issue featuring Trailblazers Spring 1998 In this issue, Black to Business begins a series of snapshots of trailblazers in the Black community.
Daurene Lewis Executive Director of the Centre for Women In Business at Halifax’s Mount Saint Vincent University, and mayor of the town of Annapolis Royal. Current principal for the Metro Campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College.
Gordon Earle First Black M.P. to be elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Halifax, in Nova Scotia.
57 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
Esmeralda Thornhill In 1996, Dr. Esmeralda M.A. Thornhill became the first holder of the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University.
Issue 5 Political Contributions Summer 1998 Buddy Daye The late Delmore “Buddy” Daye was the first Black Nova Scotian to be appointed SergeantAt-Arms to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. During the late ’40s and early ’50s, he was a championship boxer, winning the Canadian Junior Lightweight and Maritime Featherweight division championships.
Wayne Adams was the first African Nova Scotian member of the provincial legislative assembly.
Former Executive Director of the Black Educators Association .
Yvonne Atwell Yvonne Atwell was elected as the first Black woman M.L.A. in the history of the province.
Issue 6 Education Fall 1998 Robert Upshaw Robert joined the Black Educators Association in 1981 and became the BEA’s Executive Director in 1989. From the BEA, Robert moved on to the Black Advisory Committee.
Delvina Bernard Delvina Bernard is the Executive Director of the Council on African Canadian Education.
Issue 7 – Legal Profession Winter 1998
“To motivate man is to move a mountain!” – African Proverb
1999 Issue 8 Writers Spring 1999
Donald Oliver, Q.C.
Walter Borden Walter Borden is a self-described, Writer, actor and communicator, the essential tools of his trade are words.
Since 1990, Donald Oliver has been a member of the Senate of Canada.
Senator Calvin Ruck
George Elliot Clarke Poet, Writer, Educator, George Elliot Clarke is currently the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literarure at the University of Toronto.
Senator Ruck was summoned to the Senate early in 1998.
David Woods Judge Corrine E. Sparks The first Black female appointed to the bench in Canada.
Artist, playwright and poet, David Woods is the founder of Black Artists Network in Nova Scotia (BANNS).
continued on page 59 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 58
Issue 9 Law Enforcers Summer 1999
Rev. Tracey Grosse Interim pastor at the Cobequid Road United Baptist Church.
Robyn Atwell A member of the force in Halifax since 1992.
Rev. Dr. Lionel Moriah Barbara Ann Simmonds Barbara Ann Simmonds is the community liaison officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Rev. Dr. Lionel Moriah ministered to Cornwallis Street United Baptist Church, after serving in congregations throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Issue 11 Reverend Dr. Donald Douglas Skeir Winter 1999 Rev. Dr. Donald Douglas Skier,
Tom Jones joined the RCMP in 1978 and has worked in detachments in British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
Issue 10 – Religious Leaders Fall 1999 Pastor Wallace Smith Member of the Gospel Heirs, former pastor of Zion United Baptist Church in Truro and currently of St. Thomas United Baptist Church in North Preston
Nov. 23, 1926 - Oct. 10, 1999
As we were preparing the section on ministers for this Trailblazers section, word came of the death of another of the great pastors and leaders in the community, the Reverend Dr. Donald Douglas Skeir.
“Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.” - Marva Collins, Educator
59 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
2000 Issue 12 – Post Secondary Educators Spring 2000 Dr. Leslie Oliver Professor of computer science at Acadia University in Wolfville.
Dr. Wanda ThomasBernard Dr. ThomasBernard is currently the director of the Dalhousie University School of Social Work
Dr. Harvey Millar Dr. Harvey Millar is an associate professor at Saint Mary’s University.
Issue 13 – Education: Summer 2000 Doug Earle Doug Earle spent 25-years in education as a teacher, viceprincipal and principal in Nova Scotia’s schools.
Melinda Daye Melinda is a teacher, viceprincipal and principal in Nova Scotia schools
Brad Barton Brad Barton was the first African Nova Scotian to hold the position of principal at the high school level in this province. He received the Order of Canada before retiring from the education system in 1997.
Issue 14 Doctors Fall 2000
Issue 15 Social Workers Winter 2000 Dr. David Haase Dr. David Haase specializes in infectious diseases.
Dr. Vincent Audain Dr. Vincent Audain specializes in ophthalmology.
Veronica Marsman Veronicaâ€™s career spans 25 years of work in community services.
Lana MacLean Lana is a clinical therapist who focuses on drug dependency in her work with the Central District Health Authority. continued on page 61 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 60
Elizabeth Cromwell Elizabeth was a case-work supervisor for the Children’s Aid Society in Shelburne County for 30 years.
2002 Issue 18 – Public Servants Winter 2002 Mayann Francis In 1972, Mayann Francis first worked for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission as a Human Rights Officer.
2001 Issue 16 – Nurses Spring 2001 Donna Maureen Smith
Donna’s career in nursing has included stints as Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Care Coordinator at the IWK Health Centre.
In 2006, the Honourable Mayann Francis was appointed the Lieutenant Governor for Nova Scotia, making her the first African Nova Scotian and only the second woman to hold the position in the province’s more than 400-year history.
Tab Borden Tab Borden is a Sector Development Officer with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
Susan spent 35 years of service as a certified nursing assistant and Registered Nurse.
Issue 19 Information Technicians Spring 2002
Clotilda was the first Black woman to graduate from the Nova Scotia Hospital School of Nursing and later the first Black woman to serve as president of the Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia.
61 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
David States David has been a historian with the Cultural Resource Management sector of Parks Canada for over 10 years.
Tracey Jones Tracey works with the Halifax Public Libraries as Branch Manager for the Halifax and Dartmouth North Branch Libraries.
Joyline Makani Joyline is the Management and Economics Librarian at Dalhousie University’s Killam Memorial Library.
Issue 20 Medical Practitioners Summer 2002 Shirleen Dancause Shirleen assists third- and fourth-year dentistry students at the Dalhousie Dentistry School.
Linda Bailey Linda has been associated with the Annapolis Royal Nursing Home for 33 years.
Iona Crawley Iona acted as a recruitment and retention officer for African Nova Scotian students at Dalhousie’s School of Nursing.
Issue 21 Community and Justice Fall 2002 Cecil Wright Cecil Wright has been the Nova Scotia Community Coordinator for National Crime Prevention for Justice Canada since 1998.
Constable Cedric Upshaw Constable Cedric Upshaw is the Black youth liaison officer for the Halifax Regional Police, a position that was created specifically for him.
Barbara Ann Simmonds Barbara Ann Simmonds’ is community consultant/ liaison covering five communities from Eastern Passage to Lower Sackville.
2003 Issue 22 – Community Leaders Winter 2003 Matthew Thomas Matthew Thomas has served on the North Preston ratepayers’ council for 17 years. He has also been Chair of the Preston Area Board of Trade.
Lynn Jones Lynn Jones came to the Gottingen Street community as an employee of Human Resources Development Canada, she found that the services HRDC offered weren’t being used to their full potential. Lynn help initiate a number of community initiatives including the Black Community Workgroup.
Ada Fells Ada Fells was the first Black female supervisor at Dominion Textiles. She later took a job with the Black United Front and spent about 30 years working at BUF in a number of roles – in the health care field working with public health nurses, as an outreach worker, and supervisor – from Yarmouth to Sydney and back.
Issue 23 – Black Writers Spring 2003 Verna Thomas Verna Thomas moved from Mount Denson and Annapolis Royal to Preston in 1953. Her experiences inspired her to write Invisible Shadows, which was released a year ago (2002).
Gloria Desmond Gloria Desmond wrote her first book of poetry, To My Someday Child, in 1975. Desmond has just completed her first novel Grandmother’s Gold, which she hopes will be published before the end of 2003.
Charles Saunders Saunders published his first novel, Imaro, in 1981 and is known as one of the groundbreaking figures in Black American science fiction and fantasy. Since moving to Halifax, he has also penned; Share and Care, Sweat and Soul, and Africville, the Spirit That Lives On, true accounts of the struggles of Black Nova Scotians. continued on page 65 >
“Influence is like a savings account. The less you use it, the more you’ve got. !” – Ambassador Andrew Young
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 62
Issue 24African Nova Scotian Political Candidates Summer 2003 Linda Carvery Halifax Needham PC
A former nurse at Halifax’s Victoria General Hospital, she later served as a counsellor for battered women at Byrony House, Adsom House and Collins House.
Doug Sparks Preston NDP
Doug Sparks has served as the president of the East Preston Ratepayers Association and on the Dartmouth District School Board from 1991-94. He was also the Program Coordinator for the Black Educators Association.
Todd Marsman Cape Breton Nova – PC
Todd Marsman is Chair of the Whitney Pier Rink Board, Cape Breton Black Employment Committee, Whitney Pier NonProfit Housing, Joint Action Group, Rescue Our Community and he still has time to referee hockey.
Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank - NDP Although this was his first time running for the provincial NDP, he says he has always been involved in politics in one way or another.
Halifax Clayton Park - NDP In the ‘80s, she was the Fundraiser and Co-Chair of the Halifax and District Injured Workers Association and continues to lobby on their behalf. She served on the Workers Compensation Board of Directors from 1995-2001. Postscript: The new cabinet that was sworn in on August 18 includes a new ministry of African Nova Scotian Affairs. The Honourable Barry Barnet, whose constituency includes the historic African Nova Scotian community of Lucasville is the first to hold this position.
Asia, the 26year-old from North Preston and Lucasville, has taken home best new artist honours at the African Nova Scotian Music Awards.
Ed Matwawana A talented guitarist and percussionist, Ed Matwawana founded the award-winning group AfroMusica in 1992. A founding member of the African Nova Scotian Music Association and an influential figure in the local music industry.
Staying true to making a difference.
Issue 25 – Musicians Winter 2003 Bucky Adams Bucky Adams, Halifax’s resident sax legend has been performing since the 1950s with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, B.B. King and Dizzy Gillespie.
65 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BLACK BUSINESS INITIATIVE ON 10 YEARS OF SERVICE.
©2007 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company 077404 05/07 KV
2004 Issue 26 â€“ Original Professions/ Amazing Achievements Spring 2004
Peter J. Kelly Mayor
Halifax Regional Municipality
Congratulations to the Black Business Initiative on your 10th Anniversary (902) 490-4010 Email: email@example.com
Crystal Taylor Regional Manager, Employment Equity and Diversity Public Works and Government Services Canada, Atlantic
Morton Simmonds Professional Volunteer and Community Advocate Former Correctional Centre Officer .
Issue 27 â€“ Motivational Speakers Summer 2004 Carolyn Thomas Retired teacher and Human Rights Commission worker Carolyn Thomas is a member of the Preston Area Board of Trade and she runs her own family business, African Heritage Tours. continued on page 67 >
SNC-Lavalin is one of the leading groups of engineering and construction companies in the world, a global leader in the ownership of infrastructure and in operations and maintenance services. Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is acknowledged for its world class technical expertise, construction and project management, and its procurement and financial arrangement services . In Nova Scotia, SNC-Lavalin maintains a full multidisciplinary office including civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineering that has the expertise to deliver small and large scale projects from concept through to completion. SNC-Lavalin Inc. Suite 200, Park Lane Terraces 5657 Spring Garden Road Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, B3J 3R4
Tel: (902) 492-4544 Fax: (902) 492-4540 www.snclavalin.com
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 66
Ricky Anderson Ricky Anderson is a the former Canadian welterweight champion. Now a public speaker and drug prevention specialist, he is taking his message into schools. In 2003, Anderson’s first book, Win in the Arena of Life, was published.
Issue 28 – Dalhousie University Fall 2004 David Divine
Professor James R. Johnston Chair, Black Canadian Studies Maritime School of Social Work Faculty of Health Professions
Michelle Williams Assistant Professor Director, Indigenous Black & Mi’kmaq Program Dalhousie Law School
Dr. Kevin Hewitt Assistant Professor Materials Expert Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science
2005 Issue 29 – African Nova Scotian Lawyers Winter 2005 Shawna Hoyte (Paris)
Dal Legal Aid In 1994 Shawna graduated from the Dalhousie law school through the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Program, and served her last term of law school at the Dalhousie Legal Aid Clinic. She teaches and works as a Staff Lawyer. Hoyte also went on to complete Master’s degrees in social work.
Gilpin Law Inc. Gilpin began his legal career working as a solicitor for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. He soon moved on to practise law in the private sector, starting Gilpin Law Inc. in 2003.
McGuinty McCleave Perry Borden completed his undergraduate degree in sociology and criminology at St. Mary’s University and then went on to complete his Bachelor of Law at Dalhousie University. He entered the program through the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Program in 1998 and graduated in 2002.
67 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
Issue 31Firefighters Fall/Winter 2005 Kevin Reid “B” Platoon, Station 6 – Spryfield
Kevin sits on many diverse committees, acts as a cultural diversity facilitator for the department, and is currently talking with the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia about a possible wall dedicated to Black Fire Fighters in that museum. (Editor’s Note: The wall was launched in spring 2007.)
Level 1 instructor- “B” Platoon Station 15, Woodside Powell currently volunteers with St. John Ambulance with their first aid stations and was a past volunteer with ARK OUTREACH, a non-profit community group that provides Sunday suppers for people in need.
Cyril Fraser Acting Captain“B” Platoon Halifax, Cole Harbour, Sackville, Bedford, Eastern Passage, Dartmouth Cyril became a firefighter in the late 1980s. He is the father of two, 21-year-old Michael who is currently going to school in London, Ontario, and 19year-old Michelle who is attending St. Mary’s University in Halifax.
2006 Issue 32– Real Estate Professionals Winter/Spring 2006
Issue 33 – Female Law Enforcers Summer 2006 Corporal Leanne MacDonald
Vanessa L. Tynes
Tynes & Associates
Vanessa L. Tynes graduated from Dalhousie University with a law degree. In December 2004, she opened her own practice, specializing in real estate and family law.
Corporal Leanne MacDonald is Nova Scotia’s first Black female RCMP officer. She began her career as a general duty constable in Shelburne then Liverpool. She was an instructor at the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan and recently returned to the field and back home to Nova Scotia.
Kelli completed a three-week correspondence course with the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors. From there she got right down to business, selling about 15 homes in her first year while still working part-time as a flight attendant for Air Canada Jazz.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
Constable Niki Borden RCMP, Antigonish
Constable Niki Borden works out of the RCMP detachment in Antigonish, NS
Constable Sandra Paris RCMP, Barrington
Constable Sandra Paris has served as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since 2003. For the past three years, the New Glasgow native has been a general duty constable with the RCMP detachment in Barrington, NS.
Issue 35Senior Executives Winter 2007 Dr. John Murdoch Chief of Surgery, Dartmouth General Hospital
After 14 years of extensive training and many years in medicine, the Dartmouth General Hospital welcomed him as the Chief of Surgery.
Chief Executive Officer, African Nova Scotian Affairs Government of Nova Scotia Wayn attended Dalhousie University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in African Studies and a Bachelor of Education. He also has a Masters in Planning and Development. He spent 15 years working in Africa in community development.
Director, African Canadian Services Division (ACSD) Nova Scotia Department of Education He has a B.A. and B.Ed. from Makerere University in Kampala and a Ph.D. and M.P.A. from Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 68
Black Business Initiative Staff
Photography by Peter Marsman
69 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
â€œA dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community.â€?
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 70
In 2003, we released a special issue of Black To Business in which we featured several African Nova Scotian organizations that work to improve the areas in which we live, work and play. In this special anniversary issue we have chosen to again share four key groups with you. Please note: profiles have been taken from a previous issue and we have updated information where we could, but some situations may have changed.
Black Loyalist Heritage Society Grassroots Community Economic Development
t began as a small project to save a significant part of Nova Scotia’s Black heritage but has blossomed into grassroots community economic development. A Shelburne County Council plan to turn Birchtown into a landfill prompted the 1990 formation of what would become Shelburne’s Black Loyalist Heritage Society. After successfully proving his claim that the area was an important historical site as the largest settlement of free Blacks outside Africa in the 1700s, archaeologist Laird Niven began a site excavation that continues to the present day – and now includes two National Historic Site designations. The society first began community development by documenting and preserving the histories of Black families, attempting to link pres-
71 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
by: Bill Clarke
ent families with the area’s Black Loyalist roots. After acquiring St. Paul’s Anglican Church, through a lease from the county, and the old Birchtown schoolhouse, they developed a tourism site plan and the Black Loyalist Registry. In 2000, they acquired expertise in genealogy and the following year launched their youth initiative project. This project also provided summer jobs for three students. According to information from the society, the complex will truly be a centre for community development. Construction is slated to start this year (2003) and will include a hiking trail, gift shop, and additional offices. The complex will also have workshops in Black heritage crafts skills while the gift shop will carry Black Loyalist collectibles and consignment products from the general Black community. “We need people to run the office, museum, and interpretive site and we’re planning to move more into education,” said Deb Hill, society registrar.
“Sometimes we jump through hoops to get projects approved, but we’re a small community and we need more employment.” Birchtown will represent the only Canadian Black heritage tourism site offering historical interpretation of North America’s first settlement of free Blacks. Editor’s Note: On March 31, 2006, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society’s offices were gutted by fire due to arson. About 20 years of research, records, artifacts and office equipment were destroyed. Many organizations and community groups rallied in support of the society’s restoration project. Rebuilding and restoration continue.
The Council on African Canadian Education extends sincere congratulations to the Board and Staff of the Black Business Initiative on its 10th Anniversary of Operation.
The Council on African Canadian Education and the Africentric Learning Initiative Program Development Committee will host the 3rd Annual Africentric Leadership and Management Summer Institute for Educators in North Preston Nova Scotia from July 14 -19th. For more information see the CACE website at www.cace.ns.ca . For more information contact :
LOCATION: The Black Loyalist Heritage Society P.O. Box 1194, 1 04 Birchtown Rd. Shelburne, Nova Scotia B0T 1W0 CONTACT INFORMATION: Phone: (902) 875-1310 Fax: (902) 875-1352 Toll Free: 1-888-354-0772 firstname.lastname@example.org www.blackloyalist.com YEARS OF OPERATION: 17
The Council on African Canadian Education (CACE)
5th Floor, Trade Mart Building 2021 Brunswick St., PO Box 578 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2S9 Canada Tel: (902) 424-2678 Fax: (902) 424-7210 Email: email@example.com Web: www.cace.gov.ns.ca Partners: African Canadian Services Division (ACSD) - Nova Scotia Department of Education; Black Educators Association (BEA); Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW); Africentric Learning Association (ALA)
CONGRATULATIONS! We are proud of our work with the BBI for the past 10 years.
PROGRAMS & SPECIALTIES: Genealogy, arts, history SERVICES: Employment and career counseling, job searching, résumé writing, Internet access, Kiosk Job Line availability, Service Canada programs and services, referral to community agencies continued on page 69 >
3236 Agricola Street • Halifax • Nova Scotia • B3K 4H3 902 454 7145 • www.designnorth.ca • firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 72
Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association (VANSA) Building Employment Skills by: Angela Johnson and Partnerships
n 2002, after years of consulting, planning and plotting, the Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association (VANSDA) opened its doors in Kentville with a mission, “to improve the quality of life or African Nova Scotians in the Valley by creating Partnerships in Employment, Training and Government/ Economic Development. Helping residents to move forward is what VANSDA is all about. The non-profit organization’s goal is to bring in and deliver employmentrelated services. Its staff consists of a career path counselor who help
clients with résumé preparation, job hunting, interviewing skills and much more. In addition to the on-site assistance, VANSDA’s online assistance, (www. vansda.ca), features its own job board - Afriworx, where interested parties can register online, post jobs and search local job opportunities, plus click on several other links to job. The VANSDA site also includes Valley Vanguard – an online version of the VANSDA newsletter, and notices about upcoming training seminars, computer courses or guest speakers.
FAST FACTS LOCATION: Kentville, NS CONTACT: Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association (VANSDA) 55 Webster Street Kentville, NS B4N 1H6 Phone: (902) 678-7410 Fax: (902) 678-4620 Toll Free: 1-866-313-VANS Web: http://www.vansda.ca STAFF: 7 PROGRAMS AND SERVICES: Internet access and computer basics, emergency first aid, job and interview skills, Kings RCMP Seniors Safety Program, Afriworx job board, Valley Vanguard newsletter PAST PROJECTS: Community Human Resource Demographic Mapping Project – charting information regarding the experience, abilities and education of the Black community.
Robert Ffrench, Executive Director and Staff
73 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
NEW PROJECTS: Heritage trail
African Nova Scotian FAST Music Association (ANSMA) FACTS Celebrating Community Through Music
by: Chad Lucas
he African Nova Scotian Music Association’s (ANSMA) mission is to develop and promote African Nova Scotian artists locally, nationally and around the world.
They’ve helped artists strut their stuff at the annual East Coast Music Awards with the Black Vibes showcase. It’s just one of the ways ANSMA helps artists become recognized and reach not only the African Nova Scotian community but also the east coast music industry as a whole. But the organization wants to attract more than just singers and musicians to its group. It wants to promote people from every corner of the music industry, like recording technicians, engineers and managers. In 2006, ANSMA opened a storefront on Gottingen Street in Halifax.
LOCATION: African Nova Scotian Music Association 2352 Gottingen St Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, B3K 3B9 CONTACT INFORMATION: Phone: 1-902-404-30361-902434-9909 Fax: 1-902-434-0462 Cell: 1-902-209-3294 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.ansma.com Years of Operation: Since April 1997 Board Size: 14 board members; 50 group members Operating budget: N/A (events only) Funding sources: For events: BBI, Department of Tourism, Culture & Heritage, African Nova Scotian Affairs, Casino Nova Scotia, Scotiabank, CACE, to name a few. Past Projects: Black Vibes showcase, African-Nova Scotian Music Awards New Projects: Web site, urban music series
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 74
BBI – Corporate Partnerships Good partnerships can be the difference betweena good or bad deal. At BBI, we understand that strategic partnerships sustain competitive advantage. So we do not only nurture existing alliances but we continue to form new relationships with like-minded organizations. Over our 10 years of operations, BBI has ratified 5 such partnerships by signing Memoranda of Understanding (MOU). As we celebrate 10 years of successful operations, we acknowledge and appreciate the value of these partners:
Formed in 1996, Headquartered in Halifax, MOU signed in March-2004. GHP’s mandate is to maintain and grow businesses currently located in Greater Halifax, while attracting new investment to the area. As a private sector led organization, the GHP is responsible for the economic growth, marketing and promotion of Greater Halifax -- both locally, to boost business confidence, and internationally, to attract new investment to the region.u
Formed in 1976, Headquartered in Atlanta, MOU signed in November-2001. GMSDC is a corporate member-based organization, whose mission is to be a recognized leader that fosters and expands economic opportunities between Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), corporations, and government entities within the state of Georgia. GMSDC exist as a resource for corporate entities and MBEs that recognize diversity as a strategic business tool. Their core activities are: MBE Certification, Minority Business Development, Corporate and MBE Matching. u
Georgia Black Chamber of Commerce
Formed in 1997, Headquartered in Atlanta, MOU signed in November-2001. The GBCC serve as a promoter of and advocate for black-owned businesses in the State of Georgia. GBCC provides its members with many vital forms of business assistance in areas such as finance and marketing advice, publicity, networking, and location of business opportunities. GBCC has also been a leading proponent and defender of affirmative action policies and practices throughout Georgia. u
75 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
Formed in 1986, Headquartered in Atlanta, MOU signed in Nov.-2001. Made up of influential leaders in the business and political community, the 100 Black Men of Atlanta provides support and improve the quality of life of African Americans, and youth in particular, in the Atlanta Community. By giving back to their community their time, talent and resources, the 100 provides leadership to support issues and causes that promote positive change in their community. Their focus is on Education, Enrichment, and Empowerment. u
Black Professionals Association (BBPA)
Formed in 1982, Headquartered in Toronto, MOU signed in May-2002. BPA’s mission is to advance the Black community by facilitating the delivery of programs that support business and professional excellence, higher education and economic development. Their vision is to be the organization of choice for serving the Black community’s business, professional and economic development needs. Their focus is to encourage and support the pursuit of entrepreneurship business, professional excellence, higher education and economic empowerment. u
BBI – Statistics 1996 - 2007
Questions for Entrepreneurs
Darla Johnston, SLIC
The BBI has been involved with Approximately 1400 clients over the past ten years.
1. Astrological sign? - Libra
3. Favorite author? - God, because the bible is my favorite book
Equity Loans Approved
Development Funds Approved
2. Last Book read? - Blessed and Highly Favorite
4. Who do you think is a good role model as an entrepreneur? - Bill Gates 5. Favourite movie star? - Samuel Jackson 6. Favourite Movie? - Color Purple 7. Why did you choose the life of an Entrepreneur? - Had a strong desire to control my destiny, finance and experience the freedom of self sufficiency
8. What is your favorite sport to watch? - Basketball 9. What sport are you best at playing? - The sport of life, I’m not an athlete at all. 10. What is your word of wisdom? - Have fun with your business
11. One thing you would do to change
the world? - Eliminate poverty
12. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your entrepreneur career? - Not starting sooner
204 Congratulations to the BBI on its 10th Anniversary of Operation.
P.O. Box 2832 , Dartmouth , NS , B2W 4R4 Phone: 902-435-4648 Fax: 902-435-4859 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wadens.ca
13. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started out? - Constant learning experience, what you put in to your business, you will get back 14. How do you know if you have what it takes to strike out on your own and become an entrepreneur? - Self confidence, everybody fails but those that prosper are those that get back up . 15. How many people work for your company? - Four 16. What do you do to chill out? - Traveling and spending time with my family
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 76
Growth of Black Business in Canada and Nova Scotia 1996 to 2001 Source: 1996 and 2001 Census - Statistics Canada. Report provided by the Nova Scotia Office of Economic Development
Census 1996-2001 Growth in Entrepreneurs
All Entrepreneurs Census 1996
Census 1996-2001 Growth in Black Business
Census 2002 Entrepreneurs by Type
NS Black Business
Profile of NS Black Entrepreneurs Census 1996
in Halifax County
under age of 35
NS Black Entrepreneurs by Type Census 1996 Census 2001 Incorporated no Employees 25 55 Incorporated with Employees 70 60 Self Employed no Employees 215 360 Self Employed with Employees 75 70 Total
77 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
In his momory...
made a difference
Activist made friends as well as history
t’s difficult to not like a man widely admired for his charismatic leadership, infectious high spirits and an attitude toward life so healthy, he’ll never be forgotten.
The mood across Nova Scotia and its black communities grew solemn over the weekend, with news of the passing of H.A.J. (Gus) Wedderburn. A founding and lifetime member of the Black Cultural Society, Gus worked tirelessly beside the late Rev. Dr. W. P. Oliver to make the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia a reality. As an early president of the society, he was hands-on. But long before that chapter in history, Jamaican-born Gus became a well-entrenched educator here in Nova Scotia, predating the end of the segregated School Act. He was one of the first well-educated black teachers hereabouts, serving as supervising principal in the Preston area schools in 1957. As a teenager, I only heard about the sharp dressing, cool-talking teacher who was offering leadership, organization, and encouraging young blacks to pursue teaching careers. He set the example by moving through the system as science and math teacher to vice-principal at Bloomfield Junior High School, and principal at Ardmore Special School - both in Halifax. Eventually, he left the world of academia. But first, Gus provided valuable leadership to the Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia.
Wayne Adams, The Daily News (Halifax) Cherished friendship We befriended each other in 1963 - a friendship that bridged a generation gap. I’ll cherish that friendship forever. He encouraged me to join him in organizations such as the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, the Neighbourhood Centre Project and the Civil Liberties Association. We also had in common our mutual desire for political careers. A founding and lifetime member of the Black Cultural Society, Gus worked tirelessly beside the late Rev. Dr. W. P. Oliver to make the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia a reality.
Gus’s late sister, Rosemary Brown, did well in that line in British Columbia, winning seats in both the provincial and federal legislatures. She came second to Ed Broadbent in a race for the leadership of the federal NDP. Gus possessed a unique brand of humour, befriending almost everyone he encountered. With an engaging personality, he championed countless efforts to make life better for a clearly marginalized black community - especially its young
people. Not one to bite his tongue, Gus spent his professional and adult life challenging the system head-on for job opportunities and housing accommodation. After chairing the tough and bitter Africville Relocation Committee, Gus decided the profession of law was perhaps where he could make more meaningful impact. So it was off to Dalhousie University for a law degree, but not before a brief stint on radio. At 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night in May 1972, metro heard: “This is Black Journal with Wayne Adams on CHNS, with co-host Gus Wedderburn.” After only a few shows, Gus said: “Man, this is not really my cup of tea.” Gus took a fateful attempt at politics in 1968, when he took on former premier Robert L. Stanfield in the federal riding of Halifax. Garnering only four per cent of the vote, Gus broke the tension with: “Man, I don’t get a chance to read my victory speech.” Typical Gus. continued on page 79 >
Special Anniversary Issue Black to Business 78
Gus Wedderburn continued from page 78
Black Educators Association of Nova Scotia Supporting African Nova Scotian students today to create a better tomorrow
MISSION STATEMENT To monitor and ensure the development of an equitable education system, so that African Nova Scotians are able to achieve their maximum potential.
Congratulations! BBI on your 10th Anniversary For more information contact the BEA office at (902) 424-7036
Considering Law as a Career? Indigenous Blacks and Mi’kmaq Initiative
Congratulations to the BBI on your 10th Anniversary
The Indigenous Blacks and Mi’kmaq Initiative was established at Dalhousie Law School in 1989 to reduce systemic discrimination by increasing the representation of African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq people in the legal profession. The Initiative is designed to ensure that African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq students have access to Dalhousie Law School and involves community outreach and recruiting; student support; developing Aboriginal law and African Canadian legal perspectives; and providing career placement assistance. Students who enter Dalhousie Law School through the IB&M Initiative join the regular first class, write the same exams, complete the same work and earn the same LL.B. degree as do all other students at Dalhousie Law School. Students who are interested in entering Dalhousie Law School through the IB&M Initiative are invited to contact the IB&M office for additional information.
Indigenous Blacks and Mi’kmaq Initiative Dalhousie Law School 6061 University Avenue Halifax, NS B3H 4H9 Tel: 902.494.1639 Fax: 902.494.6512 E-mail: email@example.com www: ibandm.law.dal.ca
79 Black to Business Special Anniversary Issue
Umbrella organization Back in 1969, amid a great deal of debate within the black community on the issue of leadership, the movement toward an umbrella organization with its own autonomy took traction. Wedderburn and Rev. Oliver were two of the leading forces in the creation of the Black United Front, which was once described as a tool to repair centuries of human damage. The federal government was most impressed with the proposal drawn up by the BUF interim committee, and immediately began funding the new advocacy organization designed to bring about consensus of needs and leadership among the many black organizations. This feat proved most challenging for the organization, from its beginning to its end. Hobartson Augustus James Wedderburn never saw an issue he wouldn’t address, even late in life. He recently asked City Hall for better traffic controls on Lacewood Drive, near his neighbourhood. The man worked hard all his life to make society a better place for everybody. Society, however, was not as kind to Gus as I would wish. To Sylvia, John and Dianne, thanks for a truly great man in your husband and father. Nova Scotia is better because of his life. firstname.lastname@example.org Wayne Adams is a former provincial cabinet minister and broadcaster, and a local businessman. t Reprinted with permission from The Daily News (Halifax) Perspective, Tues., Feb. 27, 2007
$POHSBUVMBUJPOTUPUIF UFBNBU##* 0OZPVSUI"OOJWFSTBSZ
Return and Risk Proﬁle for a $5,000 investment (50 shares)* Investor A
Average Annual Income
Equity Tax Credit for: 5 years
Capital at risk for:
*We assume a minimum investment of $5,000 for RRSP holdings due to service fees
Thank you for investing in us. For information on how the Fund works and to become an investor, call Gordon Doe at (902) 426-6985
Lynn Jones “Finally, I can contribute to a meaningful investment vehicle that allows me to help Black Business and our African Nova Scotian Community grow and prosper. The 30% immediate tax incentive affords me the opportunity to personally gain too!”
Tom Boyd “This is my fourth year investing in the Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL). It increases the level of economic activity and prosperity within Black-owned Businesses. And a 30% tax credit is a considerable reduction in payable taxes. All Nova Scotians should consider seriously investing in the fund.”
Caution to Investor – This advertisement is not to be construed as an exempt offering to the public in Nova Scotia unless a simpliﬁed offering document relating thereto has been ﬁled with and its use has not been objected to by the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. The offering is made by the simpliﬁed offering document only and copies thereof may be obtained from such sales agents and promoters as may lawfully offer these securities in Nova Scotia.
If undeliverable return to: The Black Business Initiative 1575 Brunswick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2G1 Publications Mail Agreement No.
numéro de convention