The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative
Paul Adams Also in this Issue • The American Election • Palooka’s Boxing Club • Sowing a few good seeds Winter 2009 u Number 41
“A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”
Black to Business
Message from the Board of Directors
Message from the Board
Message from the Chief Executive Officer
COVER STORY Adams Photography Services
Palooka’s Boxing Club
Trailblazers Young Athletes
Partnership To Develop Michelin’s African Nova Scotian Workforce
2 Colored Guys Fashions and Silk Screening
Cassandra Dorrington, Chair, Black Business Initiative Paul Adams
In this Issue
Our Future is Now
Caribbean Development Bank Youth in Business
Nova Scotia Black Cultural Project
The American Election African-Nova Scotians Weigh In
Obama’s victory has great impact on Black Canadians 16 BBI Directory Launch and Christmas Social
ASK THE BBI
Sowing a few good seeds Halifax kids earn kudos for work on community garden project
PEOPLE & BUSINESS on the Move 21 BBI 2009 Training Schedule
J. Marsman Safety Service
BBI STATISTICS 2007-08
Business & Community Events
Regional Reports Southern Business Development
Regional Business Development Manager Regional Visit Schedule 25
Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687
ecently the United States and the world underwent an historic happening. The United States elected its first African-American president. While we continue to talk about this event and celebrate its impact on the American people, Canada and the rest of the world, we also marvel that 40 years after the civil rights movement, the African-American people are able to see one of their own aspire and achieve the highest office of the land, that of President.
This monumental event will have an impact on Canadians and in particular will affect us as persons of African descent living in Canada. While Canada has always enjoyed good relations with its neighbour to the south, with each new president there is a time of renewal, and in some cases establishing new relationships. 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 U.S. has experienced a number of severe setbacks in recent years that span the worst financial downturn the country has seen since the Thirties, the collapse of the North American automotive industry and the country’s involvement in two major wars. As in most situations, while times look bad, in the current situation, there are winners and losers. While Corporate America has taken a hit, there is potential for the non-mainstream society to make some inroads in key areas. We see similar conditions in Canada. While Corporate Canada has suffered a few hits as a result of its alignment with the U.S., the small entrepreneur while having fewer resources to invest has taken far less of a hit. As a marginalized group of people, we are more accustomed to risk and tend to thrive in uncertain times. This is particularly evident to me, having recently attended the NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council) awards in Las Vegas. The award winners while excelling at the technical aspect of running their business also contributed substantially to the economy, with revenue figures running from $250,000 to billions of dollars. And remember these results were accomplished in a year when the U.S. was entering its downturn in the market. I am optimistic that the Black Business Initiative (BBI) and its clients are in an optimum position to weather the storm. We have been judicious in ensuring ongoing fiscal responsibility across the organization. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Jr.
Black to Business
Message From the Chief Executive Officer
S. I. Rustum Southwell
fter CEO of Capital City Ephren Taylor’s keynote presentation at the Business Summit this past June, I came across Dr. Rudolf Ffrench. Our paths crossed when the power of the speech was still fresh in our minds and we were reflecting on the message. Rudy, as he is affectionately known to us at the BBI, is a lifetime Board member and the current chair of the Board of Black Business Consulting, the revenue generating arm of the Black Business Initiative (BBI) brand. As I approached him, he looked at me and said, “You know, Rustum, we did not think big enough.”
That moment of awakening is, in essence, the soul of the dichotomy of the BBI. A dozen years ago we were asked to devise a strategy to address the social economy and simultaneously grow wealth and job creation within the Nova Scotian Black community. A distinguished group of dedicated and bright Nova Scotians, entrepreneurial enough not to know any better, said yes and assembled to address the challenge of a lifetime. Although we have gotten noticed and made significant inroads, we still have a long way to go.
BBI is at the helm of a cultural shift in the business environment for Black entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia. It means addressing the needs of entry level and mini-micro businesses up to multi-million dollar companies on a growth and survival track in an extremely competitive environment. It is a tall order in a quickly changing business world. If you recall, at the time of the Summit in June, the cost of a barrel of oil was $150, now it is below $50. The Toronto Stock Exchange composite index (TSX), which was near to 2000 points, has since lost half of its value. And a young African-American was in the fight of his life with the Clintons to become the first Black candidate from a major party for president of the United States of America. Despite the gloom in the stock markets November 4, 2008 election victory of Barack Obama as President –elect of the USA, brought a new hope to the world, a bounce in our strides and a renewed confidence to make the impossible possible. At the time of the election I was attending the annual National and Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) conference in Nevada. When we see plenary panelists like Terry J. Lungren, Chairman, President and CEO of Macy’s Inc. or Jeffrey Shaw CEO of Southwest Gas Corporation, presenting to, and creating partnerships with, companies owned by racially visible business people, the inevitable comparison with where we are in Canada becomes obvious.
“Describing itself ‘as a business, investing and wealth-building resource for African Americans,’ Black Enterprise meets and exceeds the three services offered by Black Canadian resources. It tracks the largest U.S. black-owned businesses in its annual Top 100s report, and has a list ranking the best companies to work for African Americans as well as the best colleges to attend. “Like the Nova Scotia BBI, Black Enterprise has a Black Wealth Initiative (BWI), but the two differ in approach. BBI states positively influencing provincial business culture as its mission, while the BWI is committed to helping African Americans to amass wealth. From the description of BWI on the website, it does not seem as concerned with the cultural implications of its wealth-building campaign, just the financial ones. The BBI stresses the need of the black community to acquire business knowhow and to integrate with the larger business community, while BWI seems to address a more advanced professional audience. It does not dwell on how to get into the business world, but how to make enough money to get on top of the business world. “Naturally, because of the differences between the American and Canadian black communities, these variances between business approaches are to be expected.”
There is some movement in Nova Scotia with the recent signing of the partnership agreement between Michelin, the tire manufacturer, the African Nova Scotian Employment Partnership Committee and the An online article by Ayesha Foxworth province. With the current turmoil compares us this way: “Black Canadian and downturn in the economy, it is businesspeople who want to network refreshing to have a multi-national have a handful of resources at their corporation put its support behind disposal: the Black Business Initiative proactive recruiting of Black employ(BBI) is one of them. But in comparison ees and Black-owned companies into to the resources available to blacks in the supply chain. the United States, like Black Enterprise Magazine (www.blackenterprise.com), We have seen some downturns in Canada still has a long way to go. the tourism sector in the region. It continued on page 6 >
Black to Business
“We’re both walking up the aisle, half-crying.” Photographer Paul Adams laughs gently, remembering his daughter LaTonya’s wedding ceremony. “We get to the end of the aisle (and the) pastor says, ‘Who gives this woman…’ I said, ‘I do’. Then I took two steps back, sat down for a second, grabbed the camera, and went to work!” The thought of Adams moving busily about a crowded church as his daughter recites her wedding vows may seem startling to some. But his heart was set on honouring LaTonya’s wish of seeing her wedding day through her dad’s eyes (or rather, lens). Besides, it’s not everyday the father of the bride is the owner and operator of a thriving photography company. “I would have never thought that a hobby would have turned into a fulltime business,” says Adams, who has been operating Adams Photography since 1998. “Ever since I was a little child I was always the guy in the group that had the camera. And I loved to take photos. But then my daughter was born in 1978 and wanting to be a responsible father and take care of her, I had to get a job. So I decided to get a job at the Halifax Infirmary Hospital, and then moved on to Canada Post.” Adams worked at Canada Post from 1982 until 2004. But in 1997 he took on a new position, freeing up some of his time. So he started taking photos on a part-time basis. Weddings, special events, family portraits, schools… His popularity grew with each new project. “From 1997 to 2002 I was working two jobs,” remembers Adams. “I was driving in the postal van taking
Paul Adams, Owner calls for Adams Photography. I felt like Superman, changing clothes to do interviews, then going back and delivering the mail.” In addition, Adams took a leave without pay for three months each year between 1999 and 2002 to run the school-photo segment of the business. And in 2003 and 2004 he took full-time leave-without-pay to further his education, eventually earning a diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College in Photography and Digital Imaging. But Adams had to make a choice if he wanted to follow his dream. “I knew I had to leave (the post office) if I wanted to follow my passion,” says Adams. “That day (back in December of 2004), I knew I was retiring. And some of the fellas saw me and said, ‘Oh, you’re back (from leave)’. And I said, “Yeah I’m back for a minute, but I’m outta here. You fellas are the prisoners. The supervisors are the wardens. And this is the penitentiary. And I just got full parole,” smiles Adams.
“That’s the way I felt when I left Canada Post. I just felt like I wasn’t going to be locked up anymore, because now I’m walking in my dream.” Walking in his dream means turning his family room into a studio. “Usually it’s a studio, where I shoot at different times of the year,” says Adams from his Dartmouth home in late October. “But now I call it the factory.” Stacks of school photos and order forms line the walls of Adams’ workspace. “We do school pictures; twentytwo schools, which is about 7,000 students. And you do it all between September and November.” (His busiest time of the year.) The rest of the year he’s contracted by the Nova Scotia Government, and has corporate clients such as the Black Business Initiative, Steele Group, Sobeys, Century 21, Acura, Exit Realty and Remax Atlantic Canada, to name a few.
Adams also credits his son Paul Jr. with helping him manage his school projects. “He goes to the schools to do retakes. He also went to NSCC and took the same course that I took. And he’s been a great help to me, especially with the weddings – he does all of my postproduction.” Adams also remembers his daughter, Amber, being very displeased when the business first started as it took up a lot of the family’s finances. “I thank God that before she died she got to see the business begin to prosper.” Adams prides himself on quality service. “I believe the customer is always right. So I’ll do my utmost to make sure that when they leave they’re happy.
“I have freedom now. My time is flexible. I get to meet so many people of all ages and from all walks of life that
“I just get excited when someone calls for pictures. I give all glory to my Lord and Saviour for giving me the faith to follow my dream.”
“Some of the feedback I have received from the schools is that they love my interaction with the students. But I love people, especially children so that just comes naturally.
Adams counts Stedman Graham and T.D. Jakes among the celebrities he’s had the opportunity to photograph. But at the end of the day, he says it doesn’t matter who the subject is.
Adams credits the East Preston Daycare Centre with giving him his first opportunity for class photos. “I still remember going to (my first schools), Nelson Whynder and Joseph Howe (Elementary Schools) – we had two coat racks and two-by-fours, and I hung the backdrop over that… and one camera. And that’s what I started with.”
His competition in the school arena is national multi-million dollar companies. But Adams says the fact that he is a smaller company in comparison works to his advantage. “What (schools) like is that if they call me with an issue, I’m right there, whereas the bigger companies may not be as accessible. So I provide them with really good service. It runs you off your feet for three or four months, but to me it’s all worth it.
I would otherwise have never got to meet.”
“My family is very supportive,” says Adams. “(My wife), Star, a.k.a., Wonder Woman, holds a full time job with the Department of Education and is also a major player in the running of Adams Photography Services. She now works two jobs, where I worked two jobs when we first started out. But we got it down – we’ve been doing it for 10 years.”
And you gotta make sure they’re happy, especially in the school industry. You’re trying to please 7,000 parents.”
Paul Adams Jr.
In the spring and summer he’s busy with family portraits and weddings. He has photographed weddings from across Canada and as far away as Jamaica.
Black to Business
Black to Business
Palooka’s Boxing Club
Amateur Boxing Association. But Jones admits it’s been a bit of an uphill struggle to draw in youth. He believes it’s partly the stigma of boxing, which people sometimes dismiss as too violent. “You could say that hockey is a violent sport, football is a violent sport – any sport where there’s contact,” Jones says. “But if you look at it as competition, discipline, development of body and mind, then you’re looking at it for different reasons. A lot of people say, ‘Oh, I never thought of it that way.’”
Vince Jones , General Manager
ay the words “boxing club” and a stereotypical image out of a 1970s film springs to many people’s minds – a steamy little room crowded with swaggering fighters, the stale air dripping with testosterone and smelling like the inside of a wet gym bag. General Manager Vince Jones wants you to know that’s not what Palooka’s Boxing Club is about. And if you poke your head inside, you’ll find out for yourself.
“I’ve had a lot of people say to me that they’ve walked past 50 or 60 times and wondered what it was like,” Jones says. “And I say, ‘Well, how will you know if you don’t come in?’” After all, Jones himself was skeptical at first. A student support worker in the Halifax school system for 20 years, he was looking for a change and thought at first he was applying to manage a fitness club, he says with a laugh. Yet though he has little experience with boxing, he was drawn in by owner Mickey
MacDonald’s vision for the club to become a place of refuge for at-risk youth in the community.
After 20 years of working with atrisk youth in schools, Jones says he’s in favour of anything that helps kids find a way out – and he thinks Palooka’s could offer that to many.
“Mickey’s intent is to help kids find their way through this program,” Jones says. “It’s not so much to develop boxers, it’s to help kids develop self-confidence, to (be) a place where they can get away from the pressures of everyday life, peer pressure, if they want to clear their minds and think about a way out.”
“If a person can just come in here and be in a better space for an hourand-a-half or two hours, then we’ve already accomplished something,” he says. “We can offer an opportunity for respect and understanding, and that’s a good thing. It’s never a bad thing.”
Located at the south end of Gottingen Street, the club’s interior is a mix of exposed brick and new equipment. Palooka’s also offers much more than boxing. Members can take lessons in mixed martial arts, kick-boxing, boxercise aerobics and non-competitive boxing, or enter a competitive amateur program. The desire to reach youth extends outside the ring as well. The club offered an entrepreneurial program in the summer, and has brought in speakers such as former boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The club also offers low rates for youth: just $2 a session, after a $35 registration fee with the Canadian
Palooka’s Boxing Club 2110 Gottingen St., Halifax, Nova Scotia
Black to Business REGIONAL REPORT Southern Greg Nazaire
Fall started with preparation for the Small Business Week event. The BBI was invited to participate in both the Blue Water and Yarmouth events. Chuck Smith, our new Board member and retired civil servant in the southern region represented the BBI in Yarmouth. I attended the Blue Water event at Fisherman Cove where the Honourable Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage was the keynote speaker. The BBI in partnership with Canadian Business Development Centres (CBDCs) will be launching a series of workshops across the southern region. These workshops will address problems faced by small business owners and people who want to start a business. The first workshop will be held in Yarmouth on November 20 at the Rodd Colony Harbour Inn. Last month we were pleased to sponsor Darlene Lawrence, the Director of the Digby County Family Resource Centre in the organization of the African Nova Scotian Parent Conference & Youth Forum that was held on September 26th, 2008. The conference was in response to the racial incident that occurred in Digby last June. In the last quarter the Training Centre hosted more than 22 microfinance practitioners, primarily from South Asia and Africa. They were treated to a presentation of the BBI business model. I would like to thank my colleagues, particularly Dorothy Fletcher, for their dedication in organizing this event. Finally, I would also like to congratulate Louise Delisle on the development of her business Good Life Home Care, a premier senior home care provider in the Southern region, notably in the Shelburne and Barrington areas. If you live in these areas, feel free to give Mrs. Delisle a call at (902)875-3734. For any further information or to book a regional visit, please contact me at: (902)426-1625 or 1(800)668-1010.
6 Message from the Board of Directors
Message from the CEO
continued from page 1
continued from page 2
We have spent considerable time with our client base facilitating them in their ability to manage both the business and risk effectively. The sustainability model which was rolled out in the last few years was designed for circumstances akin to now. Most importantly, we have worked closely with our funding partners to ensure they are an integral part of the solution and of our future. While we have attempted to manage our risk, we leave nothing to chance. We are currently in the throes of laying the foundation of renewing our multiyear financial commitment from our partners. While this initiative takes considerable effort (e.g. BBI program evaluation, strategic planning, ongoing Balanced Scorecard reporting, etc…), it is an essential part of doing business at BBI. All this effort does not come without a cost. I have said it in the past and I continue to commend our CEO, Rustum Southwell, and his dedicated and knowledgeable staff. BBI has been blessed in its ability to attract and retain a strong and talented group of dedicated professionals in the organization and to each of them we owe our thanks for continuing to contribute unconditionally to BBI’s vision. Each year, we experience some changeover and this year is no exception. To those who have been with us and shared their skills and knowledge before moving to another step along the path of your life, thank you for your dedication and service. And to the new group who are enthusiastic and eager to contribute, we welcome you and look forward to working with you. As you can tell it will be an exciting and a busy year. Are we up to the challenge, and can we do it? As heard in the words of Barack Obama on November 4th, “Yes we can.”
Cassandra Dorrington, Chair
is to be expected after the recent decreased value of the Canadian dollar, the drop in oil pricing, and the downturn in manufacturing. Given the unfolding financial market turmoil, credit will be difficult to come by. Companies will have to be exceptionally loyal to their core customer base just to survive. Economic eras do not last forever; however, our workforce and businesses are at the lowest end of the income disparity. In this rough business climate, we will have to choose the right strategic path and the most cost-effective way to ensure maximum value to our customers and companies. We will continue to offer support and advice to small and large companies. The last quarter of the year is always busy with the preparation for the Small Business Week and the Christmas retail season networking. This year is no different. Bernard Elwin said farewell to the BBI to study the construction industry at NSCC. Chuck Smith, a very well-known retired civil servant in the southern region, and Eleanor Beaton, a business woman from the central region, joined the Black Business Initiative board of directors in September. Cassandra Dorrington, in her role as Chair of BBI, continues to move the organization forward with its master plan. The annual board retreat in September and an external evaluation currently being undertaken by Gardner Pinfold will assist us with future strategies. Our promise is to be at your side during the current economic storm, because we are stronger together.
S.I. Rustum Southwell, CEO
Black to Business
Young Athletes Nkem Ezurike
Chioke Esono-Thornhill Fencing Peter Marsman
Nkem Ezurike has spent a good portion of the fall living out of a suitcase, thanks to her talents on the soccer pitch. The 16-year-old from Lower Sackville has been in high demand as one of Canada’s top young soccer talents. First, she was off to St. John’s, NL, with her club team, Halifax City Salty’s, for the national championships on Thanksgiving weekend. Ezurike was one of the youngest players on the field in the senior women’s tournament, but she scored two goals in the championship game to help Halifax win 3-2 and claim the Jubilee Trophy. “Every time I’d been to nationals I’d never won a medal, so that was great,” Ezurike said. She got to spend all of a half-day at home before flying to Toronto to train with the Canadian under-17 women’s team. Then it was off to New Zealand for the first ever FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. “It’s amazing – it’s going to be a really good experience,” Ezurike said from the airport, just before flying to New Zealand. “(Playing with the national team) is more competitive and intense.”
Chioke EsonoThornhill first picked up a foil at the age of eight when he was living in Montreal, and he’s been fencing ever since. “I was looking for an after-school sport and my mother wanted me to do something other than the usual soccer or hockey,” he said. “I like individual sports more than team sports, and fencing was the one that really kept my attention.” The fact he’s good at it didn’t hurt, either. After moving to Halifax, Chioke was the youngest member of Nova Scotia’s Canada Games team in 1999 – and the only African-Canadian – and he came home with a bronze medal. Now 23, Esoko-Thornhill won the Nova Scotia provincial championship in May and the Moncton Open in October. He finished in the top 16 on the Canadian Selection Circuit. “They’re the best in Canada, so I was pretty pleased with that,” he said. He’s taking some time off from his studies in psychology and French at Dalhousie to pursue his fencing career, which often requires travelling to other provinces to compete.
Ezurike, whose parents were born in Nigeria, fell in love with soccer early.
“The fencing scene in Halifax isn’t terribly strong compared to other places such as Quebec or Ontario, but it’s a growing sport,” he said. “I think in the long term it’s getting larger.” Esono-Thornhill said he’d ultimately love to compete internationally.
“I started when I was young and I just always loved playing it,” she said. “I just want to play as long as I can. I’d love to play professionally if I can, or just play at the national level as a senior.”
“I would love to be able to represent my country at the Olympics,” he said. “But if I can’t do that, then I’d like to go to a few World Cup events and compete on the world circuit.”
Black to Business
Partnership To Develop
Michelin’s African Nova Scotian Workforce
Justine Colley Basketball Peter Marsman
Angela Johnson contributed
Justine Colley has been wowing people on the basketball court from a young age.
Now 17 and in grade 12, the East Preston native has back-to-back metro high school MVP awards to her credit, and she was one of two Nova Scotians to play on the Canadian team at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship for Women this summer in Argentina. Colley played a key role in helping Canada finish second and qualify for the world championship next summer in Thailand, but she said the international tournament was a humbling experience. “It was really overwhelming, just the level of competition,” Colley said. “It made me realize that there’s a lot more I need to work on to improve my game.” Colley is a standout in soccer and track-and-field as well, but she says basketball is her first love. “I just always had a love for the game,” she says. “I like the competitive nature of it.” She’ll try to win a second provincial championship with her Halifax Grammar School Gryphons this year, then she’ll have plenty of interested universities to choose from next year. Colley says she’s not sure where she wants to go yet, but her ultimate goal is clear – playing for Canada at an Olympic Games. “But right now I’m just looking to go to university,” she said. “I’m just keeping my options open at the moment.”
l to r: Janet Kennedy, Michelin; Cassandra Dorrington, BBI; Barry Barnet, ANSA Minister; Karen Casey; Education Minister, Alma Johnston, AUBA; Joe Parris, ANSEPCs
Michelin has pledged to work with the African Nova Scotian community to promote employment and career development opportunities for African Nova Scotians at its three plants in the province. A partnership agreement was signed on Tuesday, November 25, by Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., the African Nova Scotian Employment Partnership Committee’s Collaborative Partnership Network, and the province of Nova Scotia. “This is the first time this type of partnership has been undertaken with the African Nova Scotian community,” said Barry Barnet, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “It’s an international company working with the community to develop skills and career opportunities in this industry. At the same time, it will assist Michelin in its desire to expand its diverse workforce.” The partnership includes the African Nova Scotian Employment Partnership Committee’s Collaborative Partnership Network, the Office of African Nova Scotia Affairs, the African Canadian services division of the Department of Education, the Public Services Commission’s strategic support services, the Black Business Initiative, and Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. After the signing of the agreement, the parties will continue to meet to address short- and long-term action plans. These include setting goals and aligning values to ensure a strong partnership with measurable results. “Michelin is committed to diversity in its workforce and to recruiting top talent. Partnerships like this are critical, as Michelin looks to tap into that talent and open doors for increased diversity,” said Janet Kennedy, director, personnel, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. Details on the Michelin hiring process will be shared with African Nova Scotian career centres across the province and job opportunities will be posted. Procurement opportunities will be reviewed to determine if there are potential suppliers from the African Nova Scotian community. The agreement was signed by Mr. Barnet; Karen Casey, Minister of Education; Joe Parris, chair of the African Nova Scotia Employment Partnership Committee’s Collaborative Partnership Network; Janet Kennedy, director, personnel, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc.; and Cassandra Dorrington, chair, Black Business Initiative. Courtesy of the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs
Black to Business
2 Colored Guys Fashions and Silk Screening
Right now he’s at a crossroads in his business life. An accident two years ago left him with an L-2 fracture in his lower back so standing has become problematic. So, he’s weighing his options – take on a partner or start a new enterprise altogether. He’s keeping his cards close to his chest for now, waiting to see how things unfold. “I am thinking of maybe putting an ad in the paper for a partner, someone who wants to come in as part of an already established business, but I’m going to keep on going with the work I have ahead of me.”
Donald Brown, Owner, 2 Colored Guys Fashions and Silk Screening
ride in being a Canadian helped lead Donald Brown, of 2 Colored Guys Fashions and Silk Screening to open his business.
“I kept asking myself, why are Canadians following American fashion?” he says. “We should be wearing our own clothing so I decided to do my part with t-shirts and sweatshirts.” His business has been in operation for many years – it was officially registered in 1995 – and prints t-shirts for teams and businesses, and for other promotional purposes. He also has two clothing lines. Brown’s start came when a friend had some older silk screening equipment for sale. “They had been kept in a garage that was about to be demolished. The roof had been leaking and some of the machinery was rusted so he gave me a real good price. I read up on silk screening and taught myself how to do it. Then, a friend of mine was
opening a business, Inside Outside Car Wash and he had a bay that was available.” He says he’s a bit of a “jack of all trades” so he made the decision to take his friend’s offer of that space and, using his electrical, carpentry and plumbing skills, transformed the space into his business. “I kept asking myself, why are Canadians following American fashion?” he says. “We should be wearing our own clothing so I decided to do my part with t-shirts and sweatshirts.” The first order of 40 t-shirts turned into a learning experience ... not to mention a money loser, but he chalked it up and kept on going, learning more and more about the techniques as he went along. Like many entrepreneurs, he’s struggled through the years to get financing but has kept forging ahead.
Entrepreneurship is in his blood. He had a previous business, Busy Bee Boot Accessories, which sold accessories for cowboy boots before he and a partner started 2 Colored Guys. His partner is no longer in the picture but the name lives on. It was actually suggested by the partner, playing on the fact that he was white while Brown was Black. “We wanted to be something for all faces, all races and it was a good selling point,” Brown admits.
2 Colored Guys Fashions & Silk Screening
Donald Brown 5663 Cornwallis Street, Halifax
Black to Business
REPORT Gordon Doe
Construction Our ongoing construction sector roundtables are bearing good fruit. Over the past months we have supported five different companies to undertake construction projects of different sizes and have also assisted five construction workers to obtain their first aid training. These ongoing monthly roundtables are an opportunity for Black contractors to network with each other and generate business. The meetings allow the Black Business Initiative (BBI) to know some of the challenges in the industry and to provide business support for our clients. We are preparing a construction training and job readiness proposal for submission to the Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division of the Department of Education. We believe this project will increase the participation rate of Black tradespeople in Nova Scotia’s mainstream economy. Invest in Nova Scotia This year, we will be launching our sixth offering of our Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF), and we encourage you to participate in this. Our goal is to take our $441,000 portfolio beyond the half-million mark. Recent events in the global financial markets have proved that even the most diversified of portfolios are not entirely immune to risk. However, investors in most local CEDIFs such as the Black Business Investment Fund have been spared major declines in their asset values. The BBCIFL’s portfolio is stable and has escaped the havoc caused by the ongoing global financial market meltdown.
• SELF EMPLOYED • PENSIONER • PERMANENT DISABILITY • DIVORCED • BANKRUPTCY • REPOSESSIONS • SERVICE INDUSTRY WORKERS
7.9% to 16.9% 7.9% to 16.9% 7.9% to 16.9% 7.9% to 16.9% 7.9% to 16.9% 7.9% to 16.9% 7.9% to 16.9%
• BAD CREDIT • NEW IMMIIGRANTS
7.9% to 16.9% 7.9% to 16.9%
(IE. WAITRESSES, BARTENDERS, ETC.)
Deep Panuke gas project business and career opportunities.
Adding CEDIF shares to your portfolio should be a good source of diversification or risk minimization. In finance, the concept of diversification is akin to the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Investors can diversify along asset classes and across geographic boundaries. In asset classes, we are told that your portfolio should contain a mix of stocks, bonds and currencies. And along geographic boundaries, emphasis is placed on investing in different markets – U.S., Japan, Europe and Asia. However, irrespective of the extent and type of your diversification, chances are your investment portfolio has been affected by the recent global meltdown. However, CEDIFs are slow and steady local investment funds and for the most part should be spared major declines in their asset values. This is because the small businesses that CEDIFs generally invest in are not impacted to the same degree as big exchange-traded companies are by global crises. Your investment in the Black Business Investment Fund will position the fund to make a greater impact on the Nova Scotia economy as we continue to invest in small businesses.
As always, please feel free to call me at 902-426-6985 if you have any questions.
For information on business opportunities with EnCana’s Deep Panuke natural gas development in Nova Scotia’s offshore, visit the Deep Panuke pages on the EnCana web site at www.encana.com/ operations/canada/deeppanuke/ businessopportunities/index.htm For information on employment opportunities at Deep Panuke, visit the Career Centre on EnCana’s web site at www.encana.com or the Career Beacon web site at www.careerbeacon.com
ECOR-7124 Deep Panuke_Generic ad_R2.indd 1
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Black to Business
Caribbean Development Bank Youth in Business
t may be a stretch to find a link among such things as purses, video editing, baking, craft, and the circus. However, at CDB’s Youth In Business Forum, it was discovered that these were some of the ideas and avenues that a selected group of young entrepreneurs had chosen to start their businesses.
The forum which had as its theme, “Cultivating the Next Generation”, brought together business executives and young entrepreneurs from both Canada and the Caribbean. It was held in Halifax to coincide with the Bank’s Annual Meeting. The executives, who gave insights and advice, were Bill Martin, Director, Atlantic Canada of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation; Rustum S. I. Southwell, Chief Executive Officer, Black Business Initiative; Marcia Brandon, Director, Barbados Youth Business Trust; and Brian Louisy, President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. The young business people then shared their experiences of setting up and running enterprises. Franky Phillips of Dominica has his own craft factory selling wholesale and retail; Errol Singh of Trinidad and Tobago has a production company that produces two top-rated television shows; Anaïs Guimond of Nova Scotia runs a school for circus performers; and Jason Jackson, a Jamaican who now lives in Nova Scotia, runs a purse business with his wife Arisa.
young people need to become productive and to boost, nurture and hone their creativity. The young entrepreneurs, two of whom had not travelled outside of the region before, were very impressed and honoured with their inclusion in such a (l-r) Jason Jackson, Anaïs Guimond, Errol Singh, prestigious affair. and Franky Phillips. They were also pleased to have been given the opportunity to share their experiences with other young entreThe forum which had as preneurs, potential young entrepreneurs, Bank officials and other its theme, “Cultivating guests. The opportunity to experience another culture has enhanced the Next Generation”, their creativity and widened their world. brought together business executives and young entrepreneurs from both Canada and the Caribbean.
Among the aims of the forum were the provision of networking opportunities, and the expectation that the young business people would gain insights and information on best practices in the Region and internationally. Ms. Brandon, who was pleased with the outcome, noted that “the forum was a successful and productive one, which highlighted the work that many young people are doing in entrepreneurship and the potential that is present. Opportunities and guidance are what
Ms. Marcia Brandon, Director, Barbados Youth Business Trust The Region’s young entrepreneurs are the leaders of tomorrow. It is very important that we treat them with respect and help to build their self-confidence and esteem. Self-worth is a strong motivator in working towards achieving one’s dream.” Taken from CDB newsletter: Volume 26 No. 2 April - June, 2008. Used by permission
Black to Business
Nova Scotia Black Cultural Project
In July 2008, the Black Business Initiative (BBI) completed the first stage of the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Tourism Project, to promote tourism in Nova Scotia, economic development and foreign investment in the Black community. The Nova Scotia Black Cultural Tourism Project aims to enhance the exposure of and attendance to Black historic and cultural destinations in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia is not known by the majority of the public both inside and outside of the province. This study has created the venue and the formula for capacity building and will provide the ability to coordinate extensive promotion and marketing of the product. As the awareness of this new niche emerges, there will need to be a strong marketing and business plan in place to manage the delivery of the product.
The project began with a market readiness and tourism potential analysis. This is aimed at developing and marketing the tourism potential of Black history and culture in Nova Scotia. Black culture is a large part of the history of Nova Scotia and of Canada. There are many historical Black sites throughout the province. Unfortunately, the economic potential of these sites is not being exploited. As a result, many tourists come to Nova Scotia and visit the Citadel, Pier 21, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and similar venues but fail to realize the amount of culture and the influence of Blacks in Nova Scotia.
The project looked at comparable cultural initiatives in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Britsh Columbia, Washington DC and Virginia. This is the first market readiness and tourism potential analysis specific to the Black community in Nova Scotia. All of these comparable initiatives have had many challenges and many successes. Research found that there has been an increase in global tourism and also growth in cultural tourism. Contrastingly, there has also been a substantial increase in competition for the tourist dollar. The research also peaked the interest of many tourism operators in the United States. All of the operators that were spoken to were unware that there was 400 years of Black culture in our province. They were all seacrhing for a new niche market and were very excited at having the oppurtunity to offer Nova Scotia to their clients.
By partnering financially with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, we were able to hire a cultural consultant team to prepare a comprehensive feasibility and market assessment study of the potential of the identified Black historical and cultural sites in Nova Scotia. With the guidance of the project steering committee – which included BBI, the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Parks Canada, and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) – the consultant team was led by A.L. Arbic Consulting with team members Genesis Consulting, Tourism Solutions and Carmelita Robertson. The feasibility study explored the viability of the proposed product and the market assessment focused on organizing the attarctions and positioning them in the tourism marketplace. This entire process required building strategic partnerships between communities, government and the private sector. Alliances were formed locally, nationally and internationally. The value of this project to the Black community and the overall tourism market in Nova Scotia is substantial. The significance, history and beauty behind Black culture in
In the end, this study provides an independent assessment of the state and market readiness of the Black toursim product in Nova Scotia. The final phase of the project will be to implement a marketing plan to promote and sell this tourism package. The next step for the project is to work with the members of the steering committee and existing attractions to help them improve and become more competitive. Based on comparable market and contextual data, it is estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 out-of-province visits could be generated if the study’s recommedations are implemented. This level of tourism would translate into an annual combined direct and spin-off economic impact amounting to at the very least $11 million to as much as $ 25 million over five years. To view the market readiness and tourism potential analysis highlights please visit www.bbi.ca. If you have questions about the project, please contact me at 902-426-8688.
REGIONAL REPORT Central Evan Williams
The last few months have been steady with new business developments and expansions. I have been working with many clients in Metro and the Central region to assist them in achieving their goal of starting a business. I want to congratulate Al Gero of the “Little Downtown Diner” in Amherst. The Little Downtown Diner was featured in BBI’s last sequence of advertisements on Global Television. This ad campaign has given Al and his business great exposure. I want to congratulate Joel Marsman of J Marsman Safety Services. They are entering their third year of business. JMSS specializes in certified registered safety training, safety policy program development, joint health and safety evaluations, WHMIS, incident investigation training, due diligence hazard identification/risk assessment, and many other services. A profile on J Marsman Safety Services is featured in this issue of Black to Business. I will be changing roles within the BBI and moving to BBI’s Training Centre as Acting Director of Client Development. This will be my last Central region report. All Central region requests and clients will be referred to Njabulo Nkala, the new Regional Business Development Manager for the area. He can be reached at 902-426-4281. I wish Njabulo luck; my clients will enjoy having him as their new RBDM. I want to thank everyone in the Central region for your support, guidance and cooperation. If you are interested in any of BBI’s training courses outside of Metro, please contact me at 902-426-8688 or speak to the RBDM for your area. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the various top qualitytraining programs the BBI has to offer.
Black to Business
The American Election
â€‰African-Nova Scotians Weigh In Carol Dobson Photos: on file
By the time this edition of Black to Business hits the streets, the outcome of one of the most important elections in this centuryâ€™s young history will be known. No matter which of the two men wins the American election on November 4, history has been made. As this story is being written, the election is seven days away and the smart money is lining up behind Barack Obama.
Black to Business
“I think this is extremely historic because only two centuries ago African people were enslaved,” Yvonne Atwell says. “Two centuries ago African people were human cargo. Now, 200 years later, those laws that disallowed his ancestors to participate in the democratic process have been overturned. In the scheme of things, two centuries is not a long period of time.”
She sees him as a role model for all people, not just those of African descent, for a number of reasons – his background, his education, his caring family... But, she also points out that, in a global context, the United States is playing catch up. People of colour have been running governments in the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Africa for a long, long time, something that North Americans and Europeans often forget. Senator Obama has an enthusiastic supporter in Nova Scotia’s first Black cabinet minister.
Barbara Miller Manning
Senator Donald Oliver
“I’ve been following him for the last five years,” Wayne Adams admits. “I’ve been reading about him in international magazines, and following his career as a leader in the Senate long before people were starting to ask who is this guy and is he going to make a bid. People would call me up and I’d say, ‘Can’t talk now, I’m watching Obama.’ They’d ask ‘Who?’ and I’d say ‘Keep your eyes on him.’ “He’s so inspiring and he’s going to be an inspiration for the underdogs, for the people who haven’t had a chance because of their disabilities, their sex, their colour... All of a sudden, they’ll be looking at him and saying ‘Yes I Can!’ He’s transcended race!”
The Obama candidacy has created an energy that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. for a couple of elections. One long-term Democrat summed it up by saying she’d not been this excited about a campaign since the days of the Kennedys and she was going to do whatever she could to make sure he got in. That was one of the sentiments shared by American tourists visiting this summer. This year was a banner year for cruise ships, based primarily out of Boston and New York, visiting the ports of Halifax and Sydney, with the bulk of the ships’ visits coinciding with the Canadian and American elections. Those working in the shore excursion industry, like Aberdeen Tours’ Jonathan Duru, found themselves chatting with visitors and comparing the two systems.
“He’s so inspiring and he’s going to be an inspiration for the underdogs, for the people who haven’t had a chance because of their disabilities, their sex, their colour... –Wayne Adams
One of the qualities that Adams sees in Obama is his ability to maintain balance in his life.
One of the things that intrigued Americans was the relatively short duration of the Canadian election and many envied our 37-day writ period. But, where Canadians were opting, more or less, for the status quo this time round, the possibility of change ... and hope ... were prevalent themes among Americans.
“His whole approach smacks of realism,” Adams says. “He broke off the campaign because he was afraid he might not see his grandmother alive again. That shows he’s got balance, he’s not just a political being. For him, family is number one.”
“I was hearing lots of positive things about Obama,” Duru says. “People are looking for a change. Many of my customers are elderly and they were talking about things like Colin Powell’s support and the fact that Obama is going to pull the troops away from Iraq.” continued on page 15>
Black to Business Barbara Miller Manning has the opposite view on the length of the electoral process that will culminate on November 4. “People have a chance to really get a look at the candidates and get to know them,” she says. She’s already made her choice. “I’ve been following this election closely,” Manning admits. “With the right leader, the results of the election will be world changing. I’ve been a huge Obama supporter and I’ve been glued to the television when people like Colin Powell, who are strong, respected and well liked among the Republicans, have made the move to Obama. If people make the right choice on election day, it’s going to have an impact on the world’s economic situation.” That’s important for Manning because her client base is primarily in the U.S. and Europe and her business is measured by the American economy. As a result, the economic direction President Obama may take has a direct impact on her bottom line. But she’s not only looking at the election from a business perspective, she’s looking at it from a personal one, as her husband is from the Chicago area, her daughter is an American citizen, and there are family ties to the U.S. “My husband’s sister is the only one still in the Chicago area and she’s involved in the campaign,” Manning says. “But I’ve signed up on the Obama website so I get daily emails about the campaign.” There is also the aspect of the teamwork exhibited by Obama and his wife Michelle. That clearly came to the fore when he stepped back to make that visit to Hawaii, less than two weeks before the end of the campaign, and she seamlessly took over the campaigning for those two days. “She’s strong, even-keeled, a good listener and you can see how much he looks to her for her strength and resolve,” Manning says.
15 What will be the impact of an Obama presidency on its northern neighbour? Adams thinks that relations may be strained due to the difference in personalities between Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. However, Nova Scotian Senator Donald Oliver thinks Obama will quickly learn how valuable the Canadian-U.S. relationship is. He says that statements early on in the campaign about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were directed more towards Mexico than Canada, a common occurrence because Americans tend to think more about southern trade rather than trade with the country’s largest trading partner. “When you consider that 20 percent of American oil and gas comes from Canada, that $1.4 billion in goods crosses the border daily, I don’t think he’s going to do anything to take our agreement apart,” Oliver says. Trade issues aside, he’s thinking there will be a spillover effect here in Canada. “It’s going to move the Canadian diversity agenda forward. For the first time in history, a Black man is going to be the most powerful person in the world. That will be inspiring to the six million people who are visible minorities here in Canada. I am hoping it will encourage our Black population to get more involved in the political process and I am also hoping that it will challenge Canadians to ask ‘Where are our Black Canadians?’ I see this as a marvellous opportunity for visible minorities to break through the glass ceiling and get themselves up off the sticky floor.” Many people of a certain age, can’t help but draw parallels with another event, not so long ago, when another young man, also in his mid-forties, with a striking, intelligent wife, and two charming children broke another barrier in the U.S., that of religion. And, with the forty-fifth anniversary of November 22 not that far away, thinking people, like Yvonne Atwell, are watching the horizon to see what other parallels are there. Unfortunately, they have not had to look hard, with front-page stories in late
Winter 2009 October papers about death threats and neo-Nazi plots. “There is still so much racism and oppression still prevalent in the United States that there are times when I fear for his life,” she says. Having said that, Atwell admits, “These are interesting times and I do think the time is right. He has the smarts to do it and he’s been using technology unlike it’s never been used before to reach people who have previously been unreachable. Plus, the ‘stuff’ that’s been spread hasn’t stuck. I think this man is going to do what he’s destined to and I wish I could go down and campaign for him.” “If Senator Obama becomes the next president of the United States of America, it will be a major milestone for equal rights,” Oliver says. “It will empower the international community by reminding us all that systemic racism will not limit Blacks from reaching their full potential. I cannot wait for his first presidential visit to Canada.” Editor’s Note: Barack Obama made history on November 4, 2008, when he was elected the first African American President of the United States. His inauguration is in January 2009. He campaigned on a platform of hope and change that had record numbers of citizens voting particularly the youth and residents who had never voted.
Black to Business
Obama’s victory has great impact contributed
on Black Canadians
ike countless other Blacks across the US, Canada and indeed around the world, my eyes welled up with tears of jubilation in the late hours of November 4th when Barack Obama was declared the 44th President of the United States. Against all the odds in a long and contentious struggle, he had broken through the great divide with dignity, intelligence and determination. And because of what he - what the people did - “on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.” This change has been a long time coming - and not just in the United States with its sad legacy of slavery, segregation and overt discrimination. Racism remains an original sin in most societies across the globe, including Canada. And unless you have felt its sting, you cannot truly appreciate its impact or import. This is why many Black people who never voted before in an US election stood in line for hours to vote. It’s why ten of thousands of people gathered in Chicago, Washington and other cities to celebrate this victory. It’s why many foreigners and expats travelled to the US to
Senator Donald H. Oliver
witness history in the making. It’s why they got together in Kenya to honour a descendant. And it’s why African Canadians are so elated. Within hours of Obama’s victory, my inbox was filled with messages about his victory. “What a great day!” my friend Fil Fraser of Edmonton declared in his message. He was in New York with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. “I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to be here as this magnificent political transformation unfolds.” Then he outlined how astounded his parents and his late brother would have been to witness this moment, including that “the searing realization that Black people have always been at the bottom of the racial totem pole is a reality that is always part of your life, riding just under the surface...” Canadians take great pride in being a tolerant society, but take it from me, my Black colleagues, and members of my family, our struggle for equality has been long, hard fought and it’s not over yet. For example, few Canadians know that slavery thrived in Canada for almost 200 years in tandem with its dramatic rise south of the border. This is largely because very few Canadian history textbooks ever mention this dark chapter. Most Canadians also don’t know that segregation remained the order of the day for Blacks in Canada during much of the 20th century. During the First World War, Black men were denied the opportunity of serving their country in the regular army. They were instead relegated to a special construction battalion. Black women were not allowed to train as nurses alongside white women until the Toronto Negro Veterans Association and the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People put pressure on nursing schools in the late 1940s. In Ontario, the last segregated school only closed its doors in 1965. And as late as 1968, Black people were denied the right of burial in some Nova Scotia cemeteries.
The fight for Black equality and acceptance was the legacy I inherited as a Black Canadian. My grandfather, William White, devoted his life to combating racism as a Baptist minister and social activist. It was he, for instance, who made it possible for Blacks to sit down downstairs in movie theatres. Before that, Blacks in Nova Scotia were only allowed in the theatre balcony - or “niggers’ heaven”, as it was known then.
This change has been a long time coming - and not just in the United States with its sad legacy of slavery, segregation and overt discrimination. Racism remains an original sin in most societies across the globe, including Canada. My half brother, Reverend Dr. William Oliver, took over my grandfather’s responsibilities at the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church, where he served for 25 years. An inspirational leader, he was instrumental in establishing scholarships for Black students seeking higher education. I also had the honour of working with him on several of his adult education and Black culture initiatives. We both became deeply involved in the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSAACP). We fought constantly to bring anti-discrimination legislation to this province. We won that battle. Members of my family have devoted their lives over more than three generations to the betterment of humankind. Their influence moved me to teach, to explore business, and to take a deep interest in political reform. And I know that these efforts led to my appointment in the Senate, whereupon I was able to help advance important social changes. continued on page 26>
Black to Business
BBI Directory Launch and Christmas Social
here weren’t any paparazzi swarming around the Waterfront Warehouse on December 4th, but this year’s directory launch and Christmas social was delivered in world-class fashion. Many of the “Who’s Who” of the African Nova Scotian business sector and community leaders turned out in large numbers. This event had added significance because it happened a month after the election of the United States’ first Black president.
Winter 2009 Greg Nazaire photos: Paul Adams
Rustum Southwell, CEO of the Black Business Initiative welcomed attendees and acknowledged the relationship and support the BBI has enjoyed with its partners and stakeholders. He was followed by Debbie Windsor, Vice President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) who stressed the fact that despite the current economic situation we were able to overcome numerous challenges in the province. Brian Watson, OED, and Rose Davidson with Service Canada also greeted guests.
Corporation-Yarmouth were also present. Musical entertainment was provided by Maureen Smith and Bernadette Reid exhibited her africentric crafts and stationary items.
Representatives from Nova Scotia’s Office of Economic Development, Canada Business, the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and the Community Business Development
Guests were treated to door prizes, networking, great food and great entertainment - Another successful BBI Directory Launch and Christmas Social.
Cassandra Dorrington, Chair of the BBI concluded the greetings / remarks portion of the evening by thanking the crowd for their attendance, congratulating BBI staff on organizing the event and wishing everyone a Happy Holiday.
Black to Business
2009 Directories are available at:
The Black Business Initiative Office 1575 Brunswick Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2G1 Phone: 902-426-2224 Toll Free: 1-800-668-1010
Black to Business
Ask the BBI
Featured Expert: Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver, Regional Business Development Manager
business ready to expand, the process is very similar and it all comes down to time management and communication.
How much time does it take to get approval for a BBI loan? YOU MADE IT! You chose to
follow your dream and become an entrepreneur! Congratulations, now among other things, you are going to need financial support so you seek out the Black Business Initiative (BBI) for assistance in your business venture.
After some simple initial processing steps you will be assigned a Regional Business Development Manager, who will guide you through the whole journey. During a meeting with your manager she/ he will ask you to elaborate on your information, among other things, but you know there is one thing that is very important to your plan and is at the forefront of your mind; “When can I get the money?” In short: it is a case by case decision that has several factors. However, if you are willing to put in the time and the work and the managers have had the proper time to work with you, things should run fairly smooth. Whether you are a new business start-up or an existing
Usually at the first meeting with your manager she/he will ask you about your business plan. What stage your plan is in determines what the next step will be. If you have no business plan at all the manager will take you through the steps to creating one. As long as we receive the information and you submit documents as requested things will keep progressing. If you do have a business plan, it can make the process a lot faster as it may just be in need of some “tweaking”. This may take some time and work but it is all a part of the process of becoming an entrepreneur. For existing businesses the process is similar but should flow more easily if you have been keeping updated financials and your business plan is current. Once all your documents are in order, your manager will prepare an application for financial assistance to the BBI Loan Committee. After some discussion, the committee will vote to approve or decline your application. Whatever the outcome, your manager will let you know informally that day. If it is approved, within the week with the signing of some loan documents, you will be that much closer. Here is where the importance of time comes in to play: the committee meets the first Friday of each month (except for August) and it is then that your manager will present your case.
Winter 2009 All applications for financial assistance must be submitted by managers two weeks prior to the committee meeting. A package goes out to the committee members to review the information ahead of time and thus the submission date remains a strict deadline. If your documents are not in order the manager cannot submit your application by the deadline and you will have to wait until the following month. There is no precise answer to the exact time it takes to receive a loan approval from BBI. What we can guarantee is that the manager will commit to submit the best application at the appropriate Loan Committee meeting. That being said, some things to keep in mind: 1) always be open and listen to your manager, they have your best interest in mind and have been down the road before; 2) work on your plan and other documents as directed by your manager – we know you have other commitments but to realize your dream you must be committed; 3) finally and most importantly, communication is key – if you are having a problem or you have a question contact your manager; we are the experts, if we do not know the answer we will point you in the right direction. Good Luck in your future business adventure!
For more on the BBI’s services, register for our Intake Session, held every Thursday at Training Centre, 2101 Gottingen Street, Halifax. For more information please call (902) 426-8683.
Black to Business
Sowing a few good seeds
Dan Arsenault The Chronicle Herald
Tim Krochak / The Chronicle Herald
Halifax kids earn kudos for work on community garden project Calvin agreed and said he went to the garden about five times to weed or plant lettuce and flowers. “You can learn how to plant stuff,” he said. The garden is the idea of Jessie Jollymore, a dietitian at North End Community Health Centre who wanted to show the kids that gardening is fun. She received lots of support from local business and government agencies and expanded the plan to include making salsa, which the kids can sell.
Halifax Police Chief Frank Beazley is handcuffed by Latrayah Sweetlyn-Davis, 7, and Dane-Nisha Mercer, 8, after the force presented 70 backpacks to children from Uniacke Square in Halifax on Tuesday in recognition of their work in the North End Community Garden project.
ight-year-old Zachery Moncion and Calvin Royal, 13, think gardening is better than school.
The boys were among dozens of Halifax kids gathered Tuesday morning in the North End Community Garden in Warrington Park, off Brunswick Street, where local police gave them backpacks for showing community spirit. The boys worked in the garden and received the knapsacks, a gift from the RCMP Veterans Association and Halifax Regional Police, plus some other school supplies. Zachery said he liked growing flowers best, but he’s also looking forward to the salsa all the young gardeners will make out of their tomatoes, onions, hot peppers and cilantro. Asked what he liked about gardening, he said: “It’s not as boring as school.”
“Everybody was very interested in making something happen,” she said, referring to help from the Black Business Initiative, YMCA, Halifax Regional Municipality, police, the George Dixon Centre and others.
Ms. Jollymore was told that their small garden, which is surrounded by chicken wire, would be vandalized or destroyed like some previously planted on the spot. She believed that wouldn’t happen, however, because this garden is community-owned, and everything is grown by local children. In all, they signed up 42 children, many of whom approached organizers when they saw the early work going on.
Ms. Jollymore said the children are really interested in trying their salsa and selling it. “There’s so much wealth here, and kids are kids no matter where you go.” Halifax Police Chief Frank Beazley and RCMP Insp. Darrell Beaton handed out some of the backpacks. Police horse Sarge watched the proceedings and got his share of attention, too. Chief Beazley said he’s already in line for some mild salsa. “My stomach doesn’t take the spices well,” he said. He praised the children and the garden planners for what they’re doing and said the benefits will pay off. “The investment in young people, you’ll harvest that for years.” The children haven’t decided what they’ll call their salsa yet, but some think Salsamania sounds good. The salsa sales begin Sept. 7 during the North End Community Fair. Afterward, some of the salsa will be available at Bob and Lori’s and some other local shops.
“The ground was totally covered in weeds so we had to dig everything up three times,” she said. “We just had kids flocking over, asking what’s going on.” The kids are taking business lessons to learn how to best sell their salsa and toured the kitchen at Bob and Lori’s Food Emporium after getting their backpacks.
Copyright © 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited Used by permission
Black to Business
People & Businesses on the Move
Congratulations to the Women’s Group at the Halifax North Library. This year marks the 20th year “The Ladies” have held meetings every Wednesday morning at the library and the good works they have undertaken to make a difference in Halifax’s North End.
Thanks to the efforts of students in Dalhousie professor Kim Thompson’s ‘Free Lab’, familiar sites in Africville have been identified in a series of signs. Landmarks identified include Skinner’s Well, the Africville School, the Seaview African Baptist Church, Tibby’s Pond, and Kildare’s Field.
Lindell Smith was awarded the first Burchells Summer Internship and Scholarship, a scholarship the Halifax law firm has instituted to give Black and First Nations students paid summer employment and a $3500 scholarship for post secondary studies.
The East Preston United Baptist Church celebrated its 166th anniversary on September 14. Rev. Matthew Lucas and the East Preston United Baptist Church Mass Choir participated in the service, while the birthday cake was cut by Elder James Colley.
Joyce Ross and Wanda Thomas Bernard were among 40 Metro area community leaders given “Community Mentoring Awards” as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax’s 40th anniversary. The awards were presented at a gala at the Cunard Centre on October 15. K-Lee Fraser and Gabrielle Grant of Preston, members of the Boys and Girls Club, are among 56 recipients across Canada of Future Leaders Scholarships sponsored by Future Shop. “Hannah’s Story”, a film by Juanita Peters won the ‘Best Short Award’ at the recent 5th annual Bermuda International Film Festival’s Kids Film Festival. This film has also been honoured at the 2008 Reel to Reel International Film Festival for Youth and Families in Vancouver. Dr. Calvin Mackie was one of the key speakers at the two-day Africentric Leadership Institute held in late October. While in Halifax he addressed students at St. Pat’s-Alexandra School. Dr. Sylvia Hamilton was the subject of the cover story in the fall 2008 edition of the “Dalhousie Magazine”.
Congratulations to IT Interactive Services Inc. The company, owned by Barbara and John Manning was named as one of the top 250 IT companies in Canada by Backbone magazine. Between September 2008 and February 2009, the MLK Project Association will be travelling around the province speaking with Black Nova Scotians between 18-30 on the theme “Democracy and Why Black Youth Don’t Vote”. A session was held on September 14 at the North Preston Community Centre and featured guest speakers MLA Percy Paris, former cabinet minister Wayne Adams, municipal candidate Jerome Downey, and spoken word artist Izrael Jones. On the same theme, congratulations to the community members who put their names forward as candidates across the province for the school board, municipal, and federal elections and to those who worked on their campaigns. In February 2008, Shawna (Paris) Hoyte, (an African Nova Scotian Lawyer and Social Worker) was the lead counsel for the appellant in R.v. L.T.H., arguing for the
rights of youth in Canada with learning disabilities under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in Ottawa. On September 11, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada decided the case and rendered a decision in favour of Ms. Hoyte. The decision as written by Justice Morris Fish will be a guide to all police services across Canada in that police must henceforth take “reasonable steps” to ensure that youths understand the police cautions they are being given – including finding out whether they suffer from learning disabilities… : the explanation must be provided to the particular young person’s age and understanding …and persons in authority must, in addition, acquire some insight into the level of comprehension of the young person …The SCC decision can be found on line at SCC Judgments, September 11, 2008. A study conducted by Dalhousie University and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicates that the community of Preston has higher rates of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and mental illness than surrounding communities. After the report was released, the Capital Health District issued a release commending the report and saying “it would allow Capital Health to target resources where they are needed”. Anthropology students at Saint Mary’s University spent the summer investigating two rock mounds at Birchtown. Originally, archaeologist Laird Niven thought they might have been grave mounds but members of the community believe they had a spiritual purpose. A news conference was held at the George Dixon Centre to announce a contest to encourage teens to be physically active and to win a chance to be part of the Olympic torch relay for the 2010
Black to Business
Olympics. Twenty of these spots will go to teens affiliated with Active Halifax Communities. Two of the participants in the announcement were 10-year old Jonathan Hiles, who carried a torch from the 1998 Calgary Games and 11 year-old Trayvonne Clayton, who carried a torch from this summer’s Beijing Olympics. Njacko Backo held a day-long workshop at the Birchtown Community Centre featuring African drums, Kalimba, storytelling, and songs in late October. Steve Oliver has opened the Lower Sackville Wellness Centre, at 546 Sackville Drive. The centre offers a number of treatments and programs including massage, reiki, Tai Chi, yoga, and meditation. The African Canadian Youth Diabetes Prevention Project held a contest during the month of October encouraging young people to participate through spoken word, drama, and music, to promote physical activity, healthy living, good nutrition, and cultural awareness. There was a presentation at the Black Cultural Centre on November 22 of the participants’ creations. The Rites of Passage Program, a new program in East Preston, designed to empowers youth with African/Black Nova Scotian history began in September. The Community Youth Enhancement Program Coordinators Raytia David & Kofi Davis will be ‘providing support towards positive self-esteem & cultural awareness through programming such as creative interactive games, music and field trips and so much more’. The annual general meeting of the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia was held on Saturday, September 20. As part of the Centre’s 25th anniversary, the Centre held a special concert entitled “Celebrate Community with Music & Song”, in association with the African Nova Scotian Music Association that featured James Ogden, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and the Halifax based group: Rhythm & Good News.
Norma Ruddick shared her memories of the 1958 Springhill Mine Disaster in the Chronicle Herald on October 20 as the town prepared to mark the 50th anniversary with a memorial service and concert. Her late husband, Maurice, was one of the survivors found many days later and was known for his calm presence and leadership during the time he was trapped underground. Her Honour, Mayann Francis, travelled to Cumberland County on August 25 to host a garden party on the lawn of the Cumberland County Museum and Archives. Jordan Croucher continued his work as one of the D250 Youth Ambassadors, including a performance at the Rockin’ the Free World concert on Sept. 27. Taryn Della performed her one-woman piece “Don’t Wanna Make My Brown Eyes Blue” at the Bus Stop Theatre during this year’s Atlantic Fringe Festival in September. The six-part Vision TV series ‘Mahalia’ was shot in the Halifax area in September and early October. On August 21, the Black Cultural Centre hosted ”The Hot Summer Gospel Showcase Concert” which featured Maureen Smith, Esther and Sheldon Smith, Cory Adams, Perry Williams, Kenya Smith and the Nova Gospel Ensemble. The 3rd Annual Dikita International Women’s Festival, presented by the Maritime Centre for African Dance (MCAD), was held in late August. This year’s festival featured Egyptian Dance, Cote D’Ivore modern Dance, Poi, and Stomp. The MCAD has also “launched its first new comprehensive DVD with reading material for schools, called the Afro Dance DVD. This DVD showcases basic African Dance moves from across the continent, North, East, South, East and West.
The Buffalo Soldiers of Nova Scotia held the first Memorial Ride in memory of Larry ‘Road Dogg’ Patterson on October 11 at the East Preston Recreation Centre. During the barbecue, a presentation was made to Karl “Pops” Carvery. The 100th birthday of noted peace activist Muriel Duckworth was marked with a concert at the Rebecca Cohn. The artists performing included Aeolian Singers, Carolyn McDade with the Gaia Singers, Cathy Martin with Wekoqmaqewiskwa, Clearing by Noon, Cheryl Gaudet, Four the Moment, Raging Grannies, Truro Youth Choir, and other special guests. Craig Smith has penned a new book, “The Ultimate African Heritage Quiz Book – Maritime Edition”. Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard was the keynote speaker at a three-day Fatherhood Involvement Research Conference held in Toronto in late October. The topic of her speech was “Shaking up the image we have of Black men as fathers”. On November 3rd, Lorne Green was elected Chair of the Cape BretonVictoria Regional School and on the 5th, Irvine Carvery was declared Chair of the Halifax Regional School Board. Both are the first African Nova Scotians to hold these positions in the province. Congratulations to Tracey Thomas who completed her Masters of Education, with a focus on Africentricity, from Mount Saint Vincent University on October 16, 2008. The program was sponsored by the Council on African Canadian Education’s, Africentric Learning Institute. Tracey is a former BBI employee and currently sits on the Business is Jammin’ Board.
Black to Business
Black Business Initiative
2009 Training Schedule for Metro Courses:
Jan 5, 12
Creating a Winning Business Plan
Jan 6, 13, 20, 27
Microsoft Word I, II, & III
Jan 8, 15, 22
Marketing Your Business
Feb 3, 10, 17, 24
Excel I, II, & III
Feb 4, 11, 18
Feb 5, 12, 19, 26
Website Design for Your Business
Mar 2, 9, 16, 23
Creating A Winning Business Plan
Apr 7, 14, 21, 28
May 5, 12, 19, 26
Simple Steps to Computer Security
The Art of Negotiations
Submitting to Revenue Canada
Intellectual Properties: Is your Business protected
The Ins and Outs of Import/Export
Understanding, Keeping & Retaining Credit Making Exceptional Customer Service Your Finest Asset
Entrepreneurship 101 (Outside of HRM)
Available on request
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.
REGIONAL REPORT Northern Cheyanne Gorman- Tolliver The region has seen little to no activity in the last quarters regarding new business starts. However I am hoping to implement a new strategy to encourage more entrepreneurial activity in the near future. In an attempt to improve on the delivery of BBI’s services I have recently relocated to BBI’s Training Centre on Gottingen Street. I along with the Centre’s staff will be re-evaluating the resources of the office in an attempt to serve our clients better. I will be also working on the Business Is Jammin’ component so look forward to some exciting new programs for our entrepreneurial youth. To our potential clients in Metro please be reminded that the BBI offers In-Take sessions every Thursday from 2-3pm at 2101 Gottingen St. These sessions will take you through BBI’s programs and services and is the first step for your new or existing business venture. For regional clients I am always available to give presentations to community members; just call and make an appointment to have me visit with you or your group. Also, BBI offers and partners with organizations to deliver the most current business related training courses and workshops. These are not limited to HRM residents. If you are a regional community group, organization, or entrepreneur interested in business skills development, BBI can arrange these activities in your region. For more information or to arrange a regional visit please contact me at 426-8685, toll free 1-800-668-1010 or by email at email@example.com
Black to Business
J. Marsman Safety Service
for me it’s just a fun time of life right now, being retired. The kids are all grown up, so I have time to focus on building a business that I like.”
Joel Marsman, Owner
ad things can happen on the job,” says Joel Marsman. “People get injured, even killed. And there are a lot of costs involved – not just the human cost, but financial costs as well – with each serious incident. (Employers) want to avoid that,” says the health and safety consultant. Marsman has dedicated the past 30 years of his life to helping employers and their employees avoid workrelated accidents. Marsman is a former health and safety manager for the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. He’s worked for Halifax Regional Municipality as a safety coordinator, and he was a senior safety consultant for the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission before retiring in June 2007. Well… he hasn’t really retired. “I just felt it was a natural progression for me, when I retire, to do something that I like, working for myself as a consultant,” says the owner of J. Marsman Safety Services. “So I guess
As a veteran health and safety professional, Marsman offers a range of services to his clients. “There are laws and regulations for employers to follow in terms of taking care of their employees’ health and safety. And there are penalties for violation of those laws. So I work with employers to make sure that they’re in compliance with these laws. It can be anything from helping them to put together a health and safety program, helping them develop a policy, investigate incidents, do inspections, provide training, helping them to do a review of the program to see if they’re meeting the standards…” “Right now I’ve got a lot more work than I can deal with,” laughs Marsman. “But I’m used to multitasking. And it doesn’t seem like work when you enjoy it.” On top of his work-related tasks, Marsman is a member of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council to the Ministry of Environment and Labour. He’s the chair of Stakeholder Working Group reviewing the Nova Scotia Temporary Workplace Traffic Control Manual. He is also a contract trainer with the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association. And as far as his business goes, he’s busier than he ever thought he would be. “I thought it would take me longer to get established. But I think because I’ve been in the business so long there are a lot of people that I know, so I picked up more work.” Marsman’s wife is very supportive of his new venture, helping him schedule appointments and looking after the books.
“I think my wife didn’t expect that I would really retire,” laughs Marsman. “Though we did take some time when I retired last year – we did a twomonth cross-Canada trip from Nova Scotia to British Columbia in our camper. But when we got back from that I got a call from my previous employer to do a project for them. So I took that on part-time, and it just kind of went from there.” He keeps very busy, but Marsman says he enjoys “being able to pick and choose who I work with, and when I work. I prefer to work with clients who are serious about improving health and safety in their workplace. “I like to play golf in the summer,” he adds, smiling. “So I work mostly in the off season.” But Marsman says his greatest reward is helping employers raise their health and safety standards. “(Employers) want to be able to show that they are diligent. They want to avoid penalties and lost time due to injury. There’re some big fines (for being in violation of the law), and they want to avoid that.” “I want to help them avoid that,” adds Marsman. “And at the end of the day, none of us want people to get hurt.”
J. Marsman Safety Service —•— Sackville Joel Marsman
Black to Business
BBI Statistics 2007-08 Distribution of Loans in Metro Area 1996-2008 5
21 8 2
Halifax Dartmouth Cherrybrook Beechville Hammonds Plains/ Lucasville Preston Sackville
Economic Impact 2007-2008 Number of New Businesses Funded
Number of existing businesses funded
Number of jobs created FT
Number of jobs created PT
Number of jobs maintained FT
Number of jobs maintained PT
Total number of jobs created & maintained
The following is a cumulative total from 1996-2008
Number of Contacts 2007-2008 72
Number of new businesses funded
Number of existing businesses funded
Total number of jobs created & maintained
Table 5 Distribution of Jobs by Geographic Region 1996-2008 Client General Public
Type of Contact 2007-2008 30
Phone Email/Fax Walk-Ins/Meetings Site Visits Other
Type of Service Provided 2007-2008 46
General Business Advice/ Mentoring Publications Technical Assistance Training Other
Regional Business Development Manager Regional Visit Schedule
Black to Business
Business & Community Events January 27, 2009 African Heritage Month Provincial Launch Province of NS Red Chamber, Province House Granville St., Halifax
Unveiling of poster, reading of proclamation, refreshments 11am - 12pm For info: 424-5555
January 29, 2009 Valley Regional AHM Launch Reading of proclamations,
1st Annual Quiz Bowl
1:00pm-2.30pm Fountain Common, Acadia University, Wolfville For info: 902.678.7410; www.vansda.ca
January 29, 2009 Halifax Business Awards Gala
5:30 PM World Trade & Convention Centre, Halifax For info: 468-7111 or info@ halifaxchamber.com
January 30, 2009 Cape Breton Regional AHM Launch Reading of Proclamation 12pm Cape Breton Regional Municipality 320 Esplanade, Sydney For info: 902 563 3735
January 31, 2009 The Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs (ANSA) 2nd Annual Celebration Gala Dinner/Dance
Membertou Trade & Convention Centre Glace Bay U.N.I.A, African Nova Scotian Affairs Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, Sydney, NS 7pm - 2am Cost: $25/person Asia & Nu Gruv For tickets/info: 902 563 3735, 902 842 5389; firstname.lastname@example.org
February 1, 2009 African Children’s Choir Concert CANSA, Canadian Heritage Department, Municipality of Cumberland County
2:00 pm Dr. Carson & Marion Community Centre, Springhill NS Cost: $5 Adv./ $7 Door 6:30 pm Highland AME Church Amherst Cost: Free Will Offering For info: 902 661 1509; email@example.com
February 2, 2009 Reflections -10th Anniversary Book launch Various sponsors Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association – Boardroom 24 Crescent Ave., Amherst, NS 2 to 4pm For info: 902 661 2084; firstname.lastname@example.org
February 2, 2009 Cumberland Co. Regional AHM Launch Proclamation – 25th Anniversary – African Heritage Month Unveiling of African Heritage Month Poster
Town of Amherst, County of Cumberland, Town of Oxford, Town of Parrsboro, and Town of Springhill Municipality of Cumberland County Office Upper Nappan, NS 11am to 12:30 pm For info: 902 661 1509; 902 667 7397; email@example.com
Obama’s victory... continued from page 16
I continue to actively push for social justice through my work in the Senate and other forums. For example, I spearheaded a major study at the Conference Board of Canada, proving the tangible benefits of building ethnically diverse organizations and societies. Yet, this study also found that, even today, visible minorities are often paid less, experience discrimination on the job and face unfair treatment in their quest for career advancement. As a result, many do not vote in elections. Many are less satisfied in their lives and less trusting of others. Equally troubling, many do not identify themselves as Canadians. All Canadians must accept a responsibility as individuals for the racism and discrimination that continues to afflict our country. And I believe that obligation belongs first and foremost to our leaders. To effect enduing change, strong, committed leadership is essential. The simple fact is that leadership is sorely lacking. Today, in 2008, how many Black directors are there of major corporations in this country? How many Black university presidents? How many Black commanders in the Armed Forces? How many Black politicians? In expounding on the “race factor’s symbolic power”, the Globe and Mail wisely noted that “Barack Obama’s election as the first black president in the United States will not rescue black children from poverty, or sound the death knell for racism or inequality. Yet it is a profound and moving achievement.” My personal hope is that this achievement moves Canadians to acknowledge their own prejudices and to become more openly receptive to the power of Black leadership. Most importantly, I hope it inspires more young Black people in Canada to take up the cause of equality. As Mr. Obama so eloquently put it in his acceptance speech, “This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.”
“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.” www.bindoctor.com 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
C.A. Wilkins Construction Ltd
“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.” www.cawilkins.com
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