The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative
Marven Nelligan Also in this Issue • Youth Revisited • Black Business Summit 2008 • More Successful Entrepreneurs Spring 2008 u Number 39
“A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”
Black to Business
Message from the Board of Directors
In this Issue
Cassandra Dorrington, Chair, Black Business Initiative 1
Message from the Chief Executive Officer
Marven Nelligan - Youth on the Move 3
the next year and take the time to put the necessary building blocks and supports in place to facilitate this year’s goals.
Message from the Board
Glynis Simms A Business That’s Just Right
ASK THE BBI
Black Business Summit 2008
Eli Kifle It’s all limousine
YOUTH ON THE MOVE Where are they now?
Teens Now Talk Magazine
Business Forum Individual Pension Plans on the Rise 18
CULTURE BEAT Harold Cromwell
Kilimanjaro Books and Café
People & Businesses on the Move
BBI 2008 Training Schedule
Ariel’s Homestyle Catering
World Renowned Diversity Educator
Business & Community Events
Business is Jammin’
RBDM Travel Schedule
At the Black Business Initiative (BBI) Board level, we do not simply see this activity with our clients, we actually live this experience. Spring Awakenings
lowly the days get longer, the temperatures get warmer and little by little the buds on the trees begin to appear. These are the signs that tell us that spring is beginning to emerge in all its splendor. It is truly a wonderful time of the year.
Similarly, as in nature, in the business community we see signs of spring awakenings. A number of our clients will have spent the winter months working through their business plans. So by the time they get to spring, they are ready for the next step of actually implementing their plans. For others, spring represents a period of assessment and renewal, which is essential for any successful business. What does this business assessment and renewal exercise look like? It is when the business operator has an opportunity to review the results from the past year, assess where they are going in 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.
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For Advertising Information, Rates, Submitting Stories, Notices or Community Events, or for More Information, call: 902-426-2224
At the Black Business Initiative (BBI) Board level, we do not simply see this activity with our clients, we actually live this experience. Therefore, having assessed the work from the prior year, we are ready to move to the next step. Currently, we are in the throes of finalizing year-end, assessing the results of the previous end and implementing the current year’s business plan. It is a busy but fruitful time. As we match the year’s results to the activity over the year, it is essential to ask ourselves: What was our goal in undertaking this activity? Did we achieve the desired results? If not, why not? These are but a few of the questions that allow us to get a better handle on the achievements or gaps along the way towards meeting the organization’s goals. This year, while there is much to celebrate, we would like to share with you a couple of our key successes:
continued on page 6> The Black Business Initiative 1575 Brunswick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2G1 Phone: 902-426-2224 Fax: 902-426-6530 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 Design & Layout: Design North Production by: Mirabliss Media Productions Cover Photograph: Paul Adams
Black to Business
Message From the Chief Executive Officer
S. I. Rustum Southwell
ave you ever wondered why some companies, teams or individuals continue to succeed despite many obstacles, personnel changes, and ups and downs while some others, despite outstanding talent and resources, just plod along? The answer to that question is a lot simpler than you might believe. In the book; Confidence: How winning streaks and losing begin and end, Rosabeth Moss-Kanter of the Harvard Business School explains the culture of success or failure, why winning streaks and losing streaks perpetuate themselves, and how to shift the dynamics of decline to a cycle of success. The book explores why powerlessness corrupts and why empowerment is vital to high performance; how a culture of pride differs from a culture of mediocrity in encouraging or stifling innovation; and how strategies determine effectiveness in dealing with threats and opportunities. Like perennial winning sports teams (New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, Manchester United, Brazil Football), who continue to win despite frequent changes in the lineup, many of the same principles can be applied to the business sector with companies such as GE, IBM,
Microsoft and even local businesses. IT Interactive, Sureshot Dispensing, Vale and Associates, Carvery Construction, and Bin Doctor are local examples of how a winning streak can be perpetual when the conditions are right. My favourite term is the one that Moss-Kanter uses to identify people with high potential who are destined to gain the top positions. She calls them water-walkers. These are the miracle workers and every company has them. And yet, every water walker needs a few stones. Rocks give people a solid place on which to stand. When supported by a firm foundation, people can indeed keep moving on a positive path, heading from victory to victory. When people can rely on themselves and one another to be accountable, to collaborate, and to take initiative, they can perform extraordinary feats. These lessons are relevant for leading teams, businesses, countries and life. The pattern is consistent everywhere, from the sports world to the business world to education, and to every realm in which individuals perform to high standards. In the midst of winning cycles, people naturally gravitate toward behaving in ways that support confidence. • • • •
Self-confidence: winning feels good Confidence in one another: positive, supportive team-oriented behaviour Confidence in the system: organization structures and routines reinforcing accountability, collaboration External confidence: winning streaks make it easier to attract support.
It is because of the presence of these characteristics that the Black Business Initiative (BBI) continues
to innovate the way we deliver our services. And our strategic direction of Partnerships, Sustainability and Capacity will have those four traits of confidence blended in. An organizational culture of accountability and excellence, which began under the stewardship of Hector Jacques a dozen years ago, still continues to this very day with Cassandra Dorrington and her team of competent board members. It is not only the confidence but the disciplined way that all staff and board have delivered on their commitment to the initiative that has contributed to our success. During this past year with the final implementation and fine tuning of the internal structure we are already seeing some successes. Because we are more comfortable about moving forward than standing still, even though it may create stress, we undertook to redesign our operating engine. My favourite term is the one that Moss-Kanter uses to identify people with high potential who are destined to gain the top positions. She calls them water-walkers. These are the miracle workers and every company has them.
Finalizing the Balanced Scorecard for the operations is the tool that will give us the discipline to maintain order and direction and deliver on our vision. The Chair in her report gave you some examples which are a result of the hard work of some highly qualified staff. Gordon Doe and Idy Fashoranti are the backbone of this process and we are now engaging the others, Bernard Elwin, Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver, Evan Williams, Gregory Nazaire to bring it all home. continued on page 10>
Black to Business
alk into the office in Marven Nelligan’s Gottingen Street apartment in Halifax and it’s easy to figure out where the young artist first found his inspiration. The shelf above his desk is a mini-monument to the cartoon heroes of Nelligan’s childhood. Optimus Prime from Transformers, a handful of Spider-Man villains, characters from the video game series Street Fighter II and other action figures look down on him as he works.
Youth on the Move
It’s not surprising that the Chad Lucas first thing he remembers Photography by: Paul Adams drawing, at the age of three, was something he saw on TV. “I saw my dad drawing one day, then the next day I drew a Ninja Turtle,” says Nelligan. It’s not surprising either to learn that his original dream was to become an animator. That goal has taken a backseat lately – not because Nelligan isn’t following his passion, but because he’s branched out in so many other directions. The 22-year-old has made a one-man business, Marven Art and Design, out of his talents over the past three years. From murals to portraits to graphic design, Nelligan does a little bit of everything. “It’s just a constant evolution thing,” he says. “I’m always growing, always doing something new. I’m the kind of person that if I want to do it, I’ll do it. I’ll look at something and pick it apart, figure out ‘How did they do that? And how would I do that?’” Drawing has always been more than a hobby for Nelligan, but attending a Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development youth business course and the BBI’s annual summit when he was in junior high school got him thinking about doing it full-time. “By then I was trying to figure out how to do this (art) as a business,” Nelligan says. “I hadn’t really thought about it until I got in touch with the BBI and saw maybe there’s more that I can do than just going to school to become an animator. That’s still something I want to do, but right now my business is really broad.” Nelligan’s work includes portraits, painting, flash animation for websites and graphic design,
including promotional flyers for events. He also does illustrations for the magazine Teens Now Talk, a locally produced publication by and for teenagers. For the creative-minded artist, one of the hardest adjustments has been learning to think like a businessman – planning a budget and balancing bills with things like art supplies. “It’s kind of like a snail race sometimes,” he says. “Things are going slow, but they’re going. As long as I have something coming in, I’m OK.”
“It’s kind of like a snail race sometimes,” he says. “Things are going slow, but they’re going. As long as I have something coming in, I’m OK.”
4 But while he’s used to the solitary life of an artist, producing alone in his apartment, lately much of his work has been done in public. His big project last summer was a mural as part of Uniacke Square’s annual Beautification Day. He worked with a group of neighbourhood children, who painted most of the mural themselves. Nelligan has also done murals along Bedford Row and in St. Joseph’s Elementary School. He’ll work on another Uniacke Square project this summer along with a mural on Joseph Howe Drive. Working in public as part of a community project is a very different process, he says, but it has become one of his favourite things to do. “Working with the kids, being a leader for them, helping them do it, I really enjoy that,” Nelligan says. “When they do it, it’s like a self-esteem thing. At first most of them think they can’t do it, but once they get into it, they have so much fun that they don’t want to stop. That’s really cool. I like to be an inspiration. “It’s actually more rewarding. People are always going to remember that they did that. The kids who helped in the beautification project – they’re going to look back and remember, ‘That was me.’” Nelligan will be a speaker at this year’s BBI summit. The advice he’d give any budding artist is simple: practice plenty, be committed and make time for your art, even if it means making sacrifices in other areas. “The more you do when you’re younger, the more experience
Nelligan will be a speaker at this year’s BBI summit. The advice he’d give any budding artist is simple: practice plenty, be committed and make time for your art, even if it means making sacrifices in other areas.
you gain,” he says. “That’s the main thing, sticking with it. If you’ve got to be stubborn about it, be stubborn.” Nelligan is self-taught so far but he plans to take some courses in the fall, with an eye still on becoming an animator someday. But he’d like to keep working in other media as well. “I want to do everything,” he says. I’d love to have my own (animated) show someday. But right now I’m getting foundations in all these different areas. It’s just one big adventure.”
Black to Business
Marven Nelligan 237-0066
Black to Business
Glynis Simms Gregory Nazaire, RBDM
A Business That’s Just Right
modate 30 children later this spring so they can satisfy an ever-increasing waiting list.
Glynis Simms Just Right Child Care
n old real estate saying is that the value of a piece of property depends on three key factors: Location! Location! Location! Glynis Simms is not a realtor. But the owner/operator of Just Right Child Care says that location has been key to the success of her new business, a preschool that occupies a three-unit house in Greenwood.
“It’s right on the Number One Highway,” says Simms. “Going west you’re about 10 minutes from the hospital. And within the vicinity there are two elementary schools and a middle school. And then down the road there’s another elementary school. And the army base is about five minutes away.” “My target audience was the military people who were being transferred in,” says Simms. “I thought, ‘If I could just get 30 children then I would be well on my way’”. Just Right Child Care, which opened in October 2007, has a license for 15 children. But Simms hopes the facility will be licensed to accom-
For Simms, this is really a first in business. “I’ve always had home-based businesses like Amway, Mary Kay, stuff like that. But I’d been talking about [starting a child care facility] for a couple years. And in my job that I’m in right now, it was getting to a point where it was affecting my health, so I knew I needed to do something different.” Simms is on leave from her job as a student support worker with the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. Her position supports African Nova Scotian students at five AVRSB schools.
And it was taking its toll on me.” Simms decided that no job is worth her health, so she started on the path to opening her own business. “Our motto is ‘Just Right Child Care: the place that loves children, and the place children love’.” Natalie Labbe can attest to that. Her three-year-old son Jesse was moved from two other daycares before coming to Just Right in January. “My kids are very hyper and my son was biting,” says Labbe. “So I had to move him from one day home to another. And we found out through a friend that [Just Right Child Care] just opened. And they have no problem. They told me that they’re not gonna turn him down, so I [didn’t] have the headaches of looking for another place – they’re gonna deal with it. They’re very patient. I don’t know what they did, but he doesn’t bite any more.”
Justin Lerette echoes Labbe’s enthusi“I had injured myself a number of asm about Just Right Child Care. He years ago, and the stress of my job says the daycare does a fantastic job aggravated the injury [to the] point with his “very active” two-year-old where I couldn’t even drive,” says daughter Emily. Simms. “The job of a student support worker is very stressful; you’re “Recently she’s got into the habit of dealing with systemic racism, so not wanting to leave,” says Lerette. there were a lot of racial issues, low “She has a fun time around the other morale among the students, a lack kids. She likes all the teachers there. of support from some administrators, And she loves [Glynis] to death – low expectations of the students, litshe’s always talking about Glynis.” erature or resources being used that made you feel like you’re an inferior race … a lot of stereotypes on the part of the system as a Glynis Simms whole. Don’t get me wrong, there Greenwood, NS was a lot of prog902-242-3080 or 902-760-2255 Cell ress, but there’s firstname.lastname@example.org still a lot of work to be done.
Black to Business BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
6 Message from the Board of Directors continued from page 1
It is very amazing the progress we can each make when we commit to doing something and doing it well, but more exciting is that which we can achieve as a community. Here is an update on some of the projects I have been working on. Black Business Community Investment Fund We have not hit the $500,000 portfolio size yet, but we are getting pretty close! After what was a slow start, we are happy to announce that our fifth offering raised $90,200. This brings our current portfolio value to some $440,000. With eight new shareholders investing this year, our total shareholder base currently stands at 80 people. This is a great sign of broad base support from the community. Currently our fund has invested some $300,000 in three major projects. The increased funds will enable us invest in more Black-owned business in the province. We therefore welcome Nova Scotia-based businesses with at least 30 percent Black-ownership and great business ideas to submit their proposals for investment consideration. On Thursday, June 5, 2008, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Fund will be holding its Fifth Annual General Meeting at Delta Barrington in Halifax. We invite all shareholders to participate in this important session. Construction Strategy ADEPA has made it to the one-year mark. A year ago, following the recommendations of a study of the Black Business Construction Sector, BBI sponsored ADEPA to provide specific project management expertise in support of the Black participation in the industry. Adepa’s mandate also extends to support training and certification needs for clients. We can confidently say that over this past year, we have proven that our business model is viable. There have been big lessons learnt, and this can only help to make our process better. All this has been made possible thanks to our very capable board under the chairmanship of Dr. Rudolf Ffrench and ADEPA’s project manager Gordon Tynes, a professional engineer. With this year’s construction season underway, we encourage construction companies to come in and speak with us to see how ADEPA can be of support to you. We are also happy to come and meet with groups of construction workers for a round-table discussion in your community. The concept of ADEPA’s engagement is effective partnership. Our next step is to focus on the training and certification aspect of this strategy. Black Business Consulting BBI has also been actively working to provide consultancy services in partnership with its business associates. Most recently, we submitted a proposal for a project in the Caribbean and the indication is that our proposal has been accepted. We expect to be signing our first major consulting project soon. Finally, to all our clients and partners, Come To The BBI Summit 2008 and be inspired!
In addition to the positive results from this year’s Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) public offering, the CEDIF now stands at $440,000. This is quite an achievement at this stage of its history. Congratulations to all involved; keep up the good work.
The organizations - Black Business Consulting (BBC), Business is Jammin’ (BIJ), and Black Business Enterprises (BBE) spun off the BBI Board continue to successfully grow and flourish. Adepa, one of the BBC Group of companies, continues its growth as an emerging player in the Halifax mid-market construction environment.
BBC has successfully bid on and been awarded a contract to undertake a consulting project in the St. Kitts market.
While BBI has undergone its human resources challenges over the year, with the loss of key members of the team to other career opportunities, the organization continues to be blessed with a contingent of talented, bright and committed staff and board members who continue to drive the agenda of the BBI.
The BBI 2008 Conference Summit Committee has already confirmed its keynote speakers (Christopher Garner, author of the The Pursuit of Happyness and Ephren Taylor, the youngest African American CEO) for its highly anticipated business summit.
6) BBI has modified, changed and updated a number of internal business processes to
reflect the growth and complexity in the organizational processes and the need to better understand and support our clients’ requirements. One exciting tool that BBI has implemented is an organizational Balanced Scorecard. (We are still completing this exercise and will share the final tool once it is completed.) Through the implementation of the Balanced Scorecard, however, we have been able to identify what is critical for BBI’s success and how to measure and communicate those outcomes to all of our stakeholders.
Overall, spring is a busy but immensely rewarding time of the year for us. Assessing the year’s successes and building on these for the next year is essential for an organization’s success. So whatever term you use, spring cleaning, spring planning, or spring awakenings, it is a valuable exercise for all successful businesses. BBI does it, my company Vale & Associates does it, and it is highly recommended for your organization. For those shaking their heads and saying that we are doing well as it is, I applaud you for your organization’s current success. But ask yourself how much more successful would you be if you implemented this activity as part of your spring awakening exercises. On a final note, don’t forget to mark the BBI Conference Summit, June 18 -21, 2008, in your calendar. With the exciting line-up of guest speakers and the agenda, it is a conference you cannot afford to miss.
Cassandra Dorrington, Chair
Black to Business
7 Juanita Peters
n every community there are those who have blazed trails for the rest to follow. Earlier in their lives, these movers-and-shakers took the lead on issues of human rights, community development and engagement, and combating racism and discrimination. After years and years of volunteer service, they continue to be committed to community and cause. These pioneers have set an example for the next generation of activists and community development and diversity practitioners. There are many amoung us but in this issue we feature three.
D Peter Marsman
olly Williams is one of 16 children born to Hilda and Aubrey Glasgow of East Preston, Nova Scotia.
She completed high school during night classes and went to work for Sarty’s Clothing Manufacturers as a seamstress. She later became a ward assistant at the IWK for 10 years. It was there she got the bug for organizing and communicating with people about issues of concern. “After joining the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union I really got involved because there weren’t a lot of us out there doing it. At that time a lot of employees didn’t know their rights. The union taught me not only what our rights were but how to go after what we needed.” Dolly Williams is probably best known as the national representative for the Nova Scotia chapter of the Congress of Black Woman, which she has been involved in since 1978. “We went to Ottawa in the 80’s and were told we were the first women’s group to come to them. That felt really good. But it also opened my eyes to the
fact that there is so much work to be done out there on issues of housing, employment, racism and health for woman”. The group just released a book called Black Woman Who Have Made A Difference In Nova Scotia (Vol. 1) ,that can be found at Bookmark on Spring Garden Road and Frog Hollow Books in Halifax, and at Chapters bookstore in the Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. Dolly Williams served as Union Counseling Coordinator with the Halifax, Dartmouth and District Labour Council from 1992-1998 and is currently the president of the Atlantic chapter of the National Committee on the Status of Women, the first Atlantic Canadian representative in the organization’s 30 year history.
Black to Business
Dr. Burnley “Rocky” Jones
Dr. Burnley “Rocky” Jones was born the fourth eldest of 10 children to Elmer and Willena Jones of Truro. He graduated from Dalhousie University with a B.A. in history and a law degree. He also holds an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Guelph.
“It wasn’t planned like this. I was involved in the Donald Marshall Inquiry and I did a presentation on behalf of the Black community. I talked about the exploitation of minorities and I talked of the need for more Black lawyers and Black judges. After that I met with some members of the Dalhousie Law School and we discussed how this could happen. A committee was struck, and we made a proposal to the university which resulted in the formation of the Indigenous Black and Mi’K’maq Program.
He says the initiative he is most proud of in his career is the Transition Year Program at Dalhousie University. “I was involved in setting up the program. There were hardly any Black people from Nova Scotia in university anywhere in the province. The first group began the program in 1970, and it has opened the door in a way never done before for black and aboriginal students. We had no idea it would be still be here and still of value 30 years later.” “What I would really like to do now is close my (law) practice by this summer and go fishing. I would also love to have a television series to showcase different maritime communities. A show that would attract African Americans to the Maritimes as a vacation destination because after all these years, they still don’t know we exist.”
Sara Lillian Hayward
Sara Hayward was born in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, and has been volunteering for more than 40 years. As a divorced mom, she raised four boys and one girl while often hold-
ing down two jobs. “My kids were so good. They would get up at four in the morning and shovel snow so I could get to work. I got many honors for not missing work.” She joined the militia in 1968 and during her 20 years there, she also worked at a hospital, a job she retired from in 1995. “The first thing I volunteered for was the labour management meetings at the hospital and it all began there. “
Sara Hayward later would serve on a committee for bereaved families after losing a 16-year-old son in a car accident. Today she still serves on the Black Educators, Black Employment and Restorative Justice committees. “I do it because I love representing Black people. I enjoy it all. But the most rewarding thing for me was raising my children. Showing them how to be strong and speak up for what you need and want.” She was the 2002 recipient of the Ann Terry Memorial Award from the United Way of Cape Breton for her outstanding contributions. She says she is a senior now and plans to cut back on some of the work. But so far it is business as usual and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Black to Business
Ask the BBI
Featured Expert: Gordon Doe, Director, Business Development
Is the Black Business Community Investment Fund simply a tax shelter? Despite the need for taxes, everybody I know wants to pay less tax. The fact is, a dollar less tax paid is a dollar more income you can either save or spend. Sometime in mid-March, I was having a meal with a few friends, when one person, who had earned way more income in 2007 than in prior years, asked me how she could reduce her tax bill. For one thing, it was mid-March (past RRSP season) and for another thing, I had sent her information on investing in the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL) but she did not act on it. What my friend was essentially asking was my recommendation on a tax shelter. Wikipedia defines a tax shelter as “any method of reducing taxable income resulting in a reduction of the payments to tax collecting entities.” Yes, the BBCIFL serves as a tax shelter in two main ways. First, it provides up to 60 percent tax credits over a 15-year period, and second, since it is RRSP eligible, it
provides deferred tax benefits to the investor who chooses to hold his/her shares in a self-directed RRSP. Like many other tax-shelters, the timing of the investment is critical and CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) requires that you make your investments within the first 60 days of the year to be able to shelter your previous year’s income from taxes. For every dollar of tax credit you earn you save a dollar in taxes, whereas a tax deduction shelters only a portion (based on your tax rate) of that dollar from tax. However, BBCIFL is more than a tax shelter; it is an excellent and unique opportunity for communities to embark on the crucial journey of sustainable economic development. About three years ago, when the BBCIFL was ready to design its ads, we asked members of two key stakeholder groups of the fund – shareholders and Investee businesses – for testimonials. Their description of what the fund is does more justice to the subject than what I could ever say. So,
Spring 2008 first the shareholder perspective and then the investee company perspective. “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 tax incentive affords me the opportunity to personally gain too!” Lynn Jones, shareholder. “This is my fourth year investing in the Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL). The 30 percent immediate tax credit benefit is a considerable reduction in income tax payable. It increases the level of economic activity and prosperity within the Black owned Business Communities. As a Nova Scotian, investing in BBCIFL is something we all should consider seriously.” Tom Boyd, shareholder “Your investment in our business helped us open our new recycling storefront and create composting solutions for offices and businesses. We’re now expanding into the Toronto market. Thank you for helping us grow.” Bin Doctor “As an electrical contractor, my greatest need is cash flow in order to profitably execute projects. The BBCIFL was willing to invest in me. My business is now beginning to flourish” C.A. Wilkins Construction Ltd. So businesses, individuals and ultimately communities benefit from investing in the BBCIFL. Business obtain capital for investments and thereby create jobs; individual investors shelter their incomes from taxes. On the whole, our communities prosper and become more sustainable. For information on the BBCIFL, please contact Gordon Doe at: 902-426-6985 or by email at: email@example.com.
Black to Business REGIONAL REPORT Southern Greg Nazaire
In the southern region, the last quarter has been quiet in terms of new projects and business ventures. When discussing this with a prominent community member during one of my recent visits, I was told the slower new business winter season could be due to an increase in job openings. Since the nicer weather has begun, we hope the sunshine will inspire bright business start up ideas. Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in the Tenth National Metropolis Conference, which was held for the first time in Halifax. The various speakers offered interesting insight on topics that included the role of provinces in the promotion of anti-racism and multiculturalism activities and serving a diverse population. These are themes that link to the Black Business Initiativeâ€™s (BBI ) mission and goals. I would like to take this opportunity to note that under the direction of Gordon Doe, Director of Business Development, the Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL) again reached its target. This project is pivotal to the BBI when it comes to self-sustainability and I continue to encourage our clients and regional partners to invest each year. In the next few months, we will be setting up another initiative in the southern region. It will consist of a series of business mentorship sessions where we will have business owners in a more advanced stage of their enterprise meet with potential entrepreneurs who are nurturing the idea of starting the same type of business.
10 Message from the Chief Executive Officer continued from page 2
Since Black To Business issue 38 was published our focus has been on getting the year-end results completed and preparing for the business summit. So it was timely to welcome Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver back from maternity leave. Her new role is Regional Business Development Manager. Roselyne Orengo is also welcomed as the new Executive Assistant. BBI staff continues to keep up a hectic pace, in particular at the training department and attending events around African Heritage Month in February. Some of these activities include a partnership with the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs. We assisted with the corporate breakfast presentation by diversity trainer, Jane Elliot, and a joint venture with Department of Foreign Affairs for Investment and Trade to do some research on market readiness in the tourism sector. The BBI is also an active participant with several other agencies and organizations in the poverty reduction working group. Yet another year has ended. As the Chair reported the Black Business Community investment Fund Limited had a successful closing again this year and now stands at $440,000. Congratulations go out to Gordon Doe, who continues to do wonders with little time and skimpy resources. And so it is now on to the Summit with Chris Gardner and Ephren Taylor and other dynamic presenters. Have fun, enjoy, learn and do good business.
As an entrepreneur or member of a community group, should you require further information do not hesitate to contact me. My office number is: (902) 426-1625; my cell number is: (902) 470-3078.
S.I. Rustum Southwell, CEO
REGIONAL REPORT Central Evan Williams
The last quarter has been busy with 2008 Business Summit preparations. I have been working on several different tasks for our 6th summit. Having the assistance of an established event planning company like Mahoganey Marcial Event Specialists www.eventspecialists.ca has made things easier. I am pleased to announce that the Carson Downey Band will be performing at our opening ceremony on June 18th. Tony Smith & Soulfinesse will be performing at our AGM on June 20th. We are also hosting BBIâ€™s Golf Tournament on June 21st at Granite Springs. For more information and to register, visit www. bbi.ca. If you are looking to start a business this winter, you should be speaking with us now. I am looking forward to assisting in increasing community and business development opportunities in the Black community. For more information or to book a regional visit please contact me at (902) 426-6692 or 1-800-668-1010 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Black to Business
Getting Ready for the Black Business Summit 2008!!! This year the Black Business Initiative will once again host its highly successful Black Business Summit. As in previous years, the packed weekend will include informative workshops and presentations given by local and international industry leaders. The summit will also include the popular social networking events - golf tournament and harbour boat cruise.
Mark your calendars now! The dates are June 18 – 21, 2008. Additional information about the summit can be found on the BBI website in weeks to come.
We hope you can join us! Summit Speaker
Dr. Joyce Lavinia Ross, C.M Dr. Joyce Ross has had a lifelong commitment to education in the areas of community development, home nursing, Black history and business management. Through her many affiliations and memberships she has sought to share her experiences and impart knowledge to young and old alike. Dr. Ross is the founding Executive Director of the East Preston Day Care Centre. The East Preston Day Care Committee incorporated in 1973 and a year later the Centre opened its doors with a staff of six teachers and 32 children. Today the
facility has 18 staff and 82 children. The facility serves eight communities including North Preston, East Preston, Highfield Park, Porters Lake and Cole Harbour and has been racially integrated for close to thirty years. The Centre offers programs tailored for children from six months to 10 years of age, including a half-day childcare service and an after school program for five to ten year olds. Over the years the centre has undergone significant growth both in terms of its physical infrastructure and the number of children using the facility. New classrooms have been added, a library, gym and at the W5 mall, an off-site infant unit opened and in partnership with the IWK Grace Hospital, a family health resource centre. In 2000, a two year pilot project in women’s wellness and prevention was added to the clinic. At the centre, community members can take advantage of family education and planning programs and pre and post natal classes sponsored by Health Canada. Additionally, a full-time computer lab and training program within the day care centre was launched. The East Preston Day Care Centre is one of the largest employers of Black Nova Scotians. It has been honoured by many organizations including a national
nomination by the Canadian Child Care Federation as one of the top ten child care centres in Nova Scotia. In the late ‘60s, Dr. Ross worked as a community health aide and a coordinator of adult continuing-education programs for East Preston. She went on to receive national recognition from the Girls Guides of Canada for her outstanding leadership role in launching East Preston’s Girl Guide and Boy Scout troops. Dr. Ross’s work has also been recognized by a number of institutions. She has been honoured with the following: Order of Canada, Honorary Doctor of Law from Dalhousie University, Queen Jubilee medal, to name a few and has served on many boards and committees. As a member of the East Preston United Baptist Church for 51 years, her early career life included teaching Sunday school for 45 years. She is currently a Licentiate in her church and for the past 23 years, has ministered to inmates at prisons across the province. Dr. Ross was appointed to Acadia’s Board of Governors in October 2003 and is a Board appointee on the Board of Trustees of the Acadia Divinity College.
Black to Business
It’s all limousine
Spring 2008 Bill Spurr
One-of-a-kind ‘luxury lounge’ has room for 23 to party in style Peter Parsons
Though his Town Cars and stretch limos are still his busiest vehicles, Kifle has seen demand for the limo bus increase since he took delivery last March. Most recently, a group used it to be delivered to a Super Bowl party, and tonight it’s booked to ferry around celebrities in town for the Kingsmeadows Sports Dinner. “We arranged to use the bus to take all the celebrities from the reception at Pier 21 to go to the Cunard Centre. It’s only about 500 metres but we arranged it just in case of inclement weather,” said Doran Donovan, President of Canadian Progress Club, Halifax.
Eli Kifle ,Town Limo WHEN Eli Kifle came to Halifax from Ethiopia in 1989, he started out a taxi driver. Hard work and charm soon made him a Mercedes salesman, but he had still more impressive vehicles in mind. Now the owner of Town Limo, with a fleet of 12 vehicles that includes Town Cars, stretch limos and a Hummer, Kifle also has what may be the most eye-catching vehicle in town, a quarter-million dollar limo bus. From the outside, it looks like a cross between a transport truck and a bus. Inside, though, it’s all limousine. Dwarfing the Hummer in the driveway, the 23-passenger “luxury lounge” is an expanse of black leather and marble behind tinted glass. Not to mention five wet bars, two TVs, satellite radio, a “killer sound system” and specially designed cup holders, some for wine glasses and some for rocks glasses. The soft rubber winter floor is replaced by custom-made carpeting in the summer. The bathroom is bigger than an airplane’s and the audio and video
systems are all operated by remote control. “What I was going to do was send my Hummer to California to split it open and extend it to 14 passengers, but then I ran into . . . Crystal Enterprises, which is a well-known manufacturer. (I found out) we’re not allowed to stretch Hummers in Canada, even though in some parts of the country they have them,” said Kifle. “But in Nova Scotia, it’s a no-no, so the Hummer was eliminated, so my next step was something bigger. They suggested this kind of vehicle.” Kifle bought an International 3200 chassis, then spent three months designing the interior of the limo bus. Crystal Enterprises had done similar projects with Fords, but this was their first International, and it’s the only one like it in Canada that Kifle knows of. “This is my own design, the way I wanted it,” Kifle said. “The bars, the TVs, the computer hookup, the Power Point, PS2, all that stuff — a traditional stretch limo wouldn’t have it. In here you can do business while you’re travelling.”
“We also used it for a party for the Uteck Bowl. It was fantastic, the bus drove around Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford and picked us up, we had a few pops on the bus, then it dropped us off in the parking lot. After the game, we got back on and went downtown, just guys talking sports and laughing, the whole nine yards. “It was fantastic.” The cost of using the limo bus depends on the length of the booking, with a three hour wedding package for $900 proving to be so popular Kifle said he could use another vehicle just like it in the summer. “We used it for weddings and graduations a lot last year, and this year we’re booked solid in June, July and August. Our weddings in this vehicle start April 4, then there are proms, bachelors parties, things like that,” he said. “The longer you rent it, the cheaper it gets, basically. If you want to take it for ten hours, it’s $1,500,” he said. “We do a lot of golf tournaments, and the groups will often have themselves videotaped while they’re playing and then watch the tape on the TV on the way back from the course.” Copyright © 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited Reprinted with permission from The Halifax Herald Ltd.
Black to Business
Youth on the Move By: Carol Dobson
Mason Foote Mason Foote’s flying feet have carried him from Nova Scotia to the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. Black to Business first met Mason four years ago when he was dubbed the fastest person in the province by virtue of winning the Nike RunDown contest. He’s just completed his second semester towards degrees in kinesiology and education. In fact, when Black to Business contacted him, he was getting ready for finals. But why the University of Regina?
“I’m like most Nova Scotia kids,” he admits. “I was looking for the school that could give me the most (financial) support and that was the University of Regina. The coach called me and said he would like me to join the track team.”
It was a wise choice and he says he’s loving being a part of the team. There’s great team spirit and he likes the other members of the team. In fact, he’s loving the whole experience, saying that the University of Regina has lots of activities, both on campus and in collaboration with the city of Regina. While he’s heading home when the semester ends, he’ll be back next year and for the following three years after that, as the program is five years in duration. Running will continue to figure in his plans. He’s looking toward the 2012 Olympics in London as one of his goals, but careers as a professional runner or as a teacher are also some of his options. But, with the summer holidays fast approaching, his immediate, post-exam goal is to find a summer job. “I’d really like a job as a camp counsellor, preferably at some type of sports camp,” he says. “I want to meet new faces, teach leadership skills to younger kids to give them a good start in life, and give back to my community.”
Black to Business
- Where are they now? Bryce Hoyte
Six years ago, Bryce Hoyte had a busy recycling business going. That was how he, as a 12-year-old, made his pocket money. In fact, he was so successful he was able to keep himself in movies, candy and other “necessities” of an adolescent’s life and supplement his funds for a family vacation.
Fast forward to 2008. He’s completed high school and is working at Winners on Mumford Road in Halifax. But that’s just a stop along the way.
“This job is just temporary,” he says. “When the summer comes, I am planning on getting back into landscaping. Then, in the fall, I’m entering the architectural drafting course at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth.” He says it’s a two-year program and already he’s looking ahead at adding a carpentry component when that’s finished.
“I think I’ll like spending four years at that campus, it’s such a beautiful site,” he says. When that’s finished, he’s looking at gaining experience in the field with an eye for what comes next. “I took the economics, accounting, and entrepreneurship classes all through high school. So, when I combine that with the architectural drafting and carpentry, over time, I think I’ll probably open my own business.
Black to Business
Youth on the Move Kelsey Daye
“I’m doing music mostly for fun. I’m still singing and playing the piano but am mostly teaching myself and learning new songs.”
Four years ago, the Preston Board of Trade launched a program called “Young Thinkers”. One of the participants was a young lady of 12 by the name of Kelsey Daye. At that young age, she was already making her mark in musical circles. She’d started playing the piano (by ear) at the age of two and was already performing in her church and at community events, such as the Preston Board of Trade dinner by the time she was profiled in Black to Business in the summer of 2004. Today, she’s living in Ottawa and is in Grade 10. Her school has an excellent arts program so she’s been taking dance and vocals to expand her artistic talents. In addition, she’s keeping busy by babysitting and tutoring, along with keeping up with music. “We moved up here almost three years ago, when I was in grade eight,” she says. “Ottawa’s a nice city to live in but it can get really hot!” Music is still a big part of her life although she’s no longer taking piano lessons. “I’m doing music mostly for fun. I’m still singing and playing the piano but am mostly teaching myself and learning new songs.”
Black to Business
- Where are they now? contributed
Whitney Ffrench Whitney Ffrench had a courtside seat for all the excitement associated with the Pennsylvania Primary on April 22 and commented that there were a lot of long faces on campus the morning after. She’s finishing up her first semester in a Masters in Education at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia. Along with her studies, she’s also been coaching girls’ basketball but that season has now ended.
“I came down here because I got a full athletic scholarship to St. Joseph University,” she says. “This is my fifth year here. I did my first degree in English and French and decided to stay here because I knew my way around.”
This is her fifth year in the City of Brotherly Love.
“I came down here because I got a full athletic scholarship to St. Joseph University,” she says. “This is my fifth year here. I did my first degree in English and French and decided to stay here because I knew my way around.” She’s enjoying life in Philadelphia but says there was a period of adjustment when she first arrived. “It took me about a year to find my way around. I had to get used to the pace, to the number of people... ultimately it’s a different style of life than what we have in Nova Scotia. But, it’s a great place to learn and grow.” Her first semester in the Masters program ends soon and by mid-May, she’ll be back in Nova Scotia. It’s still a little bit early for her to decide what her area of specialization is going to be. When she’s finished the requirements for her Masters, she’s pretty sure she knows what she will ultimately do for a career. “I’d like to eventually teach – I want to give back to kids.
Black to Business
Teens Now Talk Peter Marsman
Jessica Bowden, TNT - Teens Now Talk
hen Jessica Bowden gets a vision, there’s not much that stands in her way. “I don’t let obstacles define me,” asserts this Halifax business woman. “It’s more about reaching the goals I’ve set for myself.” Bowden has been busy setting and reaching goals for quite some time. As a former model and the first Black woman body-building champion in Nova Scotia, Bowden says she thrives on beating the odds. Whether she’s promoting an event for her modeling school, Visual Impact, or teaching life skills to youth, this driven mom of two takes it all in stride with determination to spare. It should come as no surprise, then, that she has reached yet another pinnacle of success. Meet Jessica Bowden: Publisher and CEO of the newly launched Teens Now Talk (TNT) Magazine. The magazine’s motto, “Be seen. Be heard. Be the voice,” invites youth to write their world, but it could also represent Bowden’s journey. “I knocked on doors for five-and-ahalf years when it was just a concept,” she says. “I wanted feedback and, as I was not born a publisher, I was also seeking mentorship.”
Taryn Della Her main focus she says was making sure the mission statement stayed the same: allowing and creating a professional literary platform for teens to have a voice.
”They tore pages apart, re-edited the content and made suggestions. That led to the development of the magazine,” says Bowden.
“It would be a place for them to be seen, their work to be recognized and their voice to be heard,” she says.
“We now have TNT teams submitting group stories where they create a page, do the research and offer tips to one another, with any and all topics relevant to youth from all walks of life,” she says. Contests like Media Idol, where the winner interviews Ben Mulroney during Canadian Idol auditions, and Bring it to the Floor dance contest are especially popular.
TNT, Halifax’s groundbreaking magazine written by teens for teens, was launched on December 7, 2007, or as Bowden tells it, “the day dreams came alive.” The seed was first planted in 2001 while Bowden was delivering a presentation to an assembly of 900 at Cole Harbour High. “This was a school that had lived its share of problems,” she says. “It hit me while announcing my achievements that no matter who hears them, they’re mine, and I needed to give them their own.” And so Bowden began asking questions. “I asked how I might transform my success into a tool for them to use,” she remembers. She says once the students began talking, ideas took shape. “One of the students suggested a teen magazine, and another followed with, ‘We should call it TNT because our words are ‘da bomb’, and I knew then I needed to create something that was truly teen-driven.” “It was especially important for them to have a voice to knock down negativity that was encompassing them for just being a teen,” she adds. To get the magazine started, Bowden launched it online with a TNT logo contest and invited feedback as to what teens wanted to see in “their” magazine. “The response was overwhelming,” she says.
As TNT prepares to publish its third issue, Bowden still marvels over its growth.
“These never-before opportunities are what gives TNT its drive,” says Bowden. Recently, Bowden was nominated as one of the top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada by Atlantic Business Magazine, and TNT selected as one of the top five of 20 businesses to watch out for in 2008. Accolades aside, the magazine’s success is a personal triumph for Bowden. “Creating the magazine is my response to that old adage, it takes a village, to raise a child,” she says. “At the end of the day, I can lay my head down and say, I did just that.” For information on submissions and upcoming contests, check out TNT at www.teensnowtalk.com.
Jessica Bowden 492-2474
email@example.com www.teensnowtalk.com www.arielscatering.ca/
Black to Business
Individual Pension Plans on the Rise: Savings and Tax Benefits Spur Growth of Retirement Vehicle
ant to put money aside for your retirement and some tax savings too? The answer, most people would say, is a Registered Retirement Savings Plan. Not necessarily. For some business owners, the better solution might be an IPP – Individual Pension Plan. Nothing wrong with the first option, but an IPP is a way to potentially contribute more money on a taxsheltered basis – and sometimes substantially more – than the maximum allowed for RRSPs
“Companies can establish an IPP, making this an ideal vehicle for the self-employed, or for incorporated professionals, including doctors and dentists,” says Jim White, Vice President of Commercial Banking in Metro Halifax.
IPPs, sanctioned by the Canada Revenue Agency, define the pension benefit in advance based on income and years of service. An actuarial formula is used to calculate annual contributions funding the pension benefit. These plans are most advantageous for people aged 40 and older, who are earning over $100,000 a year on their T4, and who’ve been maxing out their RRSP contributions. All IPP contributions made by a corporation on behalf of an individual are fully tax-deductible to the corporation. For the individual, an IPP is treated as a non-taxable benefit. Which means tax savings all around. There are other benefits. Setup, maintenance, and management fees are also tax-deductible to the corporation. And, in some cases,
companies can make additional contributions for past service, as far back as 1991. Though IPPs aren’t as known as RRSPs, they’re growing in popularity. About 60% of the IPPs in the country have been created in just the last three years. “Talk to your financial advisor to discuss all the features, and make sure that an IPP is right for you,” says White. “For the right individual, IPP spells out a great retirement and tax strategy.”
RBC Royal Bank is one of Canada’s largest banks. This article is part of a series of publications produced and distributed by RBC Royal Bank. Used by permission.
BBI Stats Injured? The BBI has been involved with approximately 1423 clients over the past eleven years. • Loans Approved
• Equity Loans Approved
• Approved Development Funds
Black to Business
Harold Cromwell contributed
Folk Art Genius
prolific - 40 years of documenting a country village just as he remembers it in his head.” If a picture paints a thousand words, then Harold’s drawings could fill a library with historical views of Weymouth, personal memoirs and
olk Art Genius” Harold was born in Southville, near Weymouth in December 1919 and died in Weymouth Falls in March 2008. Born to a poor hard working family, he was only able to go to grade one before going to live with his uncle to help with the chores. As a teenager he worked at the Goodwin Hotel, where he taught himself to read, later joining the army and serving overseas. After being wounded, he was sent to Debert to recuperate. It was while he was there that he began to seriously sketch. He worked various jobs before retiring when he had more time for drawing.
Most of his drawings are about life in Weymouth and Weymouth Falls as he remembers it. “It all just comes out of my head”. David Woods, associate curator of Black Nova Scotian Art at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia says Cromwell is “a folk art genius. He should be a very celebrated artist. He is one of the giants of Nova Scotia folk Art. No one else has been as
local vignettes. There is clearly a special, though often hidden message in the pen and ink works. He started out working with oils and some water colours, but soon made the switch to what he is most famous for today, folk art done with pen and ink. Harold’s work is done with a simple pen or pencil on paper, including paper plates except a few pieces done on wooden plates. For many years he was at Upper Clement Park and the Annapolis Farmers Market. There is a limited amount of his work at Sissiboo Landing in down town Weymouth. “The Artist ran out of ink, so he decided to sleep.” Editor’s Note: Four original pieces of Harold Cromwell’s work can be viewed at Sissiboo Landing in Weymouth, Nova Scotia. Reprinted with permission by the Weymouth Board of Trade, www.weymouthnovascotia.com/index.php
REGIONAL REPORT Northern Cheyanne Gorman- Tolliver After being on Maternity Leave for nine months I am excited about being back to work and welcome the challenge of my new position as Regional Business Development Manager for the Northern Region. Having been with BBI for almost five years and holding several positions I am confident I have found my niche and look forward to a more active role in fulfilling our mission. I would like to thank colleagues, Evan Williams and Bernard Elwin for helping me transition into my new position. In my first months back I have met with a few metro clients and would like to congratulate Kelly Carrington who is “on the road” in launching a mobile massage clinic, Evolution Massage Therapy. I would like to thank Community Business Development Corporation / Blue Water Business Development Corporation for the successful partnership on this venture. Thanks again also to my colleague Gordon Doe and the other managers for guiding me through the process. Plans are underway for Black Business Summit 2008 and I encourage all of you to register early! We have quite a line up this year; profound speakers, great entertainment, and informative business development workshops. My first regional visit will be the second week of April to Sydney to hold interviews for the BIJ Summer Youth Coordinator. This position will assist BBI in bringing the components of Business is Jammin’ to life over the summer to youth aged 9 to 20. Over the next few months my focus will be increasing the client status in my region. I hope to make contact with as many organizations as possible so that I may get a clear understanding of needs with respect to business development. I look forward to being a regular presence in the region either meeting with or attending events. For more information or if you have a client or a community development project you think we should know about, please contact me directly at (902) 426-8685, toll free at 1-800-668-1010 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black to Business
Kilimanjaro Books and Café
finances. Fesshaye is fluent in several languages, and he has drawn on his banking experience to help newcomers with things like RRSPs and filing their income taxes. “People say to me, ‘This is like a one-man organization,’” Fesshaye says with a laugh. “But the way I do business is I have that personal relationship with my customers. I’ve been here quite some time and I have a little bit of education and experience, so I try to help with anything. They trust me. And when people trust you, they’ll do anything for you.”
Bekuretsion Fesshaye, Kilimanjaro Books and Cafe
ekuretsion Fesshaye knows what it’s like to feel isolated in a strange new country.
When the native of Eritrea first came to Halifax in 1990 to escape the conflict between his home country and neighbouring Ethiopia, he often found himself alone even in a crowd of people. “I used to go to Tim Hortons and sit there with a newspaper or book, and nobody talks to you,” says Fesshaye. That experience is what led the former banker to open Kilimanjaro Books and Café, a homely neighbourhood gathering spot on Dutch Village Road that has become a place of refuge for Halifax’s African immigrant community. “This is something I thought about for a long time,” Fesshaye says. “It’s open for everybody, of course, but my intention was to open a place especially for new immigrants and people of African descent.”
Fesshaye’s business is reminiscent of an old-fashioned general store, offering a little bit of everything. It’s primarily a place to sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea, but Kilimanjaro also sells everything from authentic African clothing and handmade drums to imported CDs. There’s a Western Union on site where people can wire money to relatives back home, and home-cooked food is usually for sale on Sundays from 12-5 p.m. Meanwhile, the bookstore upstairs offers 10,000 new and used titles, including a large selection of African books.
The business has its share of challenges too. Fesshaye says one of the hardest things is seeing so many immigrants pick up and move to bigger areas like Toronto or Calgary to try to make a go of it. “The biggest problem is that people don’t stay here,” he says. “It’s a very enjoyable (business), but on the other hand you have to pay your bills too, and it’s not easy. And the people who move are not only customers, they’re friends.” But Fesshaye says he’s not planning on going anywhere – after all, at what other job could he find unlimited coffee and plenty of good conversation? It’s the people that make it all worthwhile, he says. “We laugh a lot here,” he says with a chuckle. “I know I laugh a lot.”
“I try as much as possible to provide the customer with a lot of things,” Fesshaye says. His assistance goes beyond food and merchandise. Many of his customers will come Dutch Village Rd., Halifax to him with questions on anything from 444 3448 / 444 3478 getting settled in the area to E-mail: email@example.com dealing with
Kilimanjaro Beku Fesshaye
Black to Business
People & Businesses on the Move
Shauntay Grant has just published a book about growing up in Preston. The illustrator is Susan Tooke and it takes the reader back into the community in days gone by. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo will feature an African Nova Scotian showcase paying tribute to Black military contributions for the past two centuries. This year’s Tattoo will run from July 1-8 at the Metro Centre in Halifax. “The Little Black School House”, directed by Sylvia Hamilton, was shown on CBC television in Nova Scotia on Thursday, April 10. The annual Rev. Dr. W.P. Oliver-Night of Honour was held on Saturday, February 2, 2008 at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. The special guest speaker was Ms. Sharon Ross (Initial Black Cultural Centre’s Project Co-ordinator). Musical entertainment was provided by the Beechville Babes and the Praise Team from Beechville United Baptist Church. The newest additions to the Wall of Honour are: Mr. Eugene Williams (posthumously), Mrs. Edith Cromwell, Chief Warrant Officer James Fraser, Ms. Bernice Hamilton-McLaughlin, Ms. Gloria Simmons and Rev. Alfreda Smith. An art exhibit prepared by the students of Eastern Shore District High School was on display at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia during African Heritage Month. The leadership for this project was provided by Diane Smaggus, their teacher, and Shauntay Grant, an ArtsSmarts artist. The art work the students created is directly connected to the new English language arts course, English 12: African Heritage, which
is being piloted this year. This project was supported by the African Canadian Services Division and ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia. The unveiling of the Historic Walking Map and the Fact Sheet of Sand Hill created in part by ArtsSmarts Artist/Educator Darlene Strong and students from Amherst Regional High School and Springhill High Schools took place in Amherst on February 14. “One God, One Aim, One Destiny”, a book detailing the history of African Nova Scotians in Cape Breton, from the days of the Fortress of Louisbourg to the present was launched in Glace Bay on February 25. Joan Weeks is the author of the book. The Easter Cantata, HALLELUJAH ‘ TIS DONE was presented, in narration and song, by George Gray, Amanda Marshall and the combined choirs of Cornwallis Street United Baptist Church, under the direction of Tracey Daye- Ryan on Palm Sunday, March 16, 2008. The Times of African Nova Scotians - A Celebration of Our History, Culture and Traditions, a journal chronicling pivotal moments in Nova Scotia’s black history was introduced on Feb. 28, as a new learning resource to support students of African Canadian Studies and African Heritage 12. The 36-page journal, published by Effective Publishing, takes students and teachers through 400 years of African Nova Scotian history, from the slave trade and the arrival of the black loyalists to Viola Desmond’s courageous refusal to give up her seat in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow theatre. It is a joint project of the Department of Education and the Council on African Canadian Education, and is being distributed
to all junior and senior high school social studies students across the province. Communities in Nova Scotia will receive one-time grants from the Department of Justice under the crime prevention strategy, Time to Fight Crime Together. These will fund projects that target events, activities or equipment to provide Nova Scotians with the opportunity to participate in community programs. Among the organizations receiving assistance are the Boys and Girls Clubs of Nova Scotia- East Preston, Community Justice Society, Community YMCA, Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association - Heather Arseneau Boxing Club, Uniacke Square Youth Center, Mulgrave Park Teen Program, Mulgrave Park Baptist Church Youth Group, Scotia Court Computer Access for Teens and North Dartmouth Music Beats the Streets. On March 15, as part of the commemoration of the International Day to Eliminate Racism, The Nova Scotia Mass Choir, the African Nova Scotian Music Association; the R.C.M.P. and New Beginnings Ministry presented “Towards the Elimination of Racism - A Gospel Celebration” at the New Beginnings Church. Additional performers included Chelsea Nesbitt, Conquerors for Christ, Esther Medley Smith, James Ogden, and Bucky Adams with words of inspiration from Cst. Deborah Maloney. Film Maker and Director: Nadine Valcin is researching the possibility of producing a documentary on the ancestry of the families of the original Black slaves to PEI. Many visible traces of these Black Ancestors have been diluted or erased as the slaves assimilated into the general population. Today most descendants of slaves would
Black to Business
actually be identified as Caucasians on PEI. In March, she held three meetings in Charlottetown, Cardigan, and Summerside as part of her research. Mufaro Chakabbuda, who teaches African Dance at the Halifax Dance studios on Barrington Street was profiled in the Halifax Commoner, the publication of the Kings School of Journalism on Feb. 1. Lawrence Hill, the author of “The Book of Negroes”, and currently a writer in residence at the University of Prince Edward Island, received the 2007 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. Valley entrepreneur Valerie Rafuse, the owner of Wolfville’s Saucy Strides, has been profiled throughout the last year by the Chronicle Herald. The final instalment of the series marked the end of her first year in business, chronically the highs and lows of that important first year. Dr. Raymond Windbush, of Baltimore Maryland, a noted Black activist, was in Nova Scotia to speak with members of the community about his latest book, “The Warrior Method, A Program for Rearing Healthy Black Boys.” While he was here, he spoke with the Herald’s Peter Duffy for a two-part article. Larry Gibson has announced plans for a new 80 thousand hectare business park adjacent to Highway 102 in Stewiacke. Construction is slated to begin later this spring. Gibson has also recently opened a 46 thousand square foot commercial development on Chain Lake Drive in the Bayer’s Lake Industrial Park. George Elliot Clarke waxed poetic about the lives of the remarkable women portrayed in “Black Women Who Made a Difference in Nova Scotia”, edited by Dolly Williams for the Congress of Black Women of Canada, in a February 10th column in the ChronicleHerald.
Congratulations to Jacob Deng on the next step of his incredible life journey that started in the Sudan. On February 15, Flag Day, he was formally sworn in as a citizen of Canada. Stephen Pitt has written “To Stand and Fight Together”, a history book for juveniles tracing the story of Richard Pierpoint, a 16 year-old captured as a slave in West Africa, through life in New England, as a soldier in the American Revolution, and as a settler in Upper Canada. Allan Bundy, the first Black officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force’s career was highlighted in an article in the Chronicle Herald on February 24. Lionel Ritchie, Natalie Cole, and Jamia Nash were among the performers at the David Foster Crescendo fundraiser, which raised $1.6 million for families with children needing organ transplants in Halifax in March. The following week, The Blind Boys of Alabama performed at the Rebecca Cohn. Measha Bruggergosman received the best classical album vocal performance at the recent Juno Awards. On April 4, David Sparks launched the Martin Luther King Project of Nova Scotia at the Black Cultural Centre. Its goal is to “to teach youth the civil rights leader’s philosophy of non-violence, and empower them to redirect their anger and frustration toward more creative outlets”. Another event, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination was held in the Annapolis Valley. It was entitled A Day of Events in Recognition of the 40th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination: It consisted of an afternoon of film screenings, discussions and displays at the KCIC Auditorium and an evening of music, poetry, and discussion with special guests Denise Allen and hip-hop artist Iz
Real and concluded with a special musical performance, Rage Against Injustice. Willie O’Ree, the first Black hockey player in the NHL, was the keynote speaker for the Annual Harmony Breakfast, held in Sydney on March 17. It was presented by Cape Breton University Human Rights Office and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. While he was in Nova Scotia, he participated in various events including a hockey clinic for approximately 40 youth at the Halifax Metro Centre. George Elliott Clarke was one a several participants in a special afternoon of cultural performances to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rat at the Mu Lan Cultural Centre in Halifax. The African Heritage Month Gala Committee in Southwestern Nova Scotia celebrated African Heritage Month with a dinner and dance on February 23 at the Greenville Community Centre. Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard was the keynote speaker at this year’s International Women’s Day event presented by the family ministry at the East Preston United Baptist Church. Haley Cox, who spent time last summer aboard La Amistad, gave a talk on her experience at a public talk in Shelburne at the end of February. Her Honour, Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis has instituted the Lieutenant Governor’s Faith in Action Award, a new award housed at Atlantic School of Theology, which will be presented annually to a Nova Scotian whose faith has inspired significant public service. Sometimes this service is highly visible, sometimes it is known only to a few, but the benefits of this service go beyond the recipient’s immediate faith community to the public at large. Her Honour has, among her many educational accomplishments, a certificate in theological studies from AST. The first recipient is Timothy Crooks, the executive director of Phoenix Youth Programs in Halifax.
Black to Business
Black Business Initiative
2008 Training Schedule for Metro Courses:
May 20, 27
June 3, 10, 17, 24
Simply Accounting-Essentials of Computerised Bookkeeping
July 8, 15, 22, 29
Website Design for Your Business
Aug 5, 12, 19, 26
Microsoft Word I, II, III
Sept 9, 16, 23
Microsoft Excel I, II, III
Oct 7, 14, 21
Microsoft PowerPoint I, II
Nov 18, 25
Computer Basics I, II, III
Dec 2, 9, 16
Intellectual Property: Is your Business protected
Entrepreneurship 101 (Sydney)
Entrepreneurship 101 (Amherst)
Personal Financial Management
Search Engine Marketing
Market Yourself: aspiring musicians, artists
Advanced Searching & Internet Tools
Personal Financial Management
Email & Instant Messaging
Course Fee: Clients - $20.00, Non Clients : $40.00 Workshop Fee: Clients and Non Clients : $5.00 Registration is open to everyone. To register for any session, please call 426-8683 Note: Course and Workshop delivery times are subject to change.
Report Bernard Elwin
A number of courses and workshops were held in the Metro area during the last quarter. These included Website Design for Your Business, Creating a Winning Business Plan, Submitting to Revenue Canada and Canada’s Paper Money – Security Features and Detection Methods. Three courses were moved to the following quarter. These were Marketing Your Business, The Ins and Outs of Import Export and Understanding Keeping and Retaining Credit. A total of 26 people registered and 14 completed. The Training Centre is the Black Business Initiative’s first point of contact for people hoping to access our services. In the last quarter, 16 clients went through the intake process. Seven have returned and have been guided through the interactive assessment process where a potential project is examined and recommendations are made concerning further development, including the assignment of a Regional Business Development Manager. While the Centre continues its delivery of courses and workshops there will be the need to examine some of the less effective ones. Some do not attract the numbers necessary to ensure sustainability, even after significant effort is made to increase registration. One way we may be able to improve attendance is by taking these courses to other areas of the province. In the coming months we hope to begin delivery of a number of these courses in areas such as Sydney, Cape Breton. We hope to fully utilize our Regional Business Development Managers in this effort. Should you require the services of the Training Centre we ask that you speak with the Regional Business Development Manager (RBDM) assigned to your area or contact us directly at 902-426-8683. Please refer to the RBDM regional travel schedule featured in this magazine.
Black to Business
Ariel’s Peter Marsman
had already taught him. “This drove the teachers crazy,” he laughs. This former Cole Harbour High graduate followed his love for cooking and pursued culinary courses at Dartmouth Regional Vocational School (now the Nova Scotia Community College – NSCC), at the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology and Blaine Beals, Ariel’s Homestyle Catering Tourism Regional Industrial Training hat began as life lessons and pursued several management from a loving grandand supervisory courses through the mother turned into a Casino Nova Scotia Hotel.
thriving, mouth-watering business for one Dartmouth chef.
North Preston native, Blaine Beals, the owner of Ariel’s Homestyle Catering, says he was practically reared in the kitchen by a grandmother who taught him “everything there was to know about cooking.” This father of two has now taken his grandmother’s lessons and created quite a stir, making a name for himself as word spreads about his unique service and specialty dishes. “I think it helps that I like to showcase what I do,” he offers. “Presentation is crucial to my business and how I want customers and clients to receive me. And it all leads back to my grandmother.” He says her lessons were about more than just baking or throwing ingredients together. “She taught me to take pride in my accomplishments and to create rather than just make. She wanted to make sure I knew how to do it myself and I ended up loving it.” Beals says he took cooking courses in high school but often already knew the recipe because his grandmother
Along the way, his techniques were so impressive that won a coveted silver and two gold medals for Hot and Cold Salon presentation categories at the prestigious Atlantic Provincial Culinary Exhibition. The first in his family to own a business, Beals started Ariel’s Homestyle Catering, named after his daughter, in September 2006, shortly after he lost a seven-year chef’s position at a major hotel due to downsizing. After weighing his options, Beals realized that what he really wanted was to branch out on his own. “I had been creating dishes for people in the community for weddings and other large-scale events for quite some time. I decided to turn what could have been a desperate situation into an opportunity,” he says. “Grandma taught me well, and I was ready.” In a matter of four months, Beals went from unemployment to fulltime entrepreneur. He says the first year was slow and it was sometimes challenging to keep going. “I realized I had to sell myself and stay positive and find ways to put myself out there. At the same time I had
to be ready for anything that might come up, because the smallest thing can ruin everything in catering,” he says. Once he started getting customers, his plan for success was simple: “If you want people to like what you do, do your best because your name is always going to be stamped on it when you do it.” And, says Beals it’s important to treat everyone the same. “Whether it’s 10 people or 100 people, everybody gets stellar treatment,” he says. “I am always present and in uniform. My customer service is part of the package. It takes more work, but it is important.” Beals also enjoys getting feedback about customers’ favourite dishes. “People love my sun-dried tomato soup and my lasagna gets a lot of comments,” he admits. But for Beals, it’s the small things that make a difference. “I received a thank-you card from a young lady following a workshop I catered in North Preston,” Beals says. “She loved my service and said she wanted to do the same thing and that she was proud of me. It doesn’t come any better than that.”
Homestyle Catering Blaine Beals (902) 405-3765 firstname.lastname@example.org www.arielscatering.ca/
Black to Business
Bernard Elwin The Business is Jammin’ (BIJ) March Break Entrepreneurship Camp ran from March 10 – 14th at the Black Business Initiative’s training facility on Gottingen Street in Halifax. It was enormously successful. Ten youth attended and learned how to set up a business. They were exposed to a wide range of entrepreneurial activities designed to introduce them to entrepreneurship as a career choice. As part of the experience, a number of business people were brought in to speak to the youth. Participants also visited the Discovery Centre in downtown Halifax. Preparation for the summer youth program is underway. The summer program lasts 16 weeks starting on May 12. We have begun advertising for youth coordinators. The BIJ program will partner with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to identify youth delegates to attend a CDB sponsored forum entitled ‘Youth in Business
World Renowned Diversity Educator Enlightens Business Leaders and Students In recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racism on March 21, the Black Business Initiative (BBI) in partnership with the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs hosted internationally renowned diversity educator Jane Elliott.
Business is Jammin’
In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise. Elliott first performed this exercise in 1968 with her grade three students. It labelled them as superior or inferior based solely on eye colour and gave students the experience of being a visible minority. The exercise had dramatic affects on both groups of students. Since then she has conducted the same exercise with people of all ages in
cities throughout the United States and in several other countries. Elliott discussed power, privilege and the effects of discrimination with business leaders and high school students. Elliott put two business leaders through an exercise on unearned power. Her demonstration showed that a person’s physical characteristics (over which we have no control) could give that person power or negatively affect them. She stressed that traits such as gender, skin colour, height and age are not an achievement and should not be used as a basis to judge people. She explained to the audience that while she has experienced threats, isolation and harassment because of her exercise and message, she continues to deliver her insight today. Elliott says that after 40 years of her work, she wants to see a day when her work will not be needed.
RBDM Travel Schedule Cape Breton - CGT = Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver (Tel: 902-426-8685) Southern Region - GN = Greg Nazaire (Tel: 902-426-1625) Central Region, New Glasgow, Guysborough - EW = Evan Williams (Tel: 902-426-6692)
– Cultivating the Next Generation’ to be held on May 29, 2008 in Halifax. The event
will present the bank’s role and function in
the development process and detail risks and vulnerabilities that affect them. The forum is part of a broader function being held in Halifax by the bank.
EW-New Glasgow EW-Guysborough EW-Glace Bay
We have commissioned the production of
a slideshow for the BIJ. It is hoped that this
tool will assist us in fundraising as well as be a key element of our marketing/promotional materials for the BIJ program. EW-New Glasgow EW-Guysborough
Finally, we are getting ready to host the 2008 CGT-Sydney
Youth Summit. This is a major component of BBI’s Black Business Summit scheduled for the end of June 2008. Please visit the BBI’s website for more details.
Black to Business
Business and Community Events May 20
Centre for Women In Business Women’s Networking Night Human Resources with Brenda Fair 6:30 to 9:00pm Holiday Inn Express, 133 Kearney Lake Road, Halifax For info: email@example.com ; phone: 902-457-6449 / 1-888-776-902
2008 Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards World Trade & Convention Centre Time: 5pm – 9pm For infot Candace Sweet, 902-424-6814
Council on African Canadian Education (CACE) Education Summit – Western Region “A Parent Summit – Parenting Effective Education” Digby Pines Resort, Digby, NS For Information: Lana MacLean, 223-4906
May 24 & 31
Women in Local Government Campaign Schools May 24: NSCC, Waterfront Campus, Dartmouth May 31: NSCC, Pictou Campus, Stellarton Contact the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities Phone: 423-8673 / Website: unsm.ca/wilg
2nd Annual REP Provincial Spelling BEE (2008) Mount Saint Vincent University Seton Auditorium, 166 Bedford Hwy. 2pm For info: (902) 424-7036; 1-800-565-3398
June 18 – 21
BBI’s Black Business Summit 2008 “Sustaining Business Excellence” Casino Nova Scotia, Compass Room Workshops, Boat Cruise, Golf Tournament, Biz Show, Networking, AGM Dinner & Dance Keynote Speakers: Ephren Taylor & Christopher Gardner For info: 426-2224, ext.0; www.bbi.ns.ca
Events sponsored by the Black Loyalist Society August 2: March to Birchtown followed by picnic and entertainment August 11-15: Multicultural Day Camp 98 Old Birchtown Rd., Shelburne, NS (902) 875-1310 firstname.lastname@example.org
WADE Annual Open House & BBQ 11AM – 4PM WADE Main Office, 1144 Main Street, Dartmouth, NS For info.: Tony Atuanya, 435-4648 / www.wadens.ca
Wade Annual General Meeting Black Cultural Centre, Main St., Dartmouth For info.: Tony Atuanya, 435-4648 / www.wadens.ca
Canada Day in Halifax-Dartmouth www.hrmcanadaday.ca 490-6776
July 1 – 8
2008 Royal Nova Scotia International Tatoo Halifax Metro Centre Tickets: Limited prestige seats- $60.00 Gold seats- (section 15) - $60.00 For info online: www.nstattoo.ca For Tickets call: 450-1221 or www.ticketatlantic.com
Loyalist Landing, Shelburne Grand re-enactment weekend www.loyalistlanding2008.org
25th Africville Reunion/ Festival Contacts: Monica Carvery, 492-0253 / Gail Perry, 404-5552
August 22 – 24, 2008 Marsman Family Reunion Hammonds Plains Community Centre Contact: Veronica Marsman, 902-876-0091 (h), 902-471-1695 (cell) / Peter Marsman, 902-497-7992 (cell)
#OME TO THE 3UMMIT JUNE 18–21, 2008 Casino Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Inspiration for the film, The Pursuit of Happyness
Youngest African American CEO
3USTAINING "USINESS %XCELLENCE www.bbi.ns.ca The Black Business Initiative is proud to host the 6th Black Business Summit Workshops Boat Cruise Golf Tournament Biz Show Networking Keynote Speakers AGM Dinner & Dance
For more information or to register, visit www.eventspecialists.ca or call 902-404-3469.
If undeliverable return to: The Black Business Initiative 1575 Brunswick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2G1 Publications Mail Agreement No.
numéro de convention