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W I N T E R 2 014

Also in this issue:  Social Enterprise  IB&M Initiative- 25 Years

Investing in the Community Good Advice for Investing Wisely

 Successful Entrepreneurs

“A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”


On November 19, 2014, at the Adult Education and Workplace Awards, the Black Business Initiative proudly accepted the Workplace Education Ambassador award for fostering learning in the workplace. The award was presented to BBI CEO, Michael Wyse by Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. See Page 51 for more about BBI Training Initiatives.


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April Howe, Career Transition and Management Practice Leader

Allyson England, Consultant, Meridia

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Black 2 Business is the official periodical of The Black Business Initiative 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 Story Ideas, Notices or Community Events, and for more Information, call: 902-426-8683 Published by: The Black Business Initiative Editor in Chief: Michael Wyse Design & Layout: Design North Production by: Mirabliss Media Productions Cover Photographs: Russell Wyse

The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Phone: 902-426-8683 Fax: 902-426-8699 Toll Free: 1-888-664-9333 E-Mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca Web Site: www.bbi.ca

Message from the Chair

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Message from the CEO

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COVER STORY Pay yourself first; Save now!

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Investing in the Community...

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Wait a minute—debt can be good?

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Habitat for Humanity

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Sustainable Social Enterprise

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Social Enterprise On A Bus

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Ann Divine

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Scaling up

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BBI’s On the Move

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Carrington Construction

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TRAILBLAZERS- Spiritual Leaders- Part 2 19 Why Invest in a CEDIF?

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Jon/ Smith Taping

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Marsha Haygood

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Habiba Cooper Diallo

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Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative (IB&M) 27 People & Business on the Move

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Andre Levingston

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ASK AN EXPERT - Social Media

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Renovator 101

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OUT & ABOUT

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REGIONAL SHOUT-OUTS

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Preston Area Board of Trade

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The 21inc Programs

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BBI TRAINING

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GEEK SPEAK - 3 Tech Trends

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COMMUNITY & BUSINESS EVENTS 55 Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687


C O N TENT S The Black Business Initiative (BBI) is a province-wide business development initiative committed to fostering the growth of businesses owned by members of the Nova Scotia Black Community.

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The BBI focuses on supporting business starts, growth and business attraction to Nova Scotia. The BBI also places priority on supporting Black owned firms to improve productivity, invest in strategic innovations and enhance regional and global competitiveness. In 1996, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia set up the BBI to address the unique needs confronting the Black business community in Nova Scotia. The BBI and its broad scope of economic development activities is currently funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, project funding, corporate donations, fund-raising and commercial activity initiated across BBI's composite group of companies. BBI Vision A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. BBI Mission

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To positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture by promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia Blackowned businesses. 2 ...


Message from the Chair

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t’s hard to believe that the Black Business Initiative is fast approaching its 20th year.

As an organization dedicated to making a difference in the Black business community across Nova Scotia, the BBI has a strong mandate to positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture, which includes promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia Black-owned business.

Messages

Cynthia Dorrington Chair, BBI

As the new Chair of BBI, I am privileged and honoured to sit in the seat of past greats. Hector Jacques the first Chair of the organization, along with his team, set the initial direction for this organization. Barbara Manning, the first female Chair, worked with her team to plant the seed that has grown to what we know today as the composite model.

The BBI Board along with the boards of our composite group of companies will collectively work towards building a dynamic and vibrant black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. A quote from Henry Ford states: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” We’ve come together. We’ve stayed together. Now we must continue to work together as we strive for success.

Cynthia Dorrington Chair, BBI

Our second female Chair, Cassandra Dorrington, in collaboration with her team, oversaw the implementation of the governance structure of the composite group of companies. These are just a few examples of past Chairs who, along with their team of directors, have all contributed towards the many achievements the BBI has accomplished over the past 18 years. As the eighth Chair of the BBI, I look forward to working with my team of board directors and staff led by Mike Wyse, with a view of continuing to chart the strategic direction of this organization. You have our commitment that we will continue to enhance our relationships with stakeholders, strengthen our partnerships, and define strategic alliances that will aid us in fulfilling on our mandate. 1 ...

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” ~ Henry Ford


Message from the Chief Executive Officer

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conomic indicators and analysts suggest Nova Scotia is poised for enhanced economic prosperity. Let’s seize the opportunity to participate and help grow our economy. I envision each Black-owned business as “living its potential” – enhanced productivity, innovations and competitiveness, which support increased revenue, job creation and business growth.

Michael Wyse CEO, BBI

BBI is working hard to see the Black business community grow well beyond the 300 or so businesses operating in 2014. At the same time, we need the Black-owned business base to diversify both regionally and by sector. We also want to support more immigrants of African descent to seize viable economic opportunities to live, work and prosper in Nova Scotia. We want more firms to align with high growth sectors and position themselves on the leading edge of their chosen sectors. BBI can’t do it alone. Along your entrepreneurial journey, we want you to step up and access the business support services that make sense for you. You need to take control and engage stakeholders in dialog about your needs, wants and desires. Fact: there are more than 200 programs, services and agencies focused on supporting business success in Nova Scotia. How many do you know about? I have a challenge for every Black business owner. Before the New Year, I am asking you to set aside two hours to attend one business-related networking session and to make one phone call asking “What’s out there to help me achieve my business goals?” Invest 120 minutes toward your sustainability and future growth. Networking is essential to stay connected to the broader business community. Look

towards your local Chamber of Commerce, Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC), Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network, and BBI’s Holiday Networking event at the Black Cultural center. Next, please make that phone call seeking information on the range of business initiatives available to support your business success. Call your local CBDC, Credit Union, Economic and Rural Development and Tourism office, the Center for Women in Business or a Regional Business Development Manager here at the BBI. These agencies and many more are here to help you and your business succeed. You can make a difference! Be a volunteer, mentor, coach or trainer. Support a work placement. Be a sponsor or support a fundraising activity. Be an equity investor. Start a business. Grow your business. Leave a legacy by creating or contributing to a scholarship fund. Establish a bequest contribution to support future entrepreneurship development and/or community economic development efforts – it takes a village – we each have value to contribute to our collective economic and community success! As we enter this holiday season, remember we are all consumers – please buy local and support our community! We look forward to working with you in 2015.

Michael Wyse CEO, BBI

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Pay yourself first; Save now! Leora Sherwood, CIBC Wood Gundy Leora Sherwood is an Associate Investment Advisor to Hans Himmelman at CIBC Wood Gundy in downtown Halifax. She’s been working with Hans and his team since the spring of 2000. She began her career in banking in 1990 and has been in the financial services industry since then. Her training includes completing the Canadian Securities Course and she holds the Professional Financial Planning designation from the Canadian Securities Institute.

consecutive year in recognition of diversity programs supporting women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender/transsexual (LGBT) communities.”

Leora’s role in working with clients includes asset management; research of investment opportunities; and managing client inquiries with regard to investment advice.

She says everyone should have a “wealth plan or a saving plan, for a number of reasons”.

“I believe more people of color should engage in wealth management,” she says. I do know that CIBC is a good corporate citizen with regard to diversity. “CIBC has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2014. The bank received this award for the fourth

All people should be actively investing in their retirement and wealth management strategy, regardless of who they choose as their investment advisor.

“Maybe you have a legacy goal and want to ensure your children or grandchildren don’t have the same struggles you did and are afforded better opportunities for their future.” She says it’s important to plot your retirement now and CIBC Wood Gundy offers a full range of wealth advisory services tailored to the client’s needs. “We see people from all walks of life: school teachers, widows, entrepreneurs – large and small business owners and we cater to the individual needs of each.” Your initial meeting with Leora & Hans, or one of their colleagues at CIBC Wood Gundy in Halifax, consists of an hour to an hour and a half introductory/discovery session. “We ask questions, listen to their needs and assess what clients are looking for, and what they currently have. We then discuss what we (CIBC Wood Gundy) have to offer and how we can work together to help them achieve their goals.”

She says every person is different and fees range based on needs but all solutions revolve around these three simple rules to investing: Invest in quality; stay focused on your objectives; and give it time. “Time is your ally. The earlier you begin to save, the better, the longer you are invested in quality situations the better your results,” she says. In the business for more than a decade, Leora says along with seeing more people of color come through her door, she’s hoping to see more young people in her future. “There’s a serious lack of education for youth coming out of school around financial matters. There may be no government sponsored retirement plans when today’s graduates retire and if they’re relying on those plans to fund their retirement, they may be in for a rude awakening.” She says she’d love to see programs or courses in schools on how to manage day-to-day finances, mortgages, credit cards, as well as saving for both short and long term financial goals. If she could give one piece of advice to everyone it would be ‘pay yourself first and start today’. Leora can be reached at: CIBC Wood Gundy 1969 Upper Water St., Suite 1801 Halifax, NS B3J 3R7 Ph: 902-420-6238 Email: leora.sherwood@cibc.ca

This information, including any opinion, is based on various sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed and is subject to change. CIBC and CIBC World Markets Inc., their affiliates, directors, officers and employees may buy, sell, or hold a position in securities of a company mentioned herein, its affiliates or subsidiaries, and may also perform financial advisory services, investment banking or other services for, or have lending or other credit relationships with the same. CIBC World Markets Inc. and its representatives will receive sales commissions and/or a spread between bid and ask prices if you purchase, sell or hold the securities referred to above. © CIBC World Markets Inc. 2014. Clients are advised to seek advice regarding their particular circumstances from their personal tax and legal advisors. Insurance services are available through CIBC Wood Gundy Financial Services Inc. In Quebec, insurance services are available through CIBC Wood Gundy Financial Services (Quebec) Inc.

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Cover Story

Investing in Community...

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n the last few years we have been hearing more about various financial planning and investment programs. We have been told that we may not be able to rely on a Canada Pension Plan for retirement in a few decades and have read news stories about organizational pension plans not having enough future funds to support an aging population.

Steve Ash 5 ...

In this issue, Black to Business introduces you to investment professionals in the African Nova Scotian Community who are available to help: pay yourself first and save now. Leora Sherwood, CIBC Wood Gundy, is just one of several investment professionals working in Nova Scotia from the African Nova Scotian community. Another is Syd Collymore. Growing up in single parent home, Syd knows how important it is for families to plan for their future and that is something he brings to his profession every day. Collymore, a division director at Investors Group, says he wishes his family knew about opportunities like the Home Buyers’ Plan when he was growing up. It’s a program that allows you to use your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSPs) for a down payment. “I come from a single family home. I always say that had there been someone like me in my mom’s life when I was growing up, I am 100 percent sure that our circumstances would have been different. We had the opportunity to buy a home early on and didn’t. I don’t think [my mom] knew what to do to get there,” says Collymore. He says owning a home is a daunting and sometimes

Howard Williams

Syd Collymore


.

an impossible seeming prospect for people but his role is to make it accessible to his clients.

a small amount each month is doable for most and every little bit helps along the way to wealth management.

In an effort to help families like his own, Collymore offers free seminars. These include the Home Buyers’ Plan sessions held in the North End and Dartmouth libraries, as well as in churches.

“Whether it’s seminars, events, [or] personally going out and knocking on doors, I have been there, hoping to enact positive change.”

“The number one issue is debt. We offer debt services, debt counselling, debt consolidation and debt management,” says Collymore. One such event was Oil and Water, held at the Neptune theatre. This year, their charity events focused on engaging different groups from the African Nova Scotian community to talk about the need for financial education. Collymore’s firm presented to the Nova Scotia Association of Black Social Workers and the Black Educators Association. Collymore says people need to know the difference between a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to help manage their retirement. He says

Howard Williams, a financial consultant at Investors Group, agrees that it is important to focus on education and empowerment. Like Leora Sherwood at CIBC Wood Gundy, Williams is hoping to focus more on youth and financial literacy. To that end, he is running sessions through his firm that will reach students and give them financial direction. His goal is to offer the program in communities with a large African Nova Scotian population. “This type of program is crucially important, because so many young people get out into the real world and they make a number of mistakes before they get it right. This program will, hopefully, put them on the right road from the beginning, so they can avoid a lot of these pitfalls,” says Williams. Syd Collymore agrees it is crucial to start teaching financial skills early on. “If we start early, go into schools and teach kids about budgeting and spending, you can impact the next generation and change their mindset,” he says. Steve Ash, president of B&A and Associates Insurance Agency says this is particularly important, because the ability to begin planning for your future early on will ensure lower insurance rates and more risk-management later. “The best thing [you] can do is buy things when you’re young and healthy,” says Ash. “Insurance is all about risk, so if you’re in good health, you buy it.”

Fred Perry

Ash suggests buying a house or a car early because insurance will be less expensive. If you are sick, or have

by: Emily Rendell-Watson and Angela Johnson

a disability, there is the possibility of “paying more insurance,” says Ash. By investing in big items early on, insurance is easily attainable which will diminish the level of risk later on in life. As an insurance broker, Ash is able to provide his clients with the best rate available. “If someone is looking for a specific type of policy, I can shop the market. I normally have a contract with various companies, and those I don’t have a contract with I can still find out what their rate is,” says Ash. Ash hopes that more people will invest in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). An RESP is a plan that is

"Everyone needs a comprehensive financial plan that takes into account investing, insurance, estate, cash management, and planning." - Syd Collymore

Division Director, Investors Group continued on page 7

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Investing in the Community continued from page 6

designed to save for a child’s postsecondary education, and offers taxdeferred investment growth as well as government assistance. An RESP can be used for courses other than university, such as offered at the Nova Scotia Community College. “Even if the child decided not to go to school, the [subscriber] to the plan can transfer the RESP amount to another child, or to the parent if they want to go back to school. If nobody wants to go to school, [it] can be transferred to the parent’s Registered Retirement Savings Plan; they just won’t get the education bonus from the government. The money will still be available though,” says Ash. Although he enjoys providing a range of services, Ash says his forte is selling life insurance. If a loved one passes away, somebody has to take care of the expenses, he says. There are assets that need to be finalized, and those assets can be supported through life insurance. Fred Perry of National Best Financial Network also strongly believes that people need life insurance for their own well-being, along with several other key financial pieces. Perry says there are four main things he does for his clients: budgeting, structuring a financial plan that will complete their dreams with no risk, ensuring tax efficiency, and setting up a program for unforeseen events. “Every African Nova Scotian should build a guaranteed foundation first, where they are not losing money,” says Perry. He says he is building a base for his client’s future. “All you have to do is have one loss in a 10-year period, and you’re playing catch up for the next 10 years.” 7 ...

He says that one of the major challenges facing those interested in investing is being able to trust a financial advisor. He argues that there are too few recognizable Black faces that the African Nova Scotian community can go to. Perry says this is problematic because in meeting with a financial advisor, you are sharing everything about your financial history and trust is important. “If the Black community needs advice, they feel more comfortable asking someone in the Black community,” says Perry. He says it is important advisors who represent the African Nova Scotian community are accessible. Syd Collymore agrees. He says everyone needs a comprehensive financial plan that takes into account investing, insurance, estate, cash management, and planning. “If the community is sound financially, they will be more apt to participate in provincial commerce,” says Collylmore. The challenges facing the Black community aren’t any different than the challenges facing the rest of Nova Scotia,” says Steve Ash. “Everybody wants to talk about debt: how we manage debt, cash flow management, how we budget properly to enjoy today and invest in tomorrow.” All work for different firms and offer varying programs, products and services. All believe that encouraging community members to enhance investment activity, take care of their retirement and attentively manage their finances will go a long way in supporting personal and community well-being and in advancing sustainable prosperity in Nova Scotia. If you want high-calibre professional advice on your wealth management strategy or a second opinion, you now know who to call – Pay yourself; Save now!

Contacts: Syd Collymore, Division Director Investors Group (902) 423-8294 Ext. 254 syd.collymore@investorsgroup.com Howard Williams, Financial Consultant Investors Group 902 423-8294 ext 408 (work) howard.williams@investorsgroup.com Fred Perry. National Best Financial Network (902) 457-4826 (Home) fred.perry@nbbn.ca Steve Ash, President B&A and Associates Insurance Agency (902) 835-0250 (Home) steve.ash@aliantzinc.ca

"All people should be actively investing in their retirement and wealth management strategy, regardless of who they choose as their investment advisor." - Leora Sherwood CIBC Wood Gundy


Wait a minute—debt can be good? Used wisely, taking on debt can actually grow your business

by: Stephanie Holmes-Winton

indefinitely. Examples include mortgage on your primary residence, mortgage on a family cottage, and a car loan.

What is ugly debt?

Is there really such thing as good debt? Well, it’s a little

more of a grey area rather than clear cut black and white. That doesn’t mean you should rush out and charge it, but yes, some types of debt are not only harmless but can also be beneficial. While debt doesn’t always have to be bad, there’s a big difference between debt that hurts your business and debt that can help it grow. No matter what, borrowing or spending unconsciously is bad for business.

What’s the difference between good and bad debt? Good debt is when you borrow for an investment such as a property or even your own business. Typically, as long as you keep proper records and the sequence of events is correct, the interest on such liabilities can be tax deductible. So not only do you save yourself some tax pain but what you’ve borrowed to invest in also has the potential to grow. It’s a win/win, right? It is—but beware of the temptation to over leverage yourself when the tax benefits and potential growth start to sound pretty sweet.

Ugly debt is the kind you should avoid at all costs—it’s the consumer debt that happens when you consistently spend more than you earn. Most of the time ugly debt creates things like credit card balances where you don’t even remember what you spent all that money on.

How do I know if I have good debt? Truly good debt has the following criteria: the interest is tax deductible; the debt is tied to an asset that has the ability to grow in value; and you can easily manage the carrying costs now and in the future. Examples include mortgage on a rental property, business supplies carried temporarily on your credit card, and an investment loan. Meanwhile, bad debt is when you borrow to invest in assets that create no tax deductibility and that may or may not grow. These types of debt can also carry the risk of overspending because they’re often created by emotionally motivated purchases like buying a car or a home. While many of the items you purchase that result in bad debt are necessities of life, this is the kind of debt you want to get rid of quickly and do your best to avoid in the future. Truly bad debt has the following criteria: the interest isn’t tax deductible; the debt may or may not be tied to an asset that could grow in value; and you may be able to manage the payments now but wouldn’t want to carry them

Truly ugly debt has the following criteria: the interest isn’t tax deductible; the debt isn’t tied to any asset and is mostly the result of consumption; whether you can manage the payments or not, it’s an unnecessary drain on your cash flow; and the interest rate is usually in the double digits. Examples are personal credit card debts, payday loans, and department-store card balances. Debt is a powerful tool. Don’t fear it— instead, learn how to use it. We don’t build our homes these days using a hand saw for a reason (it’s inefficient). Think of your debts as financial power tools, read the instructions, measure twice and cut once, and make sure you use safety gear. Final words to the wise: Be deliberate and disciplined with the good, work to get rid of the bad, and completely avoid the ugly. Stephanie Holmes-Winton is a Halifax-based financial services educator, speaker, and author specializing in cash-flow planning. You can find her at www.themoneyfinder. ca. Send finance-related questions for Stephanie to editorial@progressmedia.ca. Originally published in Vol. 21 No.5 of Progress Magazine. Reprinted with permission. 8 ...


Habitat for Humanity: builds first home in East Preston

by: Denise Fawthrop, Manager, Stakeholder Relations and Marketing, Habitat for Humanity NS Lou Gannon

Tiffany Brooks (center-black top) soon to be the new owner of the first Habitat for Humanity build in the Prestons, pictured here along with sisters Marina (her immediate right) & Wanda Brook (far left) and friends Samteen Smith (immediate left) & Falon McNamara (far right). They joined her on Oct. 25/14 to help paint the interior of her new home. Also in the photo are Kerry Johnston (far right) and Rodger Smith (center rear) of the Black Business Initiative together with Charity Carr (in front of Kerry) of Habitat for Humanity.

Tiffany Brooks lives with her

two children in her parents’ home where the five of them share three bedrooms. She dreamed of a home of her own, a safe place to raise Tahara, (13) and, now also, Tiffany’s new addition, Tavian (1). This December (2014) Tiffany and her children will realize that dream, thanks to Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia (HFHNS) and the hundreds of volunteers who have contributed their time and effort to help with construction of her new home. It sits on a hill on Upper Governor Street in the community of East Preston, the first ever Habitat home to be built in the Prestons. Standing on the upper floor, you can see a small slice of the ocean on the distant horizon. Housing Nova Scotia donated the land, one of two lots given to HFHNS to assist with their home ownership program in East Preston. Land donations are an essential part of the success of the Habitat model.

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Tiffany has a certificate in early childhood development and works at the local daycare centre in East Preston. She hopes to have the opportunity to continue upgrading her skills and engage in meaningful ways to give back to the community where she lives and works. She was selected out of many applicants who come through an arm’s length volunteer selection committee that decides which families qualify for a HFHNS home. Partner families are selected based on their level of need, their ability to repay a no interest no down payment mortgage, as well as their willingness to partner with HFHNS by fulfilling 500 hours of sweat equity for the organization. All partner families must have a stable income in order to repay their mortgages. HFHNS knows that children who grow up in safe, decent and affordable homes of their own will perform

better academically and have better health outcomes. They are better able to participate in their community activities and after school programs. Tiffany and her family’s home are sponsored by the Source Canada. Without the help of sponsor funding, donor materials and volunteer labour, the HFHNS program would not be able to bring the dream of home ownership to Nova Scotia families. At Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia, we are dedicated to families like Tiffany’s and hope for the best future possible for all of our Nova Scotia partner families.


The Black Business Initiative

is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia. We signed MOUs at BBI’s AGM in June 2014 to encourage community and business development for the Preston Area and for the Black Communities of Nova Scotia.

BBI staff members Kerry Johnston, Ed Matwawana and Rodger Smith, worked tirelessly to ensure the project moved forward. They also volunteered and hammered and nailed with coworkers Russell Wyse and Njabulo Nkala alongside community member Glenn Beals on this memorable build.

Sustainable Social Enterprise - An Overview Created to further a social purpose in a financially sustainable way, social enterprises are vital to today's societal landscape. Dynamic and sustainable social enterprises make a major contribution to a stronger economy while upholding an important sense of responsibility to society, as revenues are reinvested to advance a social, economic or environmental mission. Sustainable social enterprise is more important than ever as we face unprecedented economic, environmental, social and environmental challenges. They can be non-profits, for profits and entrepreneurs who understand the importance of creating a business to spur societal shifts in long-term

Hope Blooms

unemployment, gaps in healthcare, environmental responsibility, and cultural challenges. Ranging from small, community-owned shops to larger organizations equipped to win multi-million dollar contracts, social enterprises create jobs and revenue that bring positive social impact to their communities. In Nova Scotia, Hope Blooms is a shining example of social enterprise at its best.

Hindsight Infrared Services Inc.

BBI extends sincere thanks to Source Canada, Spencer Colley of the East Preston Ratepayers Association, MLA Keith Colwell and Dolly Williams, Chair of the Preston Area Housing Fund for working together to ensure land acquisition, fundraising and community involvement led to the completion of this successful Project. It is with great pride within the Black community, to see this project competed before the holiday season.

Charles Adams, President/Owner Certified Energy Advisor Certified Thermographer Certified Building Official T: (902) 869-0203 C: (902) 237-0908

hindsightinfrared@me.com www.hindsightinfraredservicesinc.com

Energy Efficiency Through Infrared 10 ...


Rodney Small

“The value in running a social enterprise in the community was apparent from the very beginning of this program,” says Rodney Small, Program Coordinator. “The support and collaboration of community leaders and business owners, the commitment of the participants, the expertise of the qualified facilitators and the financial support of funders, paved the road to success for this program.” Program sponsors include the Halifax United Way, Capital One, Black Business Initiative (BBI), Common Good Solutions, and McInnes Cooper.

The economic and social future of HRM’s Black communities is the focus of a new program for up-and-coming community leaders. In October, five young people, identified within their communities as youth leaders, spent a week in an intensive, customized social enterprise training program offered by the Black Business Initiative (BBI). Dubbed “Business on a Bus” (BOB), this program develops and implements a business venture designed to have both a positive economic and social impact in the community.

Malik Beals Stay tuned: Black to Business will follow their social enterprise journey in future issues of B2B. 11 ...

“Collaboration is at the forefront of every social enterprise,” says Small. “Bringing youth together from different communities at a time when our youth carry animosity for each other based on where they “represent” is so important. I am more than proud to facilitate relationships between communities and their future leaders to allow them to express their concerns from a practical perspective.” Days one and two formally introduced participants to social enterprise. On day three, Channing Davis, Beechville; Malik Beals, Cherry Brook; Matthew Thomas, East Preston; Quintel Provo, North Preston and Unique Jones, Uniacke Square, toured all communities by bus. As they travelled through familiar roads and those some had never seen before, each gave a talk about their respective community. By the end of the tour, they discovered many similar social and financial challenges, assets and opportunities among their communities.


Channing Davis

advice of the panel, participants will continue to share their learning and experiences with each other. They will continue training, under the guidance of mentors, and spend the next four months (November 2014-March 2015), developing and refining a social enterprise that will benefit the Black community as a whole.

“After seeing other communities suffering from the same issues (as mine), I felt part of it was because of the lack of togetherness in these communities. Us, working together, is symbolic of the future I envision.” – Channing Davis, Beechville. Davis says, “The program is beneficial to our communities because it can enable people in the communities to become leaders and create their own businesses by providing them with tools and an opportunity.”

“Social enterprises harness the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and public good. They play a vibrant and creative role in addressing the challenges faced by many local communities. They are a significant contributor to the economy, to community vitality and to the wellbeing of many individuals. For decades, social enterprises have been doing the “how” of the Ivany Report” – local people coming together to solve their own problems or maximize an opportunity that accrues benefits to the community. And they have been doing so with little fanfare.

Community role model, Sobaz Benjamin, spent every day filming the program.

Joseph Nyemah Sobaz Benjamin “I was privileged to witness these young people rediscover, and for some, I am sure, discover for the first time not only what it means to be an entrepreneur but what it means to be African Nova Scotian,” says Benjamin. “I am convinced that as these young men make sense of their life story, there will be a before BOB and after BOB milestone. In short, I think the experience will change their lives. The alchemy of BOB will be long ranging and significant.” Days four through six involved developing the social enterprise and presenting it to a panel at the law firm of McInnes Cooper. Taking the

Dianne Kelderman

“As a government employee, working with private business owners and social entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia has become a philosophical learning path for me. I recently concluded that private business owners approach business development with the human mind – logical and methodical about profit making. Social enterprise owners, in addition, approach business development with the human heart – emotional and passionate about how to use their profit.” Joseph Nyemah Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism www.novascotia.ca/econ/

The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council has been hosting an annual social enterprise competition to encourage, support and stimulate the social enterprise sector. Last year we had 29 applications - a terrific indication of the level of activity across the Province. We hope to have an even greater number this year. From the Lisa T Café in Digby County, to Community Carrot Co-op and Hope Blooms in Halifax, to The Strait Area Transit Co-operative – the social enterprise sector is robust and meeting important community needs. The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, along with our credit union partners, is very pleased to provide financial, planning & mentoring support to the social enterprise sector.” Dianne Kelderman President & CEO Nova Scotia Co-operative Council www.novascotia.coop 12 ...


by: Sherri Borden Colley

Ann Divine

Empowers Women of Colour

Cyndi Cain

nn Divine has served as an adviser to government, academic institutions, businesses and communities.

Now she’s focused on helping black and immigrant women grow businesses in Nova Scotia.

As an entrepreneur and a mentor, through her home-based business Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Services, which she founded in 2011, Divine strives to empower women of colour to accomplish their personal goals. In partnership with the Black Business Initiative and the Labour

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and Advanced Education Department, she recently led a business cohort for women’s leadership training program. Nine black women successfully completed the five-week program. “We’ve all got small businesses at home but nobody knows about (them),” she said. To help change that, Divine has received support from the Black

Business Initiative, Greater Halifax Partnership, Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Centre for Women in Business and Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to host a series of networking initiatives to bring women of colour to various business events in Halifax. “The point is if we turn up as groups, then we are there to support each other,” she said.


Adrien Veczan

Divine’s expertise in the areas of leadership development, strategic management, human rights, employment equity and conflict resolution have been recognized nationally and internationally. The mother of three adult children hails from a family of successful role models. Her aunts and uncles worked as doctors, one was a university professor and another a minister. Her mother was a nurse and her father an engineer. “And I was raised to believe that education was the key to our success in the world,” she said. “When we as children would come home, even though we were young — five, six, seven, eight, nine — my uncle used to host what was known as evening classes, night school, where he taught us how to spell words like Philadelphia and Mississippi and whatever knowledge he had, he transferred that to us as young people. “I look back and I think to myself as a young child you don’t fully understand or you don’t know, but when I look back on that, I (realize) they were instilling in us the values and sense of pride.”

Divine, a native of Guyana, was raised in London, England. She moved to Halifax from the United Kingdom in 2004 when her husband, Prof. David Divine, was appointed Dalhousie University’s James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies. Before coming to Canada, the former social worker worked as a probation officer and ran the largest bail and probation hostel in the United Kingdom. In July, she left her position as manager for race relations, equity and inclusion with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. After seven years in that position, she decided it was time to pursue her true calling — to champion the cause of women of colour who are absent from the decision-making table in government and business. “I still do feel quite sad that having left government, we don’t have a black deputy minister; we may have one or two directors, I’m not sure,” she said in a recent interview. “We are living in 2014. We have had people of colour coming to Nova Scotia as immigrants and we have people who have lived in Nova

Scotia … since the 1600s … so why then don’t we have people who are representative. In my opinion, it’s a crying shame on all of us as Nova Scotians because we have failed each other.” Divine holds a master’s degree in human resource management, a bachelor of arts in sociology and a postgraduate diploma in social work. As well, she is certified in human rights education and training. In March, Divine, also founder of continued on page 9 the Black and Immigrant Women Businesses Networking Group, and fellow business owner Louise Adongo co-ordinated the first International Women’s Day event in Halifax to celebrate black and immigrant women in business and to encourage more women to get involved in the business world.

Plans are already underway to host a second International Women’s Day event — a business expo — on March 8, 2015, at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Originally published in the October 16, 2014 issue of The Chronicle Herald. Reprinted with permission. 14 ...


Scaling up

Want to become a high-growth gazelle? It isn’t about long hours or doing everything alone by: Michael DeVenney Hype it, hock it, and move on doesn’t lead to companies that have sustained returns for everyone involved

Growth clearly matters

in business, but it can be elusive. It can also be fleeting. Despite knowing the power of gazelles, we continue to be distracted with start-ups, enthusiastic pitching, and chasing capital. If we want to shift our competitive success, we must place more emphasis on helping both new and existing companies establish the right conditions to become high-growth companies. It shouldn’t be surprising that consistent growth is more about a system than sales. Achieving high growth is the result of excellence in technology, management teams, and the ability to execute a strategy. Unfortunately, we tend to focus on technology, when it’s actually management and strategy that have the greatest impact. Those factors explain roughly 85% of the growth differential in companies. Treating your business as a system of people and processes is the secret to building a high-growth company. Brilliant products are a dime a dozen and frequently fleeting. But entrepreneurs who invest in a strong management process and focus on strategic execution through people are leaders. 15 ...

Entrepreneurs are responsible for capturing opportunities and creating the environment for their business to successfully capitalize on those opportunities. Becoming a gazelle isn’t about working the hardest or the longest hours or trying to do everything alone. Responsible entrepreneurs must invest time to understand their business systems and establish the right processes so other members of the team can perform and execute with excellence. I’m uncomfortable with the perspective on entrepreneurship that’s prevalent in today’s market. Hype it, hock it, and move on doesn’t lead to high-growth companies that have sustained returns for everyone involved. We must shift to viewing entrepreneurism as creating innovative businesses that last well beyond the first exit ramp and into the future. We can be distracted by high-tech and quick money while losing sight of what entrepreneurism can and should be: the backbone of a vibrant and competitive economy. Pitching ideas and chasing capital hasn’t had an impact on the number of high-growth companies. Statistics from markets throughout

the world support this. The start-up game may be entertaining but it’s not productive. We must change our approach if we want to get different results. Entrepreneurs are more critical to the economy than ever. More important, we need entrepreneurs who aren’t focused on “cash and carry” but on building sustainable businesses. They must ground their business in an understanding of their customers while providing value for them. From there, they must map their system to better understand how the processes fit together. They require a model and strategy to work that system at a profit. Since cash flow is critical to building a business, entrepreneurs must manage their money more effectively. Building processes and managing people may not sound as exciting as building product prototypes or pitching for dollars. However, if we want more high-growth companies that will change the prosperity of our region, effective business management will win every time.

What are gazelles? Gazelles are companies that grow 20% annually in both revenues and jobs for at least four consecutive years. They comprise only around 4% of global businesses yet contribute many more times the economic and employment growth of other companies. The share of businesses that make the grade for 10 straight years is less than 1%. This elite group has an even greater impact. Originally published in Vol. 21 No.5 of Progress Magazine. Reprinted with permission.


BBI’s On the Move 2014 year to date Metal Fabrication Prep 101

CBDC Blue Water

Students in Business Program (SIB) This program assists students between the ages of 15 and 34 who wish to explore the world of entrepreneurship. This program offers interest free loans up to $5,000, training, as well as ongoing support from a strong business development team.

Graduates from the first BBI Metal Fabrication Prep Training Program: L-R: Justin Vaillancourt, Jason Howe, Romain Brooks, Deveron Williams, Zachary Grosse. Absent from photo: Kevin Hooks & Troyce Ashe (He secured a job!) “The experience I had during my eight weeks with the metal fabrication program was excellent. I learned and acquired great skills, at the same time meeting and networking with people and companies that were really beneficial. I would recommend this program to any that would like to pursue, or get an idea about, this trade. It was a pleasure to be surrounded by a great group of guys that took this course with me. I wish and pray for the best in your future career and just remember the road may be hard

sometimes but we get out what we put in… so stay positive! In closing, I would like to say thanks to BBI for investing in a young black man and Jessica for your support and help this year. Special thanks to Mr. Joel Marsman - you’re a great man, Joel and a good role model in our community. Thanks for all you do!” - Troyce Ashe, graduate, Metal Fabrication Prep 101

Congratulations to BBI board member, Joseph Nyemah, who represents the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. The United Nations has chosen him to lead a six-month research project based in Rome, Italy. He will take the lead on an international project team to conduct a global integrated context analysis. The goal is to develop an understanding of why some countries are more resilient to withstanding and recovering from shocking events or crisis like the 2008 economic crisis and the current EBOLA outbreak. This understanding should inform future international interventions. Joseph’s passion, insight and social enterprise expertise will bring much to his new assignment. Nova Scotia will surely reap the benefits of his experience from this tremendous opportunity upon his return in 2016.

To learn how you can start and grow a business with BIJ and CBDC, contact:

info@bbi.ns.ca 902-426-8683 @BusinessIsJammin 16 ...


by: Emily Rendell-Watson

Carrington Construction Bringing Business Home Chad Carrington, Owner

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Lou Gannon

C

arrington Construction was born when Chad Carrington took his high school students to Aurora College in the Northwest Territories for a week to test out different trades.

says they want the same thing because they saw it and loved it, that’s a great feeling.”

Once Carrington had a taste of construction and renovation work, he decided to go back to school to get his Red Seal in carpentry. In 2011, Carrington and his family moved back to Nova Scotia to start a construction company.

Carrington credits the Black Business Initiative with his ability to apply education he received through the BBI, like building inspection and LEEDS certification, to his work.

Because carpenters in the Northwest Territories build the entire house from the concrete to the finishing including paint, drywall and cabinets, Carrington got to experience and develop skills in all aspects of carpentry. “I have a broad skill set that allows me to build decks during the summer and do fancy crowning work during the winter when it’s not as nice out,” says Carrington. Carrington just finished an elaborate 900x60 square foot deck with custom benches, two levels and two sets of stairs that wrapped around a large swimming spa.

Carrington notes that the tradespeople who come in to do work after him have far fewer challenges because things are done properly.

While he says crawling around fixing and building things is his passion right now, he is hoping that as he gets older he can step back, teach and pass on knowledge. “When I started this I wanted to take on apprentices and teach homeowners and kids in high school. It’s important to spread the knowledge of the basic skills that people don’t have that can come in handy. I love passing that along,” says Carrington. Carrington gives all of his clients the option to help with their renovation projects.

“I am helping someone build a deck; he’s never built a deck before so he is going to help. I like to give the customer the option to help because not only do they save a few bucks, but they learn something too,” says Carrington. Carrington would also like to get into the inspection side of things as well as doing more consulting work with people who don’t know where to start. The need for tradespeople wasn’t as crucial when Carrington was in high school, and but he says there is a dire need nowadays. “Tradespeople make the world go around and unfortunately, there is a lack of them here in Nova Scotia. We need to get young people interested so we can increase the number of qualified tradespeople in the province.” .

Carrington Construction Blair Crawford, co-owner Chad Carrington Ph # 902-890-2749

“Before we were even done the deck, the owner was taking her lawn chair out to sit on it, raving about how great it is. Whenever you work on something and the customer loves it, they tell everyone. When someone calls you and 18 ...


Spiritual Leaders

Pastor LeQuita Porter

For someone who does not go to church all the time it can be intimidating and uncomfortable, says Pastor LeQuita Porter, “walking into a place where other people know each other, but you don't seem to know anyone.”

PART 2 by: Sindi Skenderi

It is called the Adult Learning Program, and the primary classes are English, remedial reading and mathematics. Through these classes, adult-students become more integrated in the community, and start to form relationships with others enrolled in the courses. Porter says it has been a great success, with almost 30 enthusiastic students joining, most of whom are seniors

George Gray Paul Adams

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In Issue 58 of Black to Business, we brought you part 1 of a two-part feature series on churches and community development. We took a look at how our community churches are the foundation in more than just spiritual ways; they are a key source for community capacity building. Many church leaders recognize this role as a duty and encourage other community entities to do the same. In part 2 of this series, we travel to East Preston and Hammonds Plains and meet the new AUBA moderator.

Peter Marsman

Trailblazers

Driving Community Development

But Pastor Porter from East Preston Baptist Church strives to make it known to her community that worshipping God is not restricted only to those who attend church. “Sometimes, we need to bring things out of the church house, in the form of events and programs, to hit home with different types of worshippers.” East Preston recently initiated a new program with the Nova Scotia Community College in September for adults over 19 who have not gotten their High School diplomas. 19 ...

George Gray is the new moderator for the African United Baptist Association, or AUBA. He believes that taking services outside the walls of the church has a strong effect on community.


Gray oversees 19 Baptist churches in Nova Scotia, from Yarmouth to Sunnyville, and his job includes traveling to the different churches, and guiding them in whatever way necessary - whether it is settling disputes, looking for new pastors, or planning events.

“I'm not good at finance myself, so I’m in the classes!” Pastor Anderson says.

Pastor Lennett Anderson Peter Marsman

He and AUBA recently held a retreat with the Ministers and Pastors of different churches to revitalize the association, including the development of new objectives. These included spiritual development, administrative excellence, and renewed long-term goals for each church; many of which are being achieved now.

He says programs such as these, and many others, have helped his community become stronger and better, together.

Last summer Cornwallis Street held three outdoor services, and Gray noticed that people living in that area would walk by the service and join.

Three Baptist churches from the AUBA family: Cornwallis Street, Emmanuel and East Preston, have partnered with New Beginnings church to form the S.O.S. program for youth - “Save Our Sons, Save Our Sisters.” The S.O.S. program is currently creating workshops that feature Christian resources and training. “Young kids, they need to trust you first, and trust your leader,” says Gray who adds that when youth see the commitment and dedication coming from leaders, they feel inspired .

He says the church recently put on a health fair. Community members were given a ‘passport’ that allowed them to visit different stations featuring health and well-being assessments. “In 2007, I buried so many of our young men, and that created a crisis for me. Since then, we promote walka-thons, weight loss and good eating habits,” says Pastor Anderson.

Gray says that the Cornwallis Street and Victoria Road Baptist churches are doing their part to bring God outside the four walls of the church, by holding services in parks.

He believes community growth begins with youth, and that involves developing programs and activities that appeal to them and help empower them to be better citizens of the world.

On top of financial education, he also believes in the importance of programs that can teach the community about healthy lifestyles.

“We need to change the generation,” Pastor Anderson says.

Emmanuel Baptist Church is also involved in the S.O.S .program. Pastor Lennett Anderson says it is important to raise awareness and react to issues that youth deal with in their lives. “We have so many youth struggling with self-esteem issues, eating disorders, and mental health issues,” he says. “It is not enough just to talk about it.” He believes that once people know better, they can do better. And Pastor Anderson applies that mentality to all age groups, not just youth. Recently his church began offering financial seminars to help community members with financial matters - a service many would not be able to access elsewhere.

East Preston Baptist Church has the same mentality. Pastor Porter’s church formed Youth Empowerment Services, or YES! for short. The organizers recruit young adults who are native to East Preston and have successful careers and lives to be guest speakers. Gray says the guests share their challenges around leadership, spirituality, academics, and more. Porter says it helps the community’s youth realize their goals and the importance of their role in developing a stronger community. She admits that youth were skeptical at first, but they have since found that they can relate well to the speakers and respect that they have experienced many of the same things. continued on page 21

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Spiritual Leaders continued from page 20

“We try to stress the fact that everybody has something to contribute to another person’s life,” says Pastor Porter. She says East Preston views the community and the church as one. In fact their slogan is “Community is Church and Church is Community”. Gray concurs, “People need to realize they are not alone in the world.” And one of the best ways he says to show this is through continuous and constant outreach. “The last thing Jesus said to Mathew was, Go and make disciples,” says Pastor Anderson. All leaders in this series are doing just that.

THINKING OF STARTING A BUSINESS? ARE YOU 18-39? FUTURPRENEUR CANADA CAN HELP! Up to $45,000 financing One-to-one business mentoring Pre-launch coaching Business resources Find out how at futurpreneur.ca or call 1-800-464-2923

/ FuturpreneurATL / FuturpreneurATL

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Entrepreneurs Natalie and David Wilson Nova Scotia


The World Economic Forum applauds Nova Scotia’s community economic development investment fund

Keep your investment dollars in Nova Scotia where they help your community grow.

In 2013, at a Social Innovation Summit in Peru, the World Economic Forum recognized Nova Scotia’s Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) program as a successful example of fostering social innovation, entrepreneurship and local economic development. Money raised through Nova Scotia’s CEDIF creates a pool of investment capital for small local businesses and encourages new and innovative ways of growing the economy by making business capital available to growing Nova Scotia businesses. In turn, businesses create jobs, pay taxes and nurture the cycle of wealth creation for Nova Scotians. BBI is proud and excited to be a participant in this internationally recognized program through the Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL). Why invest in a CEDIF? • CEDIF investors get an immediate 35% non-refundable provincial income tax credit • Tax credits total 65% over a 15-year holding period if the CEDIF meets certain conditions • Additional returns to shareholders are based on company performance • RRSP approved: Revenue Canada allows investments to be held within self-directed RRSPS • Shares can be purchased with cash already in your RRSP • Your investment stays right here in Nova Scotia • You help generate jobs for Nova Scotians and strengthen Nova Scotia Communities

Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL) BBCIFL was born out of the need to provide capital to Nova Scotia Blackowned businesses possessing the potential to grow, show profitability and can create jobs for Nova Scotians. In the past 10 years, over a hundred Nova Scotians have invested in excess of $745,000 in BBCIFL, thereby contributing in the creation of more jobs for Nova Scotians as well as the sustainable prosperity of our great province. Fifteen investments worth about $1.5 million have been made to date. At no other time in Nova Scotia’s recent history has there been such optimism and potential for real economic growth and prosperity. On behalf of our investors, we at the BBCIFL are seizing this momentum by financing local Black-owned businesses demonstrating high performance potential, helping them to compete on the world stage. We believe in the enterprising nature of Nova Scotians and their ability to create wealth for themselves and their stakeholders.

NOVA SCOTIA'S ECONOMY.STRONG.DIVERSE.HEALTHY. to find out more about the success stories the BBCIFL has invested in

Call (902) 426-4281

A part of the BBI’s Composite Group of Companies

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by: Emily Rendell Watson

Jon/Smith Taping Taping is a family business Jonathan Smith, Owner

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Lou Gannon

J

onathan Smith inherited his love for drywall and taping from his father, Reverend Wallace Smith. Wallace Smith started out as a plasterer and taught his son all about the trade at a young age. They worked together for several years, before Smith’s oldest son convinced him to start his own company in 2001. As a family run business, Smith’s wife, Maureen, manages the finances of the business. Jon/Smith Taping does primarily interior work, dealing specifically with drywall and painting. Smith believes that in the drywall and taping industry, reputation is everything. “At the time, I didn’t know what to do, so I went to a subdivision where I saw construction taking place. I talked to some of the foremen and they gave me the opportunity to do the drywall for one of the houses,” says Smith. The foremen were impressed with his work and asked him to work on other houses in the subdivision. Smith’s business and reputation continues to grow. Today, he and his team often do commercial and residential work for bigger drywall companies like Citadel Drywall & Acoustical and C & D Drywall Inc., which includes one of the new residences at Dalhousie University.

Eventually, he sees himself being able to bid on bigger jobs himself.

career in taping. Smith and his father have personally trained everyone that has worked for the company.

“People call us now because they see us on major job sites in [Halifax]. We’ve been able to work on some of the more high profile jobs like Toys R Us in Dartmouth Crossing and the TD Canada Trust banks,” says Smith.

Jon/Smith Taping worked on the North Preston Saint Thomas Baptist Church. They contributed all the material and labour in order to complete renovations on the church.

Recently, Jon/Smith Taping joined forces with ADEPA/Black Business Initiative to work on the Henry Bauld Centre. “We have a great working relationship and I’m enthusiastic about future projects we may take on together.” Henry Bauld Centre

With 95% of his workers from the Preston community, Smith mentors young men who are interested in a

“People call us now because they see us on major job sites in [Halifax]. We’ve been able to work on some of the more high profile jobs like Toys 'R Us in Dartmouth Crossing and the TD Canada Trust banks,” says Smith.

“It’s one of those trades that’s a necessity in a growing city like Halifax. Buildings are being erected all the time,” says Smith, indicating that it is a great time to pursue a trade like taping. When asked what the future holds, Smith said he hopes to grow the company by working with partners that can invest in the company and eventually pass on the family business to his oldest son Chikia Downey, just like his dad taught him the trade. “I’ve been blessed with wonderful kids that can carry on the business when I’m away without conflict. When I’m not there, I know it’s in great hands,” says Smith.

Jon/Smith Taping Jonathan Smith Ph # 902-499-4549

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Marsha Haygood Always consider yourself a VIP!

by: Sylvia Parris

“Let your work speak for itself!”

Board and a representative of Stewart McKelvey.

That’s what our mothers taught their girls. Not so, says award-winning, talent development expert, empowerment coach and author Marsha Haygood at the “Step Up, Step Out Live Your Potential” leadership and networking session hosted by the Black Business Initiative (BBI).

In contrast to the well-meaning advice from our mothers, she encouraged Black women business owners and entrepreneurs not to wait for others to sing their praises but rather to find ways to tout their own work and ideas. She provided a few coaching tips on how to celebrate their successes and acknowledge what they have to offer without appearing to brag.

On October 16, at the prestigious Stewart McKelvey board room (Halifax), approximately 40 women gathered to hear Ms. Haygood’s inspiring message and interact with sister women leaders of today and the future. Also attending were representatives from Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Chair of the Black Business Initiative (BBI)

Co-author of The Little Black Book of Success – Laws of Leadership for Black Women, Ms. Haygood used humour and candor as she gave the crowd an overview of many of the 40 laws of leadership appearing in the book. She often revisited the first law, “Always Consider Yourself a VIP,” as self-esteem is vital to success.

25 ...

Her advice to Live Your Potential is supported by a positive attitude and goal setting, including legacy goals. While these will continually be revised and thus may shift, it is important to keep moving forward. As leaders and role models, it is vital that as you achieve your successes never forget to reach back and bring others along with you. Ms. Haygood’s appearance in Halifax was courtesy of the United States Consulate in conjunction with the African Canadian Women in the (Nova Scotia) Public Service (ACWPS) and the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. The reception was sponsored by the Black Business Initiative, the NSLC and was hosted at the law offices of Stewart McKelvey. Please check out Marsha Haygood at www.stepwiseassociates. com to read more about this influential and inspirational leader.


Lou Gannon

Habiba Cooper Diallo

2014 Progress Women of Excellence

Event sponsors, Candace Thomas, Partner, Stewart McKelvey and Joan Faulkner, US Consulate

around the issue of Obstetric Fistula. She graduated from the IB program at Halifax West in 2014, and is now studying at SOAS University in London.

Sylvia Parris, Africian Canadian Women in the Public Service and Marsha Haygood

LtoR: Donna Colley-Howe, Executive Secretary-BBI, Cynthia Dorrington, BBI Chair, Marsha Haygood and Michael Wyse, BBI CEO

“Marsha’s inspiring words have reinvigorated BBI’s commitment to support Black women in business to live their economic potential.” - Cynthia Dorrington, Chair, BBI

On November 19, 2014, our

youngest to date recipient of a Progress Woman of Excellence Award from the African Nova Scotian community, was recognized during a gala dinner ceremony held at the World Trade and Convention Center in Halifax. Habiba Cooper Diallo is the recipient of the Young Woman of Distinction Award. An outstanding youth, Habiba is a passionate advocate for the health of women and girls. At the age of 15, she founded Women's Health Organization International (WHOI) to raise awareness of and advocate

In 2013, Habiba was named one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20. In May, 2014, American Express and Ashoka recognized her and 44 other young North Americans, as future leaders of social change across North America. Featured in in Forbes magazine in 2014, Habiba offers young social entrepreneurs advice on how to grow an organization of social change. To round out her talents, Habiba is a published author, accomplished spoken word artist, and performer. Habiba’s awards also include: • the ZONTA Young Women in Public Affairs award • a Planet Africa Award for Academic Achievement and Innovation • Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Award

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Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative

It’s been a quarter of a century since the Indigenous Blacks

and Mi’kmaq Initiative was established at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law. It grew out of two sources. The first was “Dalhousie University's study entitled "Breaking Barriers: Report of the Task Force on Access for Black and Native People." The efforts coincided with the work of the Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall, Jr. Prosecution, which recommended that the then fledgling IB&M Initiative, "receive the financial support of the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Bar." Two-plus decades on Professor Michelle Williams, the Initiative’s director, says, “the greatest highlight of the past 25 years is the 150 plus graduates (both Black and aboriginal) who are doing incredible work in their field.” “Each is a change agent. One of the unique features of the Initiative is that each participant pays it forward.” She points to graduates who are working in a wide variety of environments, from sole practitioners to partners in 27 ...

major regional firms, to those working in government departments, or legal aid, or who have branched out beyond the practice of law. “Some of our graduates are taking leadership roles in the field of education or in our film industry,” she says. “But, one thing in common that all these graduates have is that they are points of access to members of the community. They’re succeeding in ways that our community didn’t

Professor Michelle Williams Director, IB&M Initiative


have on such a scale prior to the IB&M Initiative.” The IB&M Initiative is unique – it’s the only initiative of its kind in Canada, and possibly in North America. It’s received national recognition, including the 2010, Canadian Bar Association's Touchstone Award -- recognizing outstanding achievements in promoting equality in the legal community in Canada. This was the first time the Touchstone Award was given to an organization rather than an individual. It’s also been honoured this year by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation for its leadership in education. “We began with a very humble beginning…I think of people like Rocky Jones and Donald Marshall, and what they suffered, and the community’s push to bring more people from the Black and Aboriginal community into the university and into the law school, and now, today, we’re seeing amazing students coming into the university and enriching our law school.” Professor Williams identified a few of those amazing students. One of those leaders is Candace Thomas – a partner at Stewart McKelvie. She is the first female partner of African

descent in a law firm in the province. She is also a community leader, board member of both Dalhousie University and the Halifax Regional Library Board, and entrepreneur, as co-owner of Mills in Halifax.

Aboriginal communities, and was not to be squandered. Today, after 25 years of the IB&M Initiative, we have made progress, but the playing field is still not level. For as long as such an imbalance exists we must continue to support the IB&M Initiative.” George Ash, who is a partner with the Dartmouth-based firm of Boyne Clark, one of the region’s largest, is not only a graduate of the IB&M Initiative, but is also a past chair of its IB&M Advisory Council.

Candace Thomas Partner, Stewart McKelvie “Admission to the study of law in the hallowed classrooms of the Weldon Law Building at Dalhousie University was made possible for increased numbers of African Nova Scotians and First Nations people in the last 25 years because of those who fought to establish the IB&M Initiative,” Thomas says. “I was acutely aware that access to a legal education was an opportunity that was not afforded to many from Nova Scotia’s Black and

“Without the funding I received from the Initiative, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Ash says. “That helped me break down the door and go through. Because of the IB&M, I try to give back wherever I can.” He attended law school from 200005, articled at Boyne Clarke and is there today almost a decade later, as a partner. He’s practicing in the areas of law that he loves – property and wills, estate administration and litigation, and real estate, with a focus on guardianship applications and estate advice. He says, one of the most rewarding part of his work continued on page 29

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George P. Ash Partner, Boyne Clark

peers. What he was saying was a matter of perception – but the reality was different for me and my colleagues. So, we went to the House of Assembly and made statements that showed that he was wrong.” Brinton says the rest of her time in school was uneventful but when she graduated the Youth Criminal Justice Act was introduced, giving her the opportunity to work with young people. “I went into law to help my community, and make a difference,” she says.

is the opportunity he has to build relationships both with his clients and with the community at large. “I get calls from young people who are interested in becoming lawyers,” he says. “I’ll recommend to them to give it a shot, and tell them what to expect, what the challenges are to understanding the legal system, how to get into law school and what to expect when they’re there. Our community still has a long way to go, we’re still underrepresented in the legal profession, and we definitely need more African Nova Scotians in the legal system.” Rickola Brinton was a student in the IB&M Initiative in the late 1990s.

Today she’s living her passion of working with young people at Nova Scotia Legal Aid. The Initiative made her dream of becoming a lawyer possible but she also had to battle perception rather than reality during her years there during the late 1990s. “The premier at the time, Russell MacLellan made statements in the House of Assembly that the Black and Mi’kmaq students in the Initiative weren’t getting the same education as the other students,” she says. “That wasn’t my reality. All of my life I had been a good student and I never thought that my ability would be questioned. He was questioning whether my education and my efforts were not at the same level as my

Since then, she’s taken opportunities to work with the Department of Justice and with the Evangelical Foundation of Canada, in policy development roles. Aleta Cromwell was also in law school the same time as Brinton. Today she works as a senior solicitor and team leader for the Department of Justice, working in the Department of Community Services in Truro. “I joined the Department of Justice because I was not interested in the business of law,” Cromwell says. “I saw that working for government, with its benefits and opportunities was where my career would lead. That played out and I’ve had great opportunities but also time to give as a volunteer with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club in north Dartmouth and as the chair of the Race Relations Committee for the Nova Scotia Bar Society.” “The opportunities from the Department of Justice for me, as a Black and Aboriginal woman, have been unique. The government does good work.”

Aleta Cromwell Senior Solicitor , NS Department of Justice 29 ...

Like Rickola Brinton, she was a student in the late 1990s and the statements


Gary Brinton

being made about the Initiative had a strong influence on her. “I was there for a reason. The IB&M is not a separate program at the law school – every student takes exactly the same courses as the remainder of the students and we all graduate with the same degree. That strengthened my resolve to be a strong advocate for my community and was my reason for pursuing a job with the Department of Justice.” One of the recent graduates is Jeanne Sumbu. Upon leaving school in 2013, she returned to article in her hometown of Amherst with Creighton Shatford. “Law school was not a safe place for minorities. Many of the people there came from privileged backgrounds. I was one of a group of approximately 12 Black students and they became my support network and my place to find a safe space,” she says. Sumbu found herself looking at case law through the lens of an African Nova Scotian woman and found racial and gender issues at play. She found these were issues that were invisible to other members of her university class, which proved frustrating. She says she was grateful for the support of her other classmates of colour; when she was pregnant she relied on their assistance to help keep up with her studies and admits she wouldn’t have graduated without their support.

Rickola Brinton Nova Scotia Legal Aid I’m lucky because my family is well known and involved in the community so that’s made it easier for me. It’s also the first time in this firm’s history that there are more women in the firm than men.”

On March 6, 2015, the IB&M is hosting a symposium on the Marshall Report- looking at what has happened during the intervening 25 years, since its inception, in the area of justice and what next steps need to be added.

Amherst is a typical small town community with a few larger firms and some sole proprietors, so Sumbu is pleased to be with the leading firm in the town. She sees many opportunities for both minorities and women in the profession.

“That evening we’re going into a full celebration mode with a dinner and awards ceremony,” Williams says. “It will be a thank-you to students, government, and the supporters we have and will continue to have. We’re also hoping to have some community based events the next day to continue the celebration.”

“There’s been a huge change in the profession and now there are more women in law school than men. Over the next 15 years, we’re going to see a major shift.”

For further information about the IB&M Initiative, visit their website or call: Website: ibandm.law.dal.ca Tel: (902) 494-1639 or email: ibandm@dal.ca

Jeanne B. Sumbu Creighton Shatford

She and is now working as an associate with Creighton Shatford in Amherst. It’s the largest firm in the town and currently has more female lawyers than males, something which is important to Sumbu. “I’m lucky to be in this firm,” she says. “One of the things new lawyers have to do is build their clientele. 30 ...


People & Business on the Move

The young people from Hope Blooms recently received a letter of thanks from the Prince of Wales’ private secretary for their gift of two bottles of their organic salad dressing during the May royal visit to Halifax. These young entrepreneurs are selling their salad dressings at a number of locations including Fred and the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market (until December). A new greenhouse for the Hope Blooms project is taking shape in Murray Warrington Park. An “off the grid” greenhouse is being built thanks to Build Right Nova Scotia, a co-operative of unionized contractors and tradespeople, that has stepped forward along with Aecon Buildings Atlantic to donate all construction services and materials. Congratulations to Elizabeth Cromwell who received an honourary doctorate from Mount Saint Vincent University during fall convocation. The Africville Heritage Trust commissioned award-winning writer George Elliott Clarke to write Settling Africville, which premiered at the Alderney Landing Theatre in September as a fundraiser for the Africville Museum. A community barbecue at the George Dixon Centre was held earlier this fall as a “thank-you” event organized by the staff and volunteers at CeaseFire Halifax. CeaseFire Halifax is a local crime-reduction group working to stop gun violence in an era marked by drug culture, a proliferation of firearms and other weapons and street justice. It’s a four-year program funded by the federal government. The project’s staff, headed by Viki Samuels-Stewart, work in North Preston, north-end Dartmouth and the Halifax neighbourhoods of Mulgrave Park and Uniacke Square. CeaseFire is the subject of the cover story for Halifax Magazine’s November 2014 issue. 31 ...

One of the exhibits at the recently opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg is dedicated to Nova Scotia’s Viola Desmond. Congratulations to Bryan Darrell, P. Eng., on receiving the Citizenship Award from Engineers Nova Scotia. On September 27, the East Preston Day Care and Family Resource Centre (EPDCFRC) marked its 40th anniversary with a celebration called “Honouring Our Past and Embracing the Future’, which traced the history of the centre over the past four decades. The Upper Big Tracadie Quilters will be creating a Loyalist Quilt. This quilt will be an tool used within the educational system to assist in teaching the history of Black communities across Nova Scotia. The Quilters have asked each of the 47 Black Communities in the province for assistance in creating this quilt. The Beechville Baptist Church celebrated its170th anniversary with a gala dinner at Ramada Park Place in Dartmouth on October 3 as well as a community fair and special church services on Oct. 4 and 5. Sister Venessa Brooks received a recognition award at the gala dinner. The Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) launched its first cookbook, Creating Good Food, at the Henry G. Bauld Centre in late October. Also, the ABSW marked its 35th anniversary in September with a conference featuring J. Toni Oliver - NABSW 12th National President - Elizabeth Eckford - One of the Little Rock Nine from Arkansas - Hon. Mayann Francis, Dr. Deborah Haskins - Assistant Professor, Trinity University, Washington, DC - Dr. Chike Jeffers - Prof. of Philosophy, Dalhousie University. The Halifax Civil Emergency Corps (H.C.E.C.) was a civilian defense force formed during the Second World War


to provide police, fire, health, relief, first aid, rescue squads, demolition squads, water repair, emergency clothing, and transport. Commonly known as The Home Guard, a group of African Nova Scotian men and women provided this service in North-end Halifax. The Nova Scotia Mass Choir will honour their commitment to protect their fellow residents at The Dream Continues event January 24, 2015 in Halifax.

The 59th Annual Sessions of the A.U.B.A. Women’s Institute program was held at the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church on October 18.

On October 25, The Black Loyalist Heritage Society held a 5km “Walk to Beat Ebola, starting and ending at the Birchtown Community Hall. The community of Birchtown raised $891 for Fight Ebola Nova Scotia.

The province of Nova Scotia has enacted a new diversity and inclusion strategy. The new strategy has four goals and more than 30 strategic actions that will help establish the province as a leader in diversity and inclusion.

Sylvia Hamilton has published a new book of poetry, And I Alone Escaped to Tell You. “This collection is a meditation on the place of African-descended people in the Canadian story and on the threads connecting all of us to the African diaspora.” Congratulations to Habiba Cooper Diallo, an advocate for the health of women and girls, who was named as a Young Woman of Distinction at the Progress Women of Excellence Award dinner. The Youth Photovoice Community Exhibit was held at the Halifax North Memorial Public Library on October 23. Photovoice is a participatory action project conducted by youth from Needham Community Centre and St. George’s YouthNet. Facilitated by a group of medical students from Dalhousie University, the Photovoice project was completed over the summer. The organizers asked the youth about what makes up a community, what they liked and didn’t like about their community, and how such things affected people living within their community and themselves. The participants then took photographs of aspects of their community that were meaningful to them and created narratives explaining the reasons behind capturing certain images.

Congratulations to Julie Sobowale, a lawyer and journalist in Halifax for having her comments published in the renowned New York Times. Ms. Sobowale also writes extensively in the Coast.

Key actions include: •

developing a diversity recruitment strategy and ensuring the public service is representative of the public it serves

providing enhanced and mandatory training on diversity and inclusion for all public servants

developing a reciprocal mentorship program that pairs members of under-represented groups with senior leaders.

Long time activist Henderson Paris has been named the Honourary Chair of the 2015 Nova Scotia 55 + Games, to be held in New Glasgow and throughout Pictou County next September. “Where are we Now!” a community presentation on the 25th anniversary of the Donald Marshall Royal Commission, facilitated by Robert Wright, was held in Amherst on Sept 25. On October 4, the Association of Nigerians in Nova Scotia celebrated Nigeria’s 54th Independence Anniversary at St. Michael’s Church in Halifax, with drama, delicacies, music, and fashion.

CANSA opened its new facilities in early October. They’re located at Church and Victoria Street in Amherst. CANSA recently participated infilming a video for the collaborative partnership network for persons with disabilities. A number of key local players, such as CANSA clients, employers and board members participated in the filming. St. Philip’s Church in Whitney Pier was the hub of this year’s Caribbean Festival during the August long weekend. Many traditional dishes were available in the cooking tent, including traditional Caribbean hot sauces. Dartmouth’s Daneesha Provo led the way for Canada in an 81-54 win over Mexico in Under-18 International Basketball Federation, FIBA, Americas group play in Colorado Springs this summer. Provo was the top scorer with 15 points and also grabbed a game-high three offensive rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Provo scored 11 of her points on free throws. The win qualified Canada for the Under-19 FIBA world championships next year. Approximately 40 kids between the ages of 8 and 12 were recruited by Halifax Regional Police for the fifth Sports Pals annual camp in late July, which featured a busy day of soccer drills and skills on Wickwire Field and an afternoon dip in the pool at the Dalplex Athletic Facility in Halifax. Congratulations to Channing Wright and Anthony Carvery, winners of this year’s Africville Heritage Trust scholarships. Carvery is a student in the electrical construction and industrial certificate program at the Nova Scotia Community College. Wright is studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Saint Mary’s University. The Africville Heritage Trust scholarship awards program is made possible through a $100,000 donation from Waterbury Newton Law continued on page 33

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People and Business on the Move continued from page 32

Firm, a portion of legal fees received in settling a lawsuit against the former City of Halifax. Mohamed Yaffa and Amanda Reddick, facilitators on diversity, inclusion, antioppression and anti-racism issues offered a program entitled Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: Embodying Diversity and Inclusion Practice at the Tatamagouche Centre earlier this fall. The Delmore ‘Buddy’ Daye Learning Institute is partnering with Acadia University to offer a cohort in a Masters in Education Counselling beginning in the summer of 2015. It is a three year, 500 hour part time program. Earlier in November, the DBDLI co-presented a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the

BLAC Report, entitled “Reflecting on the Past, Charting the Future”.

was held at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on September 1.

The Black and Immigrant Women (home-based) Business initiative held a Networking Training and Relationship Marketing event on September 25.

The Inglewood Homecoming Reunion was attended by more than 200 family, friends and relatives this past July 24-27, in the beautiful Annapolis Valley. This year $3,000 was raised and will be used to upgrade the Inglewood Community Hall.

In September, Halifax’s historic North End celebrated the 250th anniversary of Gottingen Street with a weekend full of events and celebrations. A number of plaques honouring local residents, including Jack and Viola Desmond, Graham Downey, Oweda Downey, Alvena Cain, Vincent Jones and Gerald Johnston were unveiled during the weekend. The presentation, ‘Diary of a Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor’ by William B. Gould IV

In Memoriam The BBI extends condolences to members of the CANSA community on the death of Susan Hill, a long time staff member and dedicated Cumberland County historian.

dalmba.ca

Corporate Residency MBA Go direct. All degrees welcome.

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by: Trevor J. Adams

Andre Levingston Andre the giant

For their owner, the Rainmen aren’t just a basketball team— they’re a way to help shape his city

35 ...


Steve Jess

Andre Levingston

has a quick, decisive answer for everything Halifax Magazine asks him. Until we ask how he spends his free time. “Well…” he furrows his brow. “I guess I work out a lot…It’s hard for me to just go somewhere and just shut it down because there’s always something to do. Either it’s in season, or it’s out of season and I’m getting ready for the season and I’ve got to scout and do all that. It’s 24/7.” Levingston is owner of the Halifax Rainmen and president and CEO of the National Basketball of League of Canada, the minor-pro league that the team competes in. He launched the team eight seasons and three leagues ago, and rarely takes a break from the job of building professional hoops in Halifax. “There wasn’t an off season,” he says. “We had a lot of changes this summer…We lost three or four players to overseas, which says great things about our organization—that we develop the kids. And we brought back our championship coach.” He’s referring to Pep Claros, who led the Rainmen to the league finals in 2012. He left the Rainmen to coach in international ball, before rejoining the team in the offseason to replace coach Craig Hodges, who resigned for personal reasons. Claros takes over a team that started last season with a dismal losing streak, before getting hot in the last few weeks

and coming within one win of the finals. “We ended the season with the right momentum,” Levingston says. “We ended on the right note. With Coach Pep, we’ll pick up right where we left off. There’s a lot more excitement and enthusiasm in the market. And we hope that will reflect in bums in seats this year.” Levingston has to worry about those bums, no matter how well his team does on the court. The Rainmen average about 3,000 fans per game and that feels low in Scotiabank Centre, which has a capacity of about 9,400 for basketball. “We’re behind pace,” Levingston says. “In eight years, I thought we’d be averaging 8,000 to 9,000 people a game and maybe if we’d done some things better back then that could be a reality. But we made some boneheaded mistakes along the way and we paid for it.” He cites frequent coaching and player changes. That made it hard for the team to build a following, as players didn’t stick around long enough to build a fan base. “I’d do a lot of things differently,” he laughs. “I would have hired Pep to a 10-year contract first. We made a lot of changes with players.” Some of those changes were the natural ebb and flow of players moving through a development league, but others reflect the standards Levingston has for his team. “And then you get players in here who won’t act how

we want players to act,” he explains. “Our fans don’t know this, they just see that this player is on that team now. They don’t know the history behind the scenes. They just know he is gone, so the organization looks bad.” For Levingston, it’s important to have Rainmen players do community service, be role models for young fans and stay out of trouble. “We want to bring professionals here, guys who respect themselves and others,” he says. “This is our home, they represent themselves and the organzation, they represent our partners….I don’t think it’s right that a company comes into a community, does business and doesn’t give back to that community.” That’s not a marketing line—it’s a core principle for Levingston and the Rainmen. “We do a ton of outreach and our players love it,” Levingston says. “When we’re recruiting them, we’re asking them ‘Are you involved in service? Will that be a problem for you? Because it’s mandatory in Halifax.’” Point-guard Cliff Clinkscales from Queens, New York is one of those players. He joined the team last season and quickly became a leader, averaging 11 points and 10 assists per game. “Cliff came in last year and singlehandedly turned our season around,” Levingston says. “He’s a leader. He came here extremely hungry and refused to lose. I’m excited we re-signed him for this season.”

Originally published in the October 2014 issue of Halifax Magazine. Reprinted with permission. 36 ...


Ask an Expert

Social Media A Beginner's Guide

by: John Wedderburn, CM Communications

Social Media is all the buzz these days. For businesses to understand its value and importance, it’s first important to understand, what is social media anyway? Wikipedia says that social media is “the social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.” Pretty straight forward, so let’s talk about where people and businesses do all this online interacting. Facebook is still the most popular social media platform today. It is said that if it were a country, it would be the third largest country in the world. For business, it’s a place where people can go to interact with your business and share that experience with their friends, which can significantly impact the exposure of your business. Businesses can make posts about products and services, community activities, contests, promotions and answer questions directly from customers. Twitter is another wildly popular social media platform with over 170 million active Twitter users who post 400 million tweets per day. It is used primarily for short and to the point updates, monitoring conversations about your business, and talking to your customers in real time. It’s a great platform to surprise and delight customers with a thank you, and an equally important platform on which to monitor and react when appropriate, to negative conversations about your company. And what about LinkedIn? LinkedIn has been referred to as the Facebook for business professionals. This is debatable but one thing is not - LinkedIn has proven to be a valuable way to build online referrals and enable you to recommend potential clients to your website. And that can help build traffic from other sites, which in turn leads to more referrals and new contacts. Then there’s Yelp, Google+ Local, Pinterest, Instagram, MySpace and so many more. No matter the platform, it’s important to become more familiar with the variety of social media platforms out there and get comfortable with the ones that best fit your business interaction needs. 37 ...

John Wedderburn Principal at CM Communications in Halifax with more than 15 years in the PR industry. He can be reached at: cmcomm@eastlink.ca

A few tips to get the Social Media beginner started: Pick one social media to start with. Trying to engage on too many social sites too fast can be overwhelming and it can also prevent you from learning how to effectively use each site. Focus your attention on one site first before moving onto others. Watch and Observe. Sometimes, the best way to get started on a new social media site is by signing up and then simply watching others who have been using the site for a while. Spend some time observing and learning the nuances including what works and what doesn’t before deciding how you will approach a particular social media site for your business. Get clear about what you want to accomplish. The most effective thing you can do is to get clear about your goals - are you interested in generating leads/sales, finding colleagues to collaborate with, or establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. Answering these questions will enable you to find the right level of engagement. Complete Your Social Media Profiles ... and keep them current. Your social media accounts will include some kind of profile, which could ask for a bio, websites, blogs, location and photo. Be sure to completely fill out your profile on any social media sites you use and keep your data as consistent as possible across all of your social media sites. This helps build awareness and broaden your reach.


Social Media

4 Big Things Small Business Owners Need to Know

Ashley Laurence-Cameron Manager of Social Engagement at Colour She can be reached at: : ashley@colour.ca

by: Ashley Laurence-Cameron with Savior Joseph, Colour

1 – Listen with Big Ears One key to success is to take the time to listen. The listening phase of planning your social media strategy gives you the opportunity to better understand your audience. Listening is as simple as talking to the customers you work with every day. Ask them questions about what they are doing online, who are they following and what they like. It’s an old school way of learning about new school things. Spend time on social channels and read blogs about what works and what doesn’t. If you’re new to the world of social media, there are some great advice sites and people to help you, some of which are noted below. Remember that Google can be your best friend. You can also reach out to your BBI Regional Business Development Manager for more information on formal training support. 2 – Develop a Little-Big Plan Gone are the days when using social media for your business was unstructured, impulsive, and just plain disorganized. People now turn to social media for answers to their questions and use platforms like Facebook and forums to be part of a community. By being active and having a current social media strategy, you can only help your business. Just like traditional marketing plans, you will need the following: • Marketing Objectives: What do you want to achieve by integrating social media? Awareness or sales? • Target Audience(s): Using social profiles is a great way to get a bigger picture of your audience. Check out SteamFeed’s article on “How To Build Customer Profiles For Your Social Media and Content Strategy” - www.steamfeed.com/ customer-profile-social-media-content-strategy/ • Content Plan: We suggest crafting this in an Excel file highlighting copy, schedule, responsibility, and platform. Visit HootSuite’s blog post to learn more about content planning - blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-strategy-guide-pt-3/ • Tools: Using tools like HootSuite will help you execute your plan. Search Engine Journal has written about the “Top 10 Tools for Managing Your Social Media Accounts” - www.searchenginejournal.com/top-10-tools-managing-socialmedia-accounts/87843/ • Budget: With continuous updates on how social media reaches audiences, it is becoming more and more important for businesses to plan budgets for their social media strategies. “3 Best Practices for Creating a Social Media Marketing Budget” is a great read to help you get started - www.business2community.com/ social-media/3-best-practices-creating-social-media-marketing-budget-0681230

• Evaluation: How will you measure the success of your social media campaign? Are comments more important to you than your followers? What tools will you use to measure your success? Will you create a point system for your posts like Social Media Examiner suggests - www.socialmediaexaminer.com/3-strategies-to-measure-your-social-media/ 3 – Engage Big Time with Your Customers and Community Interacting and building relationships with your customers is one of the most important practices a business can do. Social media gives you another platform to do this. Engaging customers leads to loyalty and loyal customers not only purchase your products, but they’re more likely to suggest your business to their personal and professional networks. Some things to keep in mind when engaging in social media is to always be accurate – you don’t want to give out incorrect information, especially on a public platform; be human – being behind the computer doesn’t mean that you’re a robot, so be sure your consumers know this; be timely – don’t make your customers wait for a response; be authentic – this will help your customer build trust in you and your brand. Tools like HootSuite can help you stay on top of your platforms to ensure you’re engaging in a timely fashion. continued on page 39

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Social Media

continued from page 38

4 – Tell Your Big Story Every business has a story. Develop what that story is and use social media to share it. Understand what it is that you do and more importantly, why you do it. Telling your story is about differentiating yourself. What makes you unique? Why are you unique? Once you’ve figured that out, develop a content plan to tell that story. Success doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time to craft a strong story. The only things you need are patience, commitment and a focus on continuous learning. As our friends at Nike say, Just Do It.

Bring Your Business to a New Audience

F2F

2

YOUR BUSINESS. YOUR LIFE. SQUARE IT.

This is your invitation to join an exclusive community of business owners and leaders. The most well informed, well connected, and influential network in the region. People just like you. Learn. Grow. Be inspired. Get motivated. And be constantly energized. Become a member of Face to Face2 For more information contact Carole Bell at cbell@progressmedia.ca or 1.902.494.5818

issue

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Renovator 101

New professional skills-training program provides by: Heather Clarke bright future for youth and industry

Family, friends, business associates and sponsors help celebrate with the students at the official graduation ceremony held at the NSHBA offices this past Spring.

T

wenty-six year-old Gavin Crawford was tired of working his restaurant job. He

dreamed of being a carpenter, but wasn’t sure he’d ever have the opportunity. But everything changed when he was accepted into Renovator 101 – a brand new program organized by the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association (NSHBA) and the Black Business Initiative (BBI) that would help him learn the skills and experience he needed to break into the industry. During the 12-week program, Crawford and three other students were trained in all aspects of residential construction through classroom lessons and on-site instruction. Each of them also completed a co-op placement with a local renovation firm. Crawford was paired up with Conrad Mullins of Skymark Renovations. Crawford’s steady, reliable work ethic

impressed Mullins during the on-site training, so Mullins offered him a fulltime position during the graduation ceremony – and Crawford happily accepted. “It’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun when it’s something you enjoy,” says Crawford. “With carpentry, your work is the first thing people see. It’s right there, front and centre.”

Min. Tony Ince, Minister of AfricanNova Scotian Affairs, speaking to the emmotional audience.

Mullins says the program is an ideal way to connect the youth of the community with the renovation industry. “When I started out in the industry, it was a tough go. I felt like it took me a long time to get to the place I wanted to be,” says Mullins. “It’s nice that we’re able to give them a fast track to the good stuff.”

The Renovator 101 graduates, admiring the cake in their honour: Leono Desmond, Morgan Williams, Gavin Crawford, and Jaleel States.

Describing Crawford as a “quiet fellow,” Mullins says the entire Skymark team has taken him under their wing. continued on page 41

Conrad Mullins (l), Skymark Renovations, presents Gavin Crawford (ctr) with his NSHBA certificate and DEWALT graduation present, alongside Minister Tony Ince.

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“We’ve watched him come out of his shell, and really build his confidence – which is a big thing with young people,” says Mullins. “If you have the knowledge and the confidence, you have the ability to be a solid renovator. Gavin’s a good fit for us.” Sherry Donovan, Communications Director of the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association, says the program has proved to be “invaluable” in training, mentoring, and introducing young people to the renovation industry. “We recognized a need in the renovation market, so we began working with the Black Business Initiative to create an opportunity to train students,” says Donovan. “We wanted to give them a taste of what it would take to become a renovator – helping them learn to read plans, work with a team, and understand the hazards of the job.” All four of the students had completed the BBI’s Constructing the Future program. Constructing the Future is the single-largest conduit of African Nova Scotians into the community college system, and introduces participants to various trades – such as plumbing, electrical, construction, and metal fabrication. These students had identified a passion for construction, so they were the perfect choice for the inaugural class. Before the program began, Donovan sat down with three active renovation companies to ask them the all-important question: What are you looking for in a renovator? “We wanted to find out which skills they’re asking about in job interviews, and how we could train these students to make them valuable assets,” says Donovan. The program began in late December and wrapped up in March. The students worked in the classroom for two days, 41 ...

Peter Briand of Econo Renovations provides some on-site expertise for drywall installation.

and then spent three days working onsite. The curriculum covered everything from demolition, taping, trimming to flooring, energy-efficiency, decks, and interiors.

“This is such a great opportunity for people who maybe didn’t have the opportunity to go through other training programs, but want to develop their skills,” says Donovan. “It allowed students to find out what it’s like to work in the renovation industry, and determine their specific areas of interest.” Peter Briand, the owner of Econo Renovations, prepared and presented material during the classroom sessions, as well as supervising students during their on-site training. He says he appreciated that the program allowed his students to gain real world experience.

A little team-building at the lanes with NSHBA staff Dan Boyd and Sherry Donovan

The next training session is set to begin in November, and Donovan says there’s been great interest from students and members alike who want to be part of the program. Although more than 20 people are clamoring for a spot, Donovan says they will continue to keep the class under a dozen students in order to provide one-on one training. The applicants must undergo an extensive interview process in order to determine which ones are serious about pursuing a career in renovations.

“You get hands-on training with a community college, but this program cuts through all of the red tape and gives them direct access to working professionals,” says Briand. “It brings them right out into the field, and the small class size allows you to focus on helping them individually.” Briand hired his co-op student, Leona Desmond, and says she’s turned out to be quite the apprentice. “I keep hearing positive reviews from her job sites, and she always represents the company very well,” says Briand. “She’s been a great hire.” One of the biggest components of the program was that students were con-


necting directly with industry professionals, and learning the ins and outs of the job that aren’t covered in a textbook. Dan Monk, owner of Monk Renovations, says he and his team enjoyed working with the students and exposing them to a carpenter’s everyday routine. “There are so many little things – like taking care of your tools, and cleaning up at the site – that you don’t think about after a while, but it’s all brand-new to someone who’s learning the industry,” says Monk. “They don’t always realize it’s not a nine to five job – it’s a 7:30 until 5:30 job – and all of the work that goes into everything we do.” One of Monk’s pet peeves is when renovators aren’t properly trained, and he says it’s critical to have a combination of classroom learning and hands-on work.

The students learn about windows from Darren MacDonald at Nova Doors and Windows.

“Yes, you have to be literate and articulate in order to communicate with your employers and your clients, but – more than anything else – your brain has to connect with your hands,” says Monk. “When you have a knack for something, you’re comfortable doing the task and it becomes natural – like riding a bike.”

You can’t complete a project without the right tools, and the students started off the program without so much as a hammer or flat-head screwdriver. When the NSHBA approached STANLEY and DEWALT about helping the young apprentices get their own continued on page 43

42 ...


“I had a few parents come up to me and say ‘You’ve changed the potential for their future,’ and it’s really powerful when you Michael Wyse, hear that.” CEO of the Black Business Initiative gear, brand spokesperson Harp Gill says they didn’t hesitate to join in. “There is such an importance in Canada to focus on skilled trades. There is no doubt a shortage, and attention must be brought to it,” says Gill. “We feel strongly that a program such as this one is a step forward to help reduce and bring attention to this shortage.”

Donovan says the teams from Monk Renovations, Skymark Renovations, and Econo Renovations were “phenomenal” with the students – providing classroom instruction as well as hands-on training in the field. The students complete their stairbuilding training under the watchful eye of experienced carpenter Leonard Cromwell of Econo Renovations.

to see them grasp this knowledge and put it to practical use,” says Donovan. “It was a proud moment for me, to see them come into their own and take pride in the work they were doing.” “It’s all about mentoring, learning, sharing experiences, and just growing professionals within the industry.”

Gill says DEWALT and STANLEY are supportive of the program because they are “strong believers” in training programs and apprenticeship programs being made available to students. They have been involve with Skills Canada – both nationally and globally – with local college programs in each province across Canada, and with training programs involving the native community. So at different milestones throughout program, the students were presented with STANLEY and DEWALT tools to use during the practical component – and to help them get started on the right foot. At the emotional graduation ceremony, surrounded by their friends and family, each student was gifted with a DEWALT Cordless Drill & Driver set, adding to their total arsenal of tools worth more than $650 – which included STANLEY hand tools and storage plus DEWALT power tools, hand tools and accessories. “Our tools have been at key construction sites around the world and have helped build some of the most famous buildings in the world since 1843,” says Gill. “When it comes to being a contractor or jobsite professional, you need the right tools for the job.” 43 ...

Three of the graduates were hired into full-time positions during the graduation ceremony, and the fourth graduate is currently expanding their skill-set to secure employment in the industry. Learing the math and logic behind the form and function of a typical staircase proved to be a worthwhile experience.

“They see this program as the future of renovations, and we have to be able to foster those relationships that will increase the industry’s knowledge base,” says Donovan. She keeps in regular contact with the students’ employers, and says she receives “fabulous feedback” on how they’re handling their new responsibilities. “It was such a rewarding experience to work directly with the students, and get

Michael Wyse, Director of the Black Business Initiative, says the emotional graduation ceremony brought many of the audience members to tears. “It just goes to show that you can achieve great success when a small group of people come together,” says Wyse. “I had a parents come up to me and say ‘You’ve changed the potential for their future,’ and it’s really powerful when you hear that.” He believes the program is a “winwin” for both employers and future employees, because the students are being trained and mentored by the people who will one day sign their paycheques.


“How many students are offered full-time employment by their workplace sponsor at their graduation ceremony?” says Wyse. “We’re not only training these students to their specifications, but we’re connecting employers with young people who are highly-motivated to work in the renovation industry.” “We’re arming them with the skills and certifications they need to be successful, and helping them secure a job at the end.” Wyse says construction is the core of the Black business community, and this program is an excellent opportunity to make the sector even stronger. He also says the program wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, as well the BBI and the NSHBA. “The renovation sector is in high demand, and we want people to be well trained and highly certified,” says Wyse. “This is about giving people the opportunity to make informed decisions about their career

September 2015

Grandview Golf & Country Club 431 Crane Hill Road, Dartmouth, NS

rt o p p u ! HelpOSur Youth

Donovan says the program is especially beneficial given the shortage of skilled trades in the province. “We need to think about who is interested in living and working – and raising a family – right here in Nova Scotia,” says Donovan. “The more you can create these learning opportunities, the better the industry will be.”

Originally published in the New Homes & Renovations • NH&R Fall 2014. Reprinted with permission.

For more information contact us:

info@bbi.ns.ca 902-426-8683

44 ...


Out with &theAbout BBI

BBI LEADERSHIP TRAINING 2014

45 ...

Greg Nazire & Njabula Nkala

Keira Carey- BBI Training & Mike Wyse - BBI CEO

Participants of the BBI Leadership Training program

METAL FABRICATION PREP 101 TRAINING September-November 2014

Lift Training

Classroom Training

Participants prepare for assessment

Outdoor Training

45 ...


BBI COMMUNITY TOUR “Recently, Dr. Carolyn Thomas, owner operator of Black Heritage Tours, guided BBI staff and clients on an historical and cultural tour to enhance our understanding of the Prestons, Cherry Brook and Africville. Thanks to Jonathan Duru, owner, Aberdeen Bus Charters and Tours www.aberdeenbusstours.ca for safely navigating the highways and byways during the day.”

L-R: Mike Wyse, Rodger Smith, Sunday Miller, Tracey Thomas, Donna Colley-Howe, Njabulo Nkala, Dr. Carolyn Thomas, Kerry Johnston, Keira Carey and Shakara Joseph

L-R: Mike Wyse, Dr. Carolyn G. Thomas, Tracey Thomas, and Jonathan Duru

Sunday Miller, African Heritage Society provides tour of the Africville Seaview United Baptist Church

BIJ 2014 CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

L-R: Ed Matwawana, Joel Marsman, Gordon Tynes and Arnie Morris

Awesome golf tournament volunteers from the Saint Mary’s African Student Society 46 ...


Downtown Nutrition

Black Heritage Tours

Sydney Area Businesses

Beautiful Linen Rentals

SLICLASER Hair Removal Clinic

Lincoln Construction and Lead Construction

Gwen’s Bridal

Black Construction Association

Congratulations to Wayne Miller Jr. of Downtown Nutrition, 390 Charlotte St., Sydney NS 902-577-1940 for being the recipient of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce Rising Star Award at their 25th Excellence In Business Awards 2014 Night. Thanks to Black Heritage Tours-Dr Carolyn Thomas (umoja@accesswave.ca) and Aberdeen Charter & Tours- Jonathan Duru (info@aberdeenbustours.ca) for a very enlighting and educational tour of the black communities of Halifax, Dartmouth and the Prestons on Friday Nov 7, 2014 for the Black Business Initiative staff along with Sunday Miller (Africville Genealogy Society) and Tracey Thomas (African Nova Scotia Cultural Tourism Association). October 28, 2014: It was a pleasure for Mike Wyse CEO and Rodger Smith RBDM of the BBI to visit Sydney. BBI Board member, Charles Sheppard, hosted a lunch meeting for the area’s black business owners. Some of the thriving businesses in the Sydney area are: Whitney Pier. Day Care 902-564-6344, Joany’s Pizza & Donair 902-564-5545 and Corey Katz Photography 902-537-0451 as well as Downtown Nutrition also mentioned in this Shout Out. Congratulations on Cathy Akinkunmi of Beautiful Linen Rentals on their new show room at 7161 Quinpool Road, Halifax NS. 902-719-8584 Congratulations to SLICLASER (Darla Johnston) on their first anniversary for the second location at 99 Dufferin Street, Bridgewater NS. 902 -530-1516 Rev. Stewart Williams is the proud business owner of Lincoln Construction and Lead Construction. Known in the area as the “Stone Wall Specialist” has been honoured by Preston Board of Trade at their 21st Annual Celebration Dinner on October 9, 2014 for his work in the area of stone work. (See his story in B2B Issue 58 Page 25) Gwen Cain-Shephard owner of Gwen’s Bridal has been honoured by Preston Board of Trade at their 21st Annual Celebration Dinner on October 9, 2014 for her work in fashion. Please feel free to contact Gwen for your special occasions attire. (See Gwen's Story in B2B Issue 58 Page 17) 902-433-0591 Congratulations to the Black Construction Association on their new office location at 2586 Beech St. Halifax, opening in January 2015. Give Jerry Pleasant, A/President, a call at 902 403 6699 for further information.

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Preston Area Board of Trade 21 years of community business strength...

L-R (back): Jason Vaillancourt, Bin Doctor Limited, Rev. Stewart Williams, Lincoln Construction, Robert A. Riley, R&R Concrete & Stone L-R (front): Gwen Cain –Shepherd, Gwen’s Bridal, Douglas Ruck, QC, Chair of the Nova Scotia Labour Board and Justine Colley, Banking Advisor, Royal Bank of Canada

Congratulations to the Preston Area Board of Trade who gathered on October 9th, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of bringing local business owners together to promote the commercial interests of the area. Hosted by President and Chair, Dr. Carolyn G. Thomas, the evening celebrated the business acumen and talent of the area.

Douglas Ruck, QC, Chair of the Nova Scotia Labour Board, delivered the evening’s thought provoking keynote speech. He said the economic health of a community has a direct bearing on its future and encouraged the Board to build collaboration and involve the youth every step of the way.

“The time has come for the Preston Area Board of Trade to convene a Community Summit consisting of community leaders, organizers, businesses and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community,” said Mr. Ruck. He sees an event such as the summit, pulling together the leading community minds in variety of areas including; community management and development, business relationship management and online collaboration to discuss debate and continue to refine the art of building a stronger community. “It is also imperative that the summit include the young people; not just as observers but as participants with an equal voice at the table. It has been said so often, that at times it sounds trite, but ““they are truly our future”.” He feels strongly that engaging the youth is a means of initiating succession planning, which is imperative if the Board of Trade is to remain a viable entity. The evening also celebrated the musical side of the community with the musical styling of accomplished pianist Sierra Sparks, 15, during dinner and then, the voice of accomplished international vocalist, Lorraine Novelee Buchan. The evening ended with the presentation of the 2014 Preston Board of Trade awards.

48 ...


African Nova Scotian Youth

Participate in 21inc

Meet the 2014-15 African Nova Scotian 21inc participants

The 21inc Programs 21Leaders

is a 10-month leadership development program that draws upon exceptional young leaders who demonstrate superior leadership skills and are attuned to the needs of their communities. It offers the opportunity to grow from the group diversity and participate in a network of like-minded individuals. It provides peer-support and a safe environment to engage in enriching dialogues.

Emerging Leaders’ Summit

is a three-day summit that gathers the most impactful entrepreneurial leaders for a meaningful training and networking opportunity. They are well-entrenched in their communities either by playing active roles as board members, leading initiatives aimed at improving or changing a situation, or by being inspiring great role models. Participants seek to expand their network regionally and strive to work on Atlantic Canada’s economic prosperity in their own way in their respective fields.

Ideas Festival

immediately follows the Summit every two years and allows participants to engage in meaningful discussions with some of our top leaders in the nation and start regional initiatives. Atlantic Canada's emerging business and government leaders gather with their peers and the region's established business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, educators, policy makers and designers, to engage in the ideas shaping our future, and equip themselves with the knowledge and networks to transcend our biggest challenges. The 4th edition will take place on Prince Edward Island in October 2015. 49 ...

In each of the past three years, the number of African Nova Scotians enrolled in programs offered by 21Inc has increased. They join a total of almost 200 Atlantic Canadians who are reaping the benefits of this dynamic organization. 21inc. provides the tools, networks and confidence builders. It creates opportunities for participants to strengthen leadership skills, help them fuel their careers and become effective 21st Century leaders. Based in New Brunswick, 21inc. is an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurial leaders. This is one of the more promising youth-driven organizations in the Atlantic Canada region, vested in making the region a prosperous, sustainable, and resilient in an interconnected and global 21st century. Let’s keep our African Nova Scotian presence increasing in this terrific program. To discover the program(s) that suits you, visit 21inc at www.21inc.ca or call 506-389-2728 Email: info@21inc.ca

Louise Adongo

Senior Policy Advisor, Economic and Rural Development and Tourism www.linkedin.com

Michael O. Fisher www.linkedin.com

Kareem O’Keiffe

B.Comm, Financial Advisor, Scotiabank

DeRico Symonds

Community Outreach Worker, Phoenix Youth Programs www.linkedin.com Past African Nova Scotian participants: Monica Njuko, 2012-2013 Cohort; Shakara Joseph and Lisel Harewood in 2013-2014.


8th cElEbration Gala

commEmoratinG

Friday, January 30th, 2015 @ 7:00PM MeMbertou trade & convention centre

It ’s going to be an Elaborate Celebration

Friday Gala, January 30th, 2015 7PM with dance to Follow EntErtainmEnt: Award Winning Artists Asia & NuGruv Plus More 3 Course Meal • $30.00 per person • LiceNsed eveNt • Dress: Semiformal

tickEts availablE: ANSA Office, 15 Dorchester Street, Suite 501, Sydney, NS • 902-563-3735 The African Heritage Month Celebration Gala 2015 is in partnership with the Glace Bay UNIA Cultural Museum and African Nova Scotian Affairs

50 ...


Workplace Initiative Programs Project Management Training Series:

12 weeks August-December BBI and the African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes (ADAM) offered our first Project Management series. The Foundation and Advanced levels each graduated 12-14 participants. The Advanced level graduates will now have one criteria to qualify to write for their Project Management Professional designation. www.pmi.org

Foundation for Success:

12 weeks August-November Participants created business plans, developed strategies and market research skills. They learned how to approach lending institutions, how to increase revenues through money management by creating budgets and using financing technology.

Business Cohort for Women’s Leadership (see Divine page 13)

Partners: BBI and Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Service.

Works for You Programs BBI partnered with Labour and Advanced Education to offer the following industry training programs:

Metal Fabrication Prep 101

September-November 2014 (see page 16)

Renovations 101:

October 2014- March 2015 (see page 40)

51 ...

  Upcoming Training - Winter 2015 Prepare for your business and personal success. Contact BBI’s training division at training@bbi.ns.ca for more information on the following opportunities. Every course offers the opportunity to increase your business knowledge, skills and capacity to compete.  Business Cohort for Women’s Leadership 10-12 participants Designed to develop selfawareness by examining leadership characteristics and styles and the importance of having a vision and a mission to grow your business.

 Project Management Foundation 10-15 participants Learn the basics of the project management processes to develop and deliver projects on time and on budget. Successful completion of this program leads to opportunities for further training toward a professional designation. Develop leadership, facilitation and communication skills to lead and manage successful project teams.

 E-marketing 10-12 participants Create a client-focused presence on the Internet. Learn to build and execute a digital strategy, based on proven techniques in digital and social media.

 Foundation for Success for Home Based Businesses 10-12 participants Just like all businesses, successful home-based businesses require business planning, market research and planning, budgeting and financial support. Take this program as part of your recipe for success.

The only cost to BBI clients is your time and commitment. Most programs are held evenings and weekends, although there are some exceptions.


Three Tech Trends

That Small Businesses Should Keep An Eye On Have you noticed that the rate in which technology is moving is increasing exponentially year over year? Our smartphones always need an update and our computers always need an upgrade. Keeping up with the latest and greatest technologies can be a lot of work. The reason it’s so challenging to keep up with it all is because we’re living in one of the most exciting times in history. We’re living a world where technology is changing faster than ever before and it’s causing disruption across multiple industries. As the cost for access to the Internet and storage becomes cheaper, there will continue to be an increase in both innovation and technological advancement. For small businesses, technology and their ability to survive is a clear love-hate relationship. Organizations that are innovative and have a willingness to adopt technology are able to reap the benefits. Organizations who are afraid of technology and reject it while embracing the status quo are more likely to remain stagnant in their growth.

with Ross Simmonds

Here are three technology trends that every small business should keep an eye on: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption When you travel to a new city or country do you feel as if you’re getting an authentic experience? Do you feel like a local while staying at a hotel? For some people, the hotel experience is one that they enjoy and look forward to. For others, it’s an experience that isn’t authentic enough and doesn’t offer a true taste of the destination’s culture. Airbnb is a company that allows people to rent out rooms or their entire home to other people staying in their city. The site allows users to list their home and then rent it out as if it was a bed and breakfast or hotel. This is one of the many companies embracing the idea of collaborative consumption, which is the act of people sharing their own property with others in exchange for cash. This is direct competition for anyone working in the accommodations industry. Mobile applications like Lyft and Uber are like Airbnb but for cars. Another application in the collaborative consumption space is an app called TaskRabbit. This application allows users to hire neighbors to outsource household errands like 53 ...

picking up groceries or tasks like fixing a broken appliance. Small businesses should be aware of these types of applications as they present opportunities for new business and new competition.

The Impact Of Mobile & Digital Payments In October, Apple announced Apple Pay, which is the first taste of NFC payment technology in their products. It’s a feature that allows people who own an Apple device to buy things in a store by bringing an iPhone 6 close to a compatible terminal. Meaning that customers no longer require a wallet when all they really need is their mobile phone and a store with the right technology. Credit cards like Mastercard and Visa have already gone on record stating they’ve been investing in the technology. While these companies are still investing in the technology and Apple Pay is being rolled out and used across the US, Canada is still behind. While it’s not likely going to impact your business tomorrow – I’m willing to bet that mobile payments become a Canadian reality within the next four years.


The Emergence of Multi-Device Customers A lot of people think that mobile is the only new screen on which their customers are viewing their website. In reality, people aren’t just going mobile, they’re using mobile while watching TV, using their laptop, streaming on their tablet and soon settling on their couch with an Apple Watch. That m e a n s it’s not enough to simply have your website optimized for the desktop, it means you need to be prepared for your customers no matter what channel they’re using to find you. According to a recent Google research study, 90% of people shuttle between multiple devices to get a task done. For example, they might first see your brand on Facebook, check it out further on their tablet, do deeper research on their computer and then find your address using a mobile phone. All this complexity can be challenging but can also be the difference between a customer visiting you or the competition.

"It is a pleasure to support the BBI in its efforts to drive business growth, innovation, productivity and competitiveness" - Wade Keller, Labatt

Ross Simmonds

is a digital strategist and entrepreneur. He’s the founder of Foundation Marketing and is the author of Stand Out: The Content Marketing Guide for Entrepreneurs. You can find more of his writing at www.rosssimmonds.com. 54 ...


December 4, 2014

Black Business Initiative Holiday Networking Social

Community & Business Events

5 – 7 pm Black Cultural Centre 10 Cherry Brook Road • 902-426-8683

55 ...

January/February 2015

CBDC Blue Water holds workshops on

a regular basis in the Preston-Cherry Brook area. Visit facebook.com/BlueWaterCBDC regularly to see what is being offered to help your small business.

December 5-7th, 2014

Christmas Festival Of Trees & Crafts 12014/12046 Hwy 224, Middle Musquodoboit info: 902-384-3420; nrec@gov.ns.ca

December 11, 2014

January 16 & 17, 2015

Symphony NS Presents - The Music of Michael Jackson

7:30 pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax www.symphonynovascotia.ca

Greater Halifax Partnership Holiday Reception

January 22, 2015

4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Delta Halifax, Baronet Room RSVP Celina Lam (celina@greaterhalifax.com) no later than December 5th

5:00 PM World Trade & Convention Centre 1800 Argyle Street, Halifax, NS

December 26-31, 2014

January 24, 2015

Onelight Theatre at Alderney Landing “Tell it on the Mountain” www.alderneylanding.com Nativity Story featuring gospel music of the Sanctified Brothers with Reeny Smith. www.alderneylanding.com

December 31, 2014

Maritime Elite Girls Basketball Academy New Years Eve Gala

9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. Dartmouth Sportsplex Multipurpose Room Advance Tickets: $40.00/each ~ $75.00/couple After December 1st all tickets~ $50/each Tickets: Lezlie: 902-478-2227 Leanne: 902-225-7792 ~ Cara: 902-830-3750

2015 Halifax Business Awards

Silent Auction Donation Request for The Dream Continues The Nova Scotia Mass Choir Contact: Deborah Boltz at 902-449-0840 or Deborah.boltz@bellaliant.net

February 2015

African Heritage Month Celebrations

ansa.novascotia.ca/African-Heritage-Month

March 5, 2015

Savour Food & Wine Show

December 31. 2014

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm Tickets: $79 + HST Erica Reid, 902-429-5343 ext. 1, admin@rans.ca www.savourfoodandwine.com

New Year’s Eve at the Grand Parade

March 6, 2015

10:00 PM www.halifax.ca/newyearseve/

January 1, 2015

New Year’s Levees

8 am to 5 pm Halifax City Hall, Province House, Government House, CFB Halifax, Cape Breton Regional Municipality City Hall, Armouries, Churches, Cultural Centres, Royal Canadian Legions, and beyond... 55 ...

25th Anniversary of the Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq (IB&M) Initiative Halifax Westin Hotel 902 494-1639 • ibandm@dal.ca

March 7, 2015

ANSMA Annual Award Show World Trade and Convention Centre Time: 7:00 pm – 12:30 am Ticket Info: 902-404-3036


March 8, 2015

International Women’s Day Business Expo Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

March 12 - 15, 2015

CIS University Cup Men's National Hockey Championship

Scotiabank Centre (2 games per day) www.ticketatlantic.com

March 28 - April 5, 2015

Ford World Men’s Curling Championships Scotiabank Centre www.ticketatlantic.com

March and April, 2015

REP Provincial Spelling BEE BEE Registration Information Contact the BEA at bee.theblackeducators.ca/

April 24 - May 30, 2015

Centrestage Presents... The Hallelujah Girls

Four friends turn a dilapidated old church into a day spa. 61 River Street, Kentville, NS Info: T: 902-678-8040 E: centrestage@centrestagetheatre.ca

April 30, 2015

Halifax Chamber of Commerce Annual Spring Dinner 5:00 – 9:00 pm World Trade and Convention Centre Registration will open February 2015 www.halifaxchamber.com

May 13 – 17, 2015 Provincial Black Basketball Association

43rd Black Invitational Basketball Tournament

www.blackbasketball.ca

June 18, 2015

Black Business Initiative’s AGM & Networking Event

AGM 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.; Networking Event 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. World Trade and Convention Center www.bbi.ca

June 30th - July 7th, 2015

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo

T: 902 420 1114 or 1 800 563 1114 E: info@nstattoo.ca

To submit items for Community and Business events contact: BBI @ (902) 426-8683; Fax: 426-8699 or email bbi@ bbi.ns.ca

You Are Invited to the Black Business Initiative’s Holiday Networking Social Thursday, December 4, 2014 • 5:00-7:00 p.m. Black Cultural Centre, 10 Cherry Brook Rd, Dartmouth, NS

The BBI Board of Directors and Staff look forward to seeing you.

56 ...


CONNECT TO TALENT. CONNECT TO OPPORTUNITIES. Our Connector Program is a simple yet highly effective networking program that helps businesses and organizations connect with local recent graduates, immigrants and international students. Participants learn about the local job market and grow their professional network, while Connectors gain access to pre-qualified job seekers and help cultivate new talent in Halifax.

SIGN UP TODAY AND MAKE THE CONNECTION For more information visit greaterhalifax.com/connector or call 902.490.6000.


YOUR NEXT TRUCK STOP

le tout nouveau silverado 2014 OREGANS.COM

1 888 OREGANS (673-4267)


Thank You to the Sponsors of the

N E W

2014 BIJ Charitable Golf Tournment

Y O R K

C A N A D A N U N A V U T N O V A

S C O T I A

If undeliverable return to: The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Agreement No.

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Black to Business – Issue 59 – Fall 2014  
Black to Business – Issue 59 – Fall 2014