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W I N T E R 2 015


Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL) Also in this issue:  Community Resources  Business Is Jammin’  Successful


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

Stronger People, Stronger Organization. Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette is committed to building great companies. In partnership with our clients, we strive to enhance the talent pool in our communities by providing exceptional recruitment, career management and transition, and Human Resource consulting. By strengthening people we strengthen organizations creating competitive advantages, improving performance and achieving business objectives. With over 60 professionals located in Atlantic Canada, we have the people and services you need when you need stronger people.

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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 Publisher: The Black Business Initiative Editor in Chief: Michael Wyse, BBI Creative Director: Dan O'Brien, Design North - Halifax Coordinator / Line Editor: Carol Dobson

Message from the Premier of NS 1 Message from the BBI 2 Message from the Halifax Partnership


Cover Story Investing in the Community


Saint Mary’s African Student Association


People & Business on the Move


Nova Scotia Tree for Boston


An Investment - The Benifits of Trade Shows


Out & About with the BBI 15 Creating Generational Wealth


Go Global, My Entrepreneur, Go Global


What a New Federal Government Means for Small Business


BBI Shout-Outs


TRAILBLAZERS - Two Directors


Business Is Jammin’


Insurance - An Ounce of Prevention 30 Diversity, Connection, & a Global Presence


Tori Aidoo- Kwestomar Kreations


Rocky the Pug


The Black Business Initiative

Reeny Smith


Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7

Keonté Beals


The Banker - Your Best Friend?


What’s Your Story?


Here to Help You - Community Resources


There is Nothing but Promise Ahead


w w w. b b i . ca

What does Community Mean to You?



Credit Union Financing


BBI Training Schedule


Community & Business Events


Cover Photographer: Russell Wyse

Phone: 902.426.8683 Fax: 902.426.8699 Toll Free: 1.888.664.9333 E-Mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca

On the cover: Pictured from left to right, seated are Robert Loppie of The Bin Doctor, Sylvia Parris, a BBCIFL Investor and, at the back, Clark Wilkins of C.A. Wilkins Construction Services Ltd., and Jason Vaillancourt of The Bin Doctor.

Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687

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The Black Business Initiative 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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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), Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), project funding, corporate donations, fundraising and commercial activity initiated across BBI's composite group of companies.

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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.

BBI Vision A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. BBI Mission To positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture by promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia Black-owned businesses.


The Premier of Nova Scotia


Honourable Stephen McNeil

Greetings to the business owners, community leaders, and citizens reading this edition of Black 2 Business Magazine, published by the Black Business Initiative (BBI). As Premier of Nova Scotia, let me congratulate BBI for its ongoing work and upcoming 20th anniversary next year. Let me also commend the ongoing contributions Black entrepreneurs and Black leaders are making to Nova Scotia’s economic development and strategies to achieve more, such as the collaboration of Dr. Wayne Adams and Minister Keith Colwell to investigate opportunities for revitalized agricultural business by our Black communities. Ultimately, we all want the same thing: rewarding careers for Nova Scotians resulting from the growth that entrepreneurs and business leaders undertake. Like you, I want to see all Nova Scotians enabled to achieve their potential – and ultimately living that full potential here in our province. Sincerely,

Honourable Stephen McNeil, M.L.A. Premier

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The Black Business Initiative Michael Wyse, CEO, BBI and Cynthia Dorrington, Chair, BBI The BBI team continues to strive to deliver valuable business development programs and services while actively advocating on behalf of the Black business community. Therefore, a logical question is – what needs to happen for Black-owned businesses to gain enhanced levels of participation in Nova Scotia’s emerging economic prosperity? We, at BBI, are in the midst of defining our strategic direction for the upcoming year. This question is one we need to answer as it will help shape our economic future and define our strategic roadmap and which will drive our success. It will allow us as a collective group of Black-owned businesses across Nova Scotia to come together and define our future outlook.



s we look towards the future, we are viewing 2016 with an enhanced level of optimism. Nova Scotia’s GDP is projected to be among the highest in Canada with the Conference Board of Canada projecting that Halifax will be the fastest growing city in the country. The construction sector is thriving as projects like the convention centre take shape. Sectors such as aerospace, marine and bio-sciences, tidal, and technology are being pegged as emerging high-growth sectors in Nova Scotia. However, there is also evidence indicating that Black-owned firms are currently underrepresented in these high-growth sectors. With the Economic and Trade Agreement to commence on January 1, 2016 between Canada and the European Union, we have the opportunity to create jobs and increase our export presence in Europe. The annual economic activity across the European Union is worth $18 trillion, how do we become a part of this activity? As well the European Union is investing 80 billion in R&D over the next five years. How will we do in comparison? If we are not maintaining a comparable footing, we are likely poised to fall behind. Though lifestyle businesses are important, we need more Black-owned businesses to dream bigger – to set their sights on the growth, innovation, and export opportunities that drive Nova Scotia’s global competitive position.

We have the opportunity to have a voice and make a change. If we are to affect meaningful change for our collective prosperity, each of us needs to be a catalyst for change. What does that looks like, we can define it together. It is important that we the Black community become more visible and active as we establish our path going forward.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Respectfully,

Cynthia Dorrington Chair, BBI

Michael Wyse CEO, BBI

In addition, at this point, most Nova Scotians are aware of the targets in the ‘One Nova Scotia Report’. It establishes goals including, but not limited to, a 50 per cent increase in business starts; a 50 per cent increase in exports; bringing the African Nova Scotian unemployment rate down to the national average, and doubling our 1.8 billion dollar tourism industry (including the ever-expanding cultural tourism sector).

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The Halifax Partnership Ron Hanlon, President & CEO, Halifax Partnership

We are in our last year of the current five-year economic strategy for Halifax-AGREATERHalifax, the 2011-16 economic strategy. The Halifax Partnership and partners will be renewing the city’s economic strategy for 2016-2021 and discussing several foundation strategies in the upcoming months with an on-going dialogue with community and business partners like BBI. Halifax’s economic outlook is more promising than it has been in decades. Halifax’s economy made a strong showing in 2014 and is expected to perform even better this year. In 2015, Halifax’s real GDP is forecast to grow by 2.3 per cent, faster than the national average (1.6 per cent) and most other cities in Canada. There’s never been a better time to invest in our city.


Helping Businesses Prosper in Halifax

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or many years the Halifax Partnership has been working with the Black Business Initiative to promote community economic growth and business development in the African Nova Scotian community. I look forward to continuing this work and strengthening this partnership. Before joining the Halifax Partnership, I was a business owner and operator for over 30 years. I understand the needs of business and the necessity to work with partners to remove barriers to business growth and take advantage of opportunities.

I want Halifax to be a place where people aspire to live and where they have opportunities. The only way talent and business will choose Halifax, is if we provide attractive and competitive opportunities. As Halifax’s economic development organization, the Partnership is here to support BBI members in growing their businesses and our economy. We know that a strong economy is built on a foundation of business success. Our mission is to keep, grow and get business, talent and investment in Halifax. With more than 125 private and public sector investors, the Partnership represents the broad business community and connects business to the resources they need to grow and succeed. Through our SmartBusiness and Connector programs, we can help your business diagnose growth challenges, overcome obstacles, and connect with talent.

As business leaders in Halifax, you know our competitive advantage and markets better than anyone else. We know an engaged and connected business community is the key to building a prosperous Halifax, and we look forward to working with you to make our city a magnet for business and talent now and in the future. Sincerely,

Ron Hanlon President & CEO, Halifax Partnership


Corporate Residency MBA

Go direct. All degrees welcome. BBI Scholarship available.

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Investing in the Community

Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. Cover Story:

by Carol Dobson Russell Wyse

“Think of the community basket that used to come around when people had a need,” Sylvia Parris says. “Everyone puts something in, whether they can give a little or a lot, knowing that their contribution is going to help and trusting that something good will happen.”


arris is an investor in and member of the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL) Board of Directors. This fund was developed to bring much needed capital to high growth potential Blackowned Nova Scotia businesses, creating jobs, stimulating economic business growth and development while providing returns and significant tax benefits to investors.

Eisnor says the concept of BBCIFL is pretty progressive and beneficial for those in their middle years who are growing their RRSPs. The 35 per cent tax credit –seven per cent per year over five years is up front, not at the back end of the investment BBCIFL is a Community Economic Development Investment Fund (aka period, he stresses. “In these days of CEDIF), a home grown invention where a pool of capital, formed through the low interest rates, it is an impressive sale of shares (or units) to persons within a defined community, has been rate of return.” created to operate or invest in local businesses. BBCIFL raises capital by selling shares to the public in Nova Scotia, capital which is in turn invested in “If you’re at the point where you successful or high growth potential Black-owned businesses as debt or equity. have to roll down your RRSPs, the The shareholders in the fund can receive up to 65 per cent of their investment benefit of that 35 per cent tax credit in the form of Nova Scotia Equity Tax Credits if they hold their investment in will help you offset the tax you have the fund for 15 years and the fund meets certain conditions. to pay,” he says. It is a credible and registered investment tool that is owned and controlled by the investors. Investors can direct their investments to keep jobs in NS, build stronger communities, and give youth viable economic opportunities to live, work, and prosper at home. The fund has not lost a single dollar in its investments since it was created in 2003.

The government of Nova Scotia reports that Statistics Canada data indicates approximately $600 million is contributed to RRSPs by Nova Scotia taxpayers. However, less than two per cent of that is estimated to have “The first time I’d ever heard of a CEDIF was when I attended a presentation been re-invested in the province. On at the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Education, and Development (CEED) by the other hand, the major advantage the BBI’s Gordon Doe,” David Eisnor, the board’s chair, says. “Immediately I of BBCIFL is the money invested in it believed in it, invested in it, a year later joined the board, and now I’m its chair.” stays in Nova Scotia, it doesn’t fly off

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Sylvia Parris, an investor in and member of the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL) Board of Directors and owner of Sylvia Parris Consulting Services

Doctor’s Robert Loppie and Jason Vaillancourt to move from a local to national business and they are now targeting international exporting ventures. Their company began as a cleaning service for green bins, but as recycling became more the norm across the country, their products, such as their in-home recycling stations have been picked up by major retailers like Sobeys, Walmart, Kent, and Loblaws. Their sights are now set on the state of California which has recycling laws similar to Nova Scotia’s. Loppie says, “When you look at the size of the market, it’s as big as Canada. For us to enter that market is a big task but we have the products and the capabilities to do so.” to Montreal, Bay Street, or beyond – it is growing local businesses within the Black community, and creating local jobs. “The economic advantage of it is absolutely amazing,” Eisnor says. “When you look at the recommendations of the ‘One Nova Scotia Report’, funds like BBCIFL are exactly what our province needs right now, and if each member of the community invested in it, think of the possibilities.” Since the fund started, 110 Nova Scotian investors have invested, raising approximately $800 thousand. Sixteen investments have been made in Black owned businesses, in the amount of approximately $1.7 million. Recently, BBCIFL’s investment of $250 thousand in a downtown Halifax construction project enabled a developer to leverage an additional $1.4 million in bank financing.

Robert Ffrench, the inventor of Shotloc., pictured with his daughter Whitney, training with Shotloc

“BBCIFL has supported product development and corporate growth that makes California and other US States a viable target for our firm. The fund has given us the cash flow to retain an active research and development effort allowing the Bin Doctor to remain leaders in our field.” Clark Wilkins, of C.A. Wilkins Construction Services Ltd., is an experienced serial entrepreneur, who has taken advantage of BBCIFL to continue his company’s upward growth.

The Bin Doctor’s Jason Vaillancourt and Robert Loppie

“I started 28 years ago with one helper as an electrical contractor,” he says. “In 2006, I branched into developing real estate and this year have branched out along another


Companies BBCIFL has invested in have used the fund to take their businesses to the next level. In Kentville, the BBCIFL holds an equity position in Hoops Innovation. Robert Ffrench, the inventor of Shotloc, a basketball training tool and the company’s main product, says, “The financing came at a point in time where we had to make hard decisions about pushing the product forward and it was critical in our decision making.” The BBCIFL’s equity position in their company has also allowed the Bin

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Russell Wyse

I wouldn’t have grown to where I am now without its guidance.” Not only has BBCIFL invested in his projects, but Wilkins is also an investor in the fund. “I’ve invested because of the quality of the board of directors,” he says. “It’s a strong board and they are making really good decisions about where the money is invested.”

avenue, adding plumbing to the electrical contracting. Now I have a total staff of 22 people on the payroll.” His developments include student rental units developed in conjunction with Acadia University, properties in Halifax and Eastern Passage, and his most recent development in Halifax’s newest historic district, Schmidtville. He’s taken one of the traditional houses along the street and added an extra storey, keeping it aesthetically in harmony with its neighbours. Already the investment in the Morris Street project has paid off – it’s very successful,” he says. “It’s shown how we can transform a building in a traditional neighbourhood, illustrating our pride in the neighbourhood, and the quality of the work we’re doing.” His Metro-based electrical contracting company counts major clients such as the Halifax Regional School Board, Lawtons, and the Halifax Regional Municipality on its roster and has successfully completed projects across Nova Scotia and in other parts of the country. “I’ve become a great evangelist for BBCIFL,” Wilkins says. “The Black Business Initiative had a great vision when it instituted the fund. The BBI has really helped me grow as an electrical contractor and a developer and

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Clark Wilkins, of C.A. Wilkins Construction Services Ltd., is an experienced serial entrepreneur, who has taken advantage of BBCIFL to continue his company’s upward growth.

Economic prosperity is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice, as the ‘One Nova Scotia Report’ has pointed out. Key pillars to community empowerment include working better together, recognizing that as consumers, we have enormous power to direct our purchase decisions towards local businesses and to grow, hold, and control our own capital. By investing in BBCIFL, members of the Black community can take meaningful steps towards breaking down the barriers of underrepresentation and marginalization. And, if you introduce high-growth business opportunities to BBCIFL’s investment committee, you have further opportunities to make a difference! “Success breeds success,” Sylvia Parris says. “With RRSP season approaching, BBCIFL is offering one of the better rates of return available and investing in the fund is so much better than leaving your money in your sock.” n

You have a choice! Invest in our community’s collective success!

A part of the BBI’s Composite Group of Companies

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

Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL) “Think of the community basket that used to come around when people had a need. Everyone puts something in, whether they can give a little or a lot, knowing that their contribution is going to help and trusting that something good will happen.” Sylvia Parrris

“BBCIFL has supported product development and corporate growth that makes California and other US States a viable target for our firm. The fund has given us the cash flow to retain an active research and development effort, allowing the Bin Doctor to remain leaders in our field.” Robert Loppie

The Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. has been investing in Black-owned firms in Nova Scotia since 2003, helping them get to the next levels in their businesses. The funds invested have been raised from more than one hundred Nova Scotian investors who have chosen to keep jobs here, build stronger communities, and give our youth viable economic opportunities to live, work, and prosper at home.

Call 902-426-4281

to find out how you can invest in the success of local Black-owned businesses. www.bbi.ca f facebook.com/BBCIFL l twitter.com/BBCIFL 8 ...

Saint Mary’s African Student Association New BBI Staff

Akira P.A. McQuay Training Associate, BBI

BBI is pleased to welcome Akira P.A. McQuay to the team, serving in the role of Training Associate.


BI wants to extend a sincere thank you to the Saint Mary’s African Students Society for reaching out to explore opportunities for collaboration and ways to introduce students of African descent to the business community and business opportunities in Nova Scotia. BBI welcomes an enhanced dialogue to explore opportunities to more actively engage students of African descent across the province. We want to introduce business opportunities and support young talent to identify and develop viable economic opportunities to start, buy and grow competitive businesses in Nova Scotia. To serve students of African descent better and to bring valued support to your entrepreneurial aspirations, we need to hear from you, we need to engage, and we need to more actively work together. If you have entrepreneurial interests, give us a call. Let’s explore what’s possible together! The Saint Mary’s African Students Society is run by exuberant students seeking to enlighten others about Africa’s vibrant cultures and rich,

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long-shared history. It also passionately diffuses the spirit of Africa by connecting members with other people of African descent residing in Nova Scotia, since we all originate from Africa.” Through its annual gala, ‘Africa Night - Welcome to Africa’, a radio podcast, and informative means such as poetry night they bring people together to nurture a sense of community and to help members to integrate and participate in the broader community. The society strives to enhance awareness on matters involving social, educational, cultural, economic, and health disparities by participating in and initiating community outreach efforts through organizations such as the Black Business Initiative. The Saint Mary’s African Student Society warmly welcomes everyone to experience Africa away from Africa. n For more information contact: Manaf Zora, President of the Saint Mary’s African Student Association Email: smass.halifax@gmail.com Facebook: smassns Phone: 902-496-8262

Akira originates from The Bahamas and holds a Bachelor of Education degree, specializing in mathematics. She has built her skill and experience within a variety of roles and industries which include education, client relations, administration, and marketing. As an educator, her key duties included curriculum design and development, monitoring and evaluating student performance, as well as planning and delivering instructional activities. As a social media coordinator, she was responsible for the development of a comprehensive social media strategy, monitoring and maintaining the company’s website and social media presence. Prior to joining the BBI team, Akira held the position of Assistant Program Coordinator with the Black Educators Association and has engaged in public speaking as a panel member of the ‘Commemoration of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ with Ashanti Leadership. Akira is a self-motivated, well organized individual, a strategic planner, productive team player, and committed individual. She is completely fascinated in exploring technology, design, community building, networking, and mentorship. “I am eager and excited to concentrate my passion for education, development and innovation towards building enhanced access to training opportunities and resources in support of the Black business community. I learned from Myles Munroe that the best way to predict the future is to create it. Nova Scotia has an abundance of economic potential, and I am ready to engage with the business community to support enhanced productivity, innovation, and economic growth for Nova Scotian communities teamed with the BBI.” n

New BBI Staff

Emmanuel Itiveh Managing Director, BBI

BBI is pleased to welcome Emmanuel Itiveh to BBI’s Senior Management Team, serving in the role of Managing Director.

Making Nova Scotia stronger by supporting immigrants to start and grow their businesses Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia

www.isans.ca 902.423.3607 business@isans.ca

Emmanuel graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in a​ ccounting; he continued his education​,​receiving his CMA, CPA​,​and​ an ​M BA also from Saint Mary’s. Prior to working at BBI, Emmanuel worked with a variety of companies and brings a strong accounting and financial management background to the team. He has also taught parttime in the Finance department at both Mount Saint Vincent and Saint Mary’s Universit​ies​. Emmanuel is a team player​,​with a forward thinking mindset​,​and is eager to assist in moving the organization forward. He loves to implement strategies that will take businesses to the next level and has a passion for entrepreneurship and youth development. Emmanuel is excited and looking forward to working with the community to further develop, expand​,​and establish business within the African Canadian community. n

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People & Business on the Move 11 ...

the Maritime School of Social Work, on being the inaugural recipient for the Award of Excellence in Education for Diversity. Please join us in congratulating Mr. Gregory Nazaire and Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, and thanking them for demonstrating what is possible when we choose to live our potential.

Congratulations to Toshia Crawford, Antonia Wareham, Denise Watters, and Maya Wright who graduated from the Irving Shipbuilding Inc./ Women Unlimited Metal Trades Pilot Program. They are now enrolled at the NSCC Akerley Campus, preparing for work at the Halifax Shipyard. Toshia is studying metal fabrication, while Antonia, Denise, and Maya are studying welding. Soon, they’ll be building ships and bright futures for themselves and their families.


n behalf of the Board and staff of the BBI, we want to extend an enthusiastic congratulations to Mr. Gregory Nazaire for being recognized among Dalhousie University’s top teachers. We are pleased to celebrate that Greg is a recipient of the Contract and Sessional Instructor Award of Excellence for Teaching. On June 25th , it was reported on Dalhousie University’s website that “Gregory Adolphe Nazaire has been teaching at Dalhousie on a part-time basis since 2005. Students and colleagues spoke glowingly of the value Mr. Nazaire brings to the classroom from his real world experience and community engagement.” He was noted for his meticulous approach to teaching and respect for his students, as well as the long-term mentoring and contact he maintains with past pupils.” Greg’s commitment to excellence is an inspiration and shining example of the talent within the BBI team and the African Nova Scotian community. At the same time, we’d like to congratulate Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, of

The enterprising young people of Hope Blooms will now be able to grow their herbs and vegetables all year round thanks to the installation of solar panels on their Murray Warrington Park greenhouse. Next in their plans is to grow salad greens which will provide free salads for students at Joseph Howe School. They also commemorated the the 69th anniversary of Viola Desmond’s courageous stand in New Glasgow by celebrating her legacy with a community BBQ, community performances and video presentations on November 8th. During the event, the new Viola Desmond Theatre located at their greenhouse was inaugurated. Reeny Smith, who is profiled in this magazine, received the African Nova Scotian Artist of the year at the annual Nova Scotia Music Awards.

Lindsay Ruck won a silver award in The Coast’s Best of Halifax awards for her book “Winds of Change”. Congratulations as well to the Mellotones on their two Best of Halifax awards, Cyndi Cain as the silver winner in the Best R&B category, and to Thrillah Kane on his awards for best hip hop artist, best emcee, and best solo artist. The Hon. Stephen McNeil announced the names of the panel which will oversee the NS Home for Coloured Children Restorative Inquiry – they are: — Mike Dull, legal advisor (non-voting); Jean Flynn, Premier’s representative; Wayn Hamilton, provincial government representative; Shawna Hoyte, community representative; Joan Jones, community representative; Jennifer Llewellyn, restorative process advisor (non-voting); Gerry Morrison, VOICES representative; LaMeia Reddick, community youth representative; Sylvia Parris, NSHCC board representative; Tony Smith, VOICES representative; Chief Judge Pamela Williams, judicial representative and, Carolann WrightParks, Restorative Inquiry co-ordinating director.

Viki Samuels-Stewart and her team at Cease Fire Halifax were featured in the November 2015 issue of Business Voice, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce’s monthly publication.

Media, Social Justice, and Social Change in Classrooms and Communities.”

The NS MASS Choir will honor Dr. Sylvia Hamilton, the noted local filmmaker, at “The Dream Continues”. The Choir is proudly celebrating its 24th season, which includes the upcoming 13th Anniversary of “The Dream Continues” tribute to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on January 16, 2016 in Halifax. The Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute held a reading entitled Sharing our Sisters’ Stories on October 27 at Hope Blooms. The event was held to mark Women’s History Month and the UN Decade for People of African Descent. More than 20 years ago, the Africentric Conference was begun to support educators, community stakeholders, parents, and guardians to bring a strong emphasis on how to support students of African ancestry in the public school system in Nova Scotia. This year the emphasis of the 21st Conference, held on October 23 at Cole Harbour High School, centered around “education for transformation: the keys to releasing the genius of Black students. The African United Baptist Association Women’s Institute Annual Sessions 60th Anniversary were held at the St. Thomas United Baptist Church over the weekend of October 23-5. Activities included unveiling a memorial plaque and the awarding of the Gertrude E, Smith memorial scholarship. On November 5th, Dalhousie University welcomed Dr. Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University for the 2015 MacKay History Lecture. Dr. Chatelain spoke about “Teaching in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter: Social

The Hon. Mayann Francis, former Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, has published a new children’s book. In Mayann’s Train Ride, Francis recounts a 1950s-era childhood train adventure from her family home in Cape Breton to New York City. Quebec artist Tamara Thiebaux Heikalo delivers elegant images of a beribboned Mayann, her sister Isabel, and their parents as they travel to the Big Apple (with a lovely layover in Montreal). There is now a plaque in the Pentzie’s Roseland Cabaret honouring Viola Desmond and the stand she took against discrimination.

Ariel Gough, from Hammonds Plains, a student at Mount Saint Vincent, and Communications Officer, Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus, has been chosen to represent Nova Scotia at Global Vision’s Arctic Youth Ambassador Caucus in Iqaluit, Nunavut, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. Gough joined 29 young leaders from southern Canada and met up with 30 of their northern peers to learn more about food security, health care, the environment, and education. The Chronicle Herald’s Sherri Borden Colley was the sole Black journalist in Canada to be interviewed for Vivian Smith’s recently-released book ‘Outsiders Still: Why Women Journalists Love - and Leave Their Newspaper Careers’.

In an historic mass at St. Philip’s African Orthodox Church in Sydney, Archbishop Vincent Waterman was enthroned as the patriarch of the African Orthodox Unity Network, the body that represents 5,000 members worldwide. He is now known as Vincent I. On October 25, he officiated at the ordination of the church’s first female priest, Phyllis Marsh-Jarvis.

David Woods presented “Once: Africville Stories” at the Museum of Natural History during the Halifax Fringe Festival. The cast of ‘Once’ included singers, dancers and musicians who are part of Voices Black Theatre Ensemble. As well as directing the play, Woods played the role of the voice of the older males of Africville. Congratulations to Micah Smith who recently completed training in Boston Mass. as a massage therapist specializing in oncology massage. This enables her to treat cancer patients, cancer survivors and their caregivers. Micah is employed with Massage Addict 131 Main St Dartmouth N S This summer, 300 descendants of the Colley family gathered in East Preston for a family reunion. Some travelled from all over Canada, the United States, Europe, and even as far away as Korea. The Colley family has a rich history in the province of Nova Scotia. They are descendants of Sir. John Wentworth, the first Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and family members have roots in Great Britain and Jamaica. The family history is immortalized in a generations-old family quilt that was displayed. Every family members’ name and important stories are stitched by hand. The reunion began on Friday night with a black tie ball. Saturday was a day of activities surrounded by dozens of tents set up on the current Colley family property. It concluded on Sunday afternoon with an outdoor family church service.

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This August, more than 120 golfers — most of them of African descent, from across Canada and the United States —gathered for two days at the Truro Golf Club for the 40th Apex Invitational Golf Tournament. Since 2000, the Apex Invitational Golf Association, in partnership with Investors Group Financial Services and Pye Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd., has issued 67 scholarships totaling $43,250 to young Black Colchester County students for higher learning. Several other local businesses also sponsor the tournament.

Nova Scotia Tree for Boston The Trade Connection Liesl Harewood, Trade Development Executive


ach year during the holidays, Nova Scotia sends a tree to Boston in thanks for the help Boston provided after the Halifax Explosion. Boston will always be recognized for its help during the tragedy. Our two regions have been great partners ever since, and Boston - and the United States in general - continues to be a key partner in trade for Nova Scotia businesses. In fact, the U.S. is Nova Scotia’s largest trading partner, buying more than 72 per cent of Nova Scotia’s exports according to Statistics Canada.

Denisho Goree, a 17-year-old from Citadel High School received funding from celebrated community philanthropist Mel Boutilier, through the Metro Care and Share Society’s new Halifax Scholars Program, to pay his tuition for a twoyear carpentry program at Nova Scotia Community College. He was the first student chosen for this new partnership with different high schools which will seek nominations from families and school officials who recommend a hopeful student in either Grades 10,11, or 12 to the program. On November 1, 105.9 SEASIDE-FM’s Wayne Harrett, Blain Henshaw, Paul Kennedy, Gail Rice, and Laura Kirkpatrick attended the first ever Music Hall of Fame for East Coast artists held at Casino NS. It was an amazing night, with the inductees being: Anne Murray, Portia White, John Allan Cameron, Rita MacNeil and Brookes Diamond Productions. There were performances by Stuart Cameron, Dave Gunning, Bruce Guthro, Dutch Robinson, Georges Hebert, Heather Rankin, Meaghan Smith, Reeny Smith and Kim Dunn at this gala evening.

A Note of Sympathy: The BBI extends its sympathy to the family of the late Graham Downey, a leader in municipal politics and the community. n

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With Nova Scotia’s gift of a stately evergreen tree in mind, let me share with you some facts about Christmas tree exports. The top three export destinations in 2014 for our Nova Scotia Christmas Trees were the U.S., United Kingdom, and Australia, according to Industry Canada. Altogether, Canada’s entire Christmas tree industry also had the U.S. as its top export destination, but El Salvador was second, and China was third. Statistics Canada shows overall Canadian fresh-cut Christmas tree exports to the rest of the world were $27.9 million in 2013. Nova Scotia Christmas tree producers are not the only businesses active in the export business. There are more than 850 businesses successfully exporting their products or services, whether internationally or to the rest of Canada. Why is exporting important? It diversifies the markets and client base for a business. Ultimately, exporting can help businesses increase revenues. If you want to export or grow your markets, Nova Scotia Business Inc. can help you. Talk to us about opportunities and challenges. We will provide practical advice toward growth in national and international markets. We can provide assistance and support to help get your product of service to market. We have an extensive referral network and can help connect you to solutions to achieve your business goals, as well as guide and connect you to private and public sources of capital. Nova Scotia Business Inc. and the Black Business Initiative are collaborating to support firms interested in taking their products to the world. n Sign up for Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s Trade Development News to stay informed about programs and upcoming activities, such as trade missions, workshops, and other export-related events. Visit us at www.novascotiabusiness.com/tradenews Liesl Harewood, Trade Development Executive: With a background in Law and Diplomatic Studies, Liesl Harewood, our “globetrotting liaison to everyone, everywhere”, has over seven years’ experience in business development, entrepreneurship, trade in services and trade facilitation. Born in the only English-speaking country in South America, Guyana, and raised on the Caribbean island of Barbados, Liesl studied in Europe and worked and lived practically everywhere else, so it’s not surprising that she has access to an extensive global network.

An Investment

The Benefits of Trade Shows by Lindsay Ruck


rade shows are an investment. A company’s attendance requires time and money. When Glen Carvery of Carvery’s Construction Limited attends a trade show, it also requires a passport. This past year, Glen travelled to shows in Las Vegas and San Francisco – experiences he says were well worth the effort. From eco-friendly-focused shows to a show solely based on diversity in the workplace, Glen has collected valuable resources and made otherwise unattainable connections through both national and international opportunities. In October, Glen joined BBI at the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council’s Business Achievement Awards Gala and conference. “GM Canada was there. So was CIBC, Royal Bank, and TD Bank. I was meeting with people in higher positions who actually make decisions and could set us up with the right people. If I hadn’t have gone

to that particular trade show, I would have never gotten that opportunity.” Thanks to the Black Business Initiative, Glen is kept abreast of industry-related opportunities and says it’s these kind of gatherings that will contribute to the success and continued growth of his 27-year-old company. “I’d love to see more people take advantage of [conferences and trade shows], get out there and just get a taste of it. I believe if they did, they would soon realize the benefits. It may not be apparent the very next day, but in the long-term, it’s a new relationship that you’ve built.” n

Glen Carvery of Carvery’s Construction Limited

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with the BBI

Out & About

A Special Black Business Seminar was held at NSBI’s office on Oct 9, 2015, with Isaac Olowolafe (center front) President & CEO of Dream Maker Realty Inc from Toronto. Also from left to right Mufadzi Nyamarebvu, Dr. Wayne Adams, unknown, Ngozi Otti, Njabulo Nkala, Sunday Miller, Cynthia Dorrington (BBI’s Board Chairperson), William Porter (far rear), Rodger Smith, Donna Colley-Howe (far rear), Haim Barel, Paul Rukidi (far rear), Mike Wyse (BBI’s CEO), Gordon Tynes, Paul Walter, Veronica Marsman, Pastor Lennette Anderson, and Rustum Southwell.

Out having fun in support of BIJ & its efforts to Empower Youth Through Entrepreneurship – Left to Right – Kendrick Douglas, Bacchus & Associates Law Firm, the Honourable Minister Tony Ince, Glen Carvery, Owner, Carvery’s Construction and Michael Wyse, CEO, BBI.

Wine & Cheese Government Reception hosted by the Nova Scotia Cooperative Council, (l to r)– Dianne Kelderman, CEO, Nova Scotia Cooperative Council, the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Emmanuel Itiveh, Managing Director for BBI and Michael Wyse, CEO, BBI.

Ashanti Leadership & Professional Development Services: Ann Divine (far right, front row) Pictured with her Class, Business Cohort for Women’s Leadership.

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Exploring further opportunities to collaborate, the Honourable Minister Ince visits BBI on October 23, 2015. He was joined by his Executive Assistant, Nancy Radcliffe and Wayn Hamilton, Executive Director, African Nova Scotian Affairs.

Paul Rukidi (centre-Business Is Jammin’) receives a cheque of $5000 from RBC Michelle Trider (left) Manager Main Branch Halifax and Michelle Allsion, Account Manager, Commercial Financial Services.

Author, Barbara Stegemann of V7 Virtues Beauty Inc., keynote speaker at the BBI Black Business Summit June 18, 2015, pictured with BBI’s Board Chair, Cynthia Dorrington.

Participants and program coordiators of the BBI Business Leadership Training Program delveloped thrrough the Dalhousie University School of Business.

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Creating Generational Wealth more than300 part-time consultants globally. The Dream Maker Management division currently manages approximately $300 million of real estate assets within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Dream Fund Holdings division has used the wealth management model on over $500 million worth of assets in the GTA.

Isaac Olowolafe Jr., President of the Dream Maker Corporation


ne of Canada’s most successful Black entrepreneurs, the President of the Dream Maker Corporation, Isaac Olowolafe Jr. traveled from Toronto on October 9 to share his inspirational story and model for business success. His visit was arranged through a partnership with the Black Business Initiative (BBI), the Black Cultural Centre (BCC), Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI); and Adams Management. This outstanding, award-winning entrepreneur spoke with Black leaders and business people about wealth and how to generate it. He also took the time to discuss wealth generation with interested parties on a one to one basis. Olowolafe is a registered real estate broker, successful business owner, and philanthropist. Dream Maker Corp. is a vertically integrated operation which includes brokerage, wealth management, property management, education, and development. Dream Maker Realty Inc. is a brand which delivers three primary services: buying and selling real estate for individuals, wealth creation opportunities for individuals, and wealth creation opportunities for institutions. The company employs 21 full-time and

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He is the recipient of numerous awards and letters of recognition for his business performance. In 2010, Olowolafe established The Dream Maker Realty/Olowolafe Family Scholarship Award at the University of Toronto, the largest endowment for African Studies in any Canadian University. The roots to his business can be traced to something he heard while sitting in the congregation one Sunday morning. A passage quoted by his pastor gave him reason to ponder and reflect, Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” That day gave clarity to the dream he had of putting together a game plan to build wealth that will be able to be passed down from one generation to another.

What is Generational Wealth? He defines it as planned out economic development geared towards passing down financial resources to future generations, which will be sufficient enough to sustain them. The end result is supporting multiple generations, shaping the quality of their education, and influencing the capacity of their economic and social opportunities.

by: Isaac Olowolafe Jr.

Olowolafe realized this aspect of generational wealth can only be achieved through careful and intelligent financial planning. By watching the foundation his father, Isaac Sr., laid since he moved the family from Nigeria to Canada around 1988. and by examining the strategies used by Italian, Jewish, Asian, and other communities, he initiated a journey extending for more than a decade to build the Dream Maker Corporation. Dream Maker Corporation is the controlling company of this unique vertical integration within the real estate industry, with a mandate of building generational wealth using the tool of investing in hard assets to achieve it. This integration consist of several divisions: • Brokerage: run through Dream Maker Realty • P r o p e r t y M a n a g e m e n t : run through Dream Maker Management • Wealth Management: through Dream Fund Holdings • Development: run through Dream Maker Development • Finance and Financing Literacy: focused on providing education This proven concept has allowed Dream Maker Corporation to help lay the foundation for individuals, families, and organizations to understand the tools needed to use real estate as a tool to build wealth. n

For more information, call 90555-DREAM, email info@dreammakerrealty.ca, or check the website: www.dreammakerrealty.ca.

Go Global, My Entrepreneur, Go Global

by Michael DeVenney

competitive we must be ready to meet them head on. In the end, they make us better. At the same time we must find ways to beat them in their home markets. What keeps most Canadian businesses from going global is anxiety – the stress of dealing with unknown situations. As in life, we must name it, understand it and work through it.

Michael DeVenney of Headspace Blog


ntrepreneurs must go global first. You can no longer build a business

expecting to succeed exclusively in your home market. You must take both the offensive and defensive to win globally. The potential of your business is limited without a global strategy. Recall a time when you could start a successful business by selling to your neighbours. Well, wake up Alice, you’re in Neverland now. Going global is no longer optional. It is not something you put off until later – it’s for right now. It may be uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory, but entrepreneurial success requires sweat and moving outside your comfort zone. Companies from other markets are selling into our region. To be

Accessing global opportunities connects with two of the essential values for entrepreneurs – personal growth and continuous learning. You must be self-aware to fit the context of global markets and work with your strengths. At the same time, you must develop additional key capabilities. Working in a global setting pushes you to continue to expand your expertise and confidence. Going global enables you to broaden your boundaries and build a stronger company. Although we are fortunate to work in an environment that is very supportive of entrepreneurs, most Canadians are risk averse. We also do not have the critical mass to succeed exclusively in our local market. This combination limits our potential. We frequently respond by selling out to a global player who is comfortable taking on the challenge. We have become a discount shopping area for global companies seeking brilliant ideas that can be commercially expanded for significant profits. We leave a lot on the table. We talk global but we don’t proactively pursue the opportunity, secretly hoping we can wait until later – or never. We take a bystander approach. The Conference Board of Canada’s work on innovation demonstrates that the fastest way for Canadian entrepreneurs to scale their businesses is to push beyond geographic boundaries and go global.

Deep down, entrepreneurs believe they can safely make it at home. Studies show start-ups in other countries are naturally more global in their thinking (especially in Europe and emerging markets). We must move beyond our risk aversion and go global or we will fall further behind competitively. The first step to going global is to put it on the agenda. Global growth opportunities are a necessary part of your strategy. We must assess international markets that would be most comfortable for us (in terms of language, culture and other factors) to build our confidence. We should consider partnerships to help us make the move. The bottom line is to focus on the consumer and target the right global customer. We must ensure there are clear criteria in place for success so we know what is necessary to make it work. It may seem safer to focus on your home market but the world is moving around us. If we don’t go global, we will be left behind. Seeking and activating global opportunities makes us stronger, more competitive and provides a bigger future. We don’t want to be known as the discount shopping bin for entrepreneurial innovation. We must own our bigger future. n

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by: Nick Langley, CFIB

What a New Federal Government Means for Small Business Wayne Cuddington/Ottawa Citizen

The new Liberal cabinet


s the political dust settles from the federal election, small businesses are left with questions around how they will be treated under Justin Trudeau's new Liberal government.

There is also concern over Mr. Trudeau's statement that a large percentage of SME's are tax-shelters. While Stephen Harper was shown the door by the Canadian electorate in no uncertain The vast majority of small firms legititerms, many Conservative policy measures served small- and medium-size enterprises very well. mately use the small business deducCFIB was very pleased small business issues were prominent during the federal election. tion. If the Prime Minister is talking about ensuring that the deduction is There is much common ground with the new government. CFIB is pleased that the Liberals have not being abused, we have no issue. committed in writing to a reduction in the small business rate to 9 per cent by 2019. Employers and employees were also promised significant reductions in EI premiums in 2017 and will be very If there is a plan to limit access to disappointed if this is scaled back. Scaling back this reduction will essentially feel like a tax hike the small business deduction, as is for small firms who are already counting on the cut. taking place in Quebec, we will certainly be pushing back. We also like Trudeau’s plan to waive EI premiums for new jobs for young people for the next 3 years. CFIB also supported two recent Liberal MP Private Members Bills including MP Emmaneul CFIB has worked effectively with Dubourg’s bill to allow small business owners to pass their business to their children free of capital Liberal governments in the past and gains and MP Ted Hsu’s bill to bring back the long-form census. we believe we will again. CFIB is here to ensure the government is provided While these are all good measures, there are areas of concern in the Liberal platform. CFIB is with a strong, clear voice from small concerned about the Liberal plans to increase CPP premiums. We will be asking the new governbusiness. ◆ ment to put this idea on hold until the economy is in better shape. Because CPP premiums act as a tax on every dollar a business pays to its employees, it is a big disincentive to hiring at a time when the economy needs just the opposite. CPP expansion is currently our members’ number Nick Langley is CFIB’s Director of one area of concern and we will be reaching out to learn more about the Liberals’ plans and to Provincial Affairs, Nova Scotia. CFIB share our members’ feedback. represent 5,200 small and medium-sized Our members were okay with short-term deficits during the recession, but believe the budget businesses in Nova Scotia and 109,000 should be balanced over the medium-term. As we are already back to balance, we don’t support in all sectors across Canada. deficits at this time and will provide that view to the new government.

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Your day job leaves you queasy Diagnosis:

You’re an entrepreneur

Let us help you start, grow or buy your own business. RESOURCES. FINANCING. MENTORING.



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by Carol Dobson

  Congratulations to Francis B o a k y e , O w n e r, O m a r i o n Construction. In collaboration with ADEPA Construction Management, Omarion Construction has completed construction on its first Energuide rated home located at 10 Kenyatta Drive, Eastern Passage – Nice Job! Good luck as you continue to build on Kenyatta Drive!

  Congratulations to Reverend

  Congratulations to Ngozi Blessing Otti, Executive

Mother Phyllis Marsh for being ordained as the first-ever female priest in the African Orthodox Church in Canada recently in Whitney Pier NS. She said “It’s surreal, for years I wanted a ministry, but I didn’t realize that God’s plan was for me to become a priest here”

  Congratulations to Ariel Gough.    Congratulations She was selected as Nova Scotia’s only representative at an Artic Youth Ambassador Caucus led by Global Vision in Iqaluit, Nunavut. 50 youth leaders (25 from the North and 25 from the South) came together to discuss Northern issues such as food security, the environment and education; met with elders to learn about the rich history of Nunavut and collaborated on finding innovative solutions to the some of the North’s most pressing issues.

to Tyrone Levingston for bringing the “Cape Breton Highlanders” basketball team to Sydney Nova Scotia and may you have a successful basketball season.

Director and the Board of the African Community Investment Cooperative of Canada (ACICC). ACICC has realized its first successful harvest of okra, eggplant, and hot peppers from its ethnic farming demonstration in partnership with Just-Us Farm, Perennia, and the Nova Scotia, Dept. of Agriculture. Its goal is to secure farming land in the Preston area and also establish an organic greenhouse that will grow products commonly consumed by immigrants of African descent. In the future, they envision supplying the local market and possibly the Maritime region. Those interested in knowing more about this agricultural initiative, please contact ed@acicc.ca.

  BBI would like to congratulate Yvette Williams and her girls, who will soon be the occupants of the second Habitat for Humanity home built in East Preston on Upper Governor St. This has been made possible through a MOU between the BBI, Habitat for Humanity, and the Preston Area Housing Fund.

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Saluting Two of

Our Directors by Lindsay Ruck


n this edition of Black 2 Business, we’re highlighting two trailblazers and community leaders from the north-western part of the province – Cumberland, Colchester, and Pictou Counties. Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu comes from an entrepreneurial family in the historic town of Amherst. Jocelyn Dorrington is based in Truro where she works for the Chignecto Central School Board as well as serving on the Business is Jammin’ and chairing the Delmore ‘Buddy’ Daye Learning Institute board.

Trailblazers 23 ...

Russell Wyse

Liz Cooke-Sumbu

community partners such as the BBI, an ever-present support which has seen CANSA through several significant milestones.

“It’s been quite a journey. The BBI has been our community partner and has been there to support us since day one.” While the strides have been tremendous, Liz suggests there’s still a lot of work to do.


hen Liz Cooke-Sumbu wanted to start her own small business exporting used clothing in 1999, she reached out to the Black Business Initiative (BBI).

chair of the Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association (CANSA). CANSA is Cumberland County’s sole employment service provider, and while the name may suggest it caters only to African-Nova Scotians, the Cumberland County native stresses CANSA’s reach has grown. “We provide services not only to the Black community, but specialized services to persons with disabilities, youth, older workers, and many more.”

“Yes, we have more Black students in our schools and more Black men and women getting jobs, but are we achieving all we can?” To do her part towards affecting change, Liz’s days are filled with strategy and project planning, board meetings, creating and implementing supports that meet the needs of local citizens, and collaborating with community partners for future initiatives. The mother of three has seen the greatest reward there is.

“I believe I actually received the very first equity loan. I had worked with Mike Wyse [current CEO of the BBI] at that time and secured a small loan to help offset CANSA offers a range of services to Cumberland County residents, “Just knowing there’s one more costs with my new business including employment and career person who can say I’ve made it or venture.” counselling, computer training, job I’ve done it – that’s the personal reward While Liz may have moved on to pursue alternate career goals, her relationship with the BBI is still going strong. She is in her second term on the board and her ties with the province-wide initiative have transcended into her day-to-day work as executive

coaching, and summer employment opportunities for youth.

In her 15th year with the organization, Liz has seen CANSA blossom into a go-to resource for those in need of employment guidance. Part of this success is attributed to

I get from the work I do. I gave the staff some stats to look over and they discovered that for every day last year that we were in business, one person got a job. Who could have imagined that? If you can say for every day you were open for business that somebody got a job – that’s saying something.” n

school level. She was immediately motivated to do more. “I realized the greatness in each one of those kids in the classroom and wondered how I could help these students tap into their potential.”

Bring Your Business to a New Audience issue

Jocelyn Dorrington


t’s the end of a work week for Jocelyn Dorrington, coordinator of African-Nova Scotian Cultural Services for the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. While others are sitting down to a hot meal and preparing for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, Jocelyn is on her way to chair a meeting for the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute. Her weekend may include a two-day conference for the New Glasgow Education Committee and a Sunday teleconference to prepare for a new Business Is Jammin’ (BIJ) initiative. It’s a busy life to the say the least, but Jocelyn can’t imagine it any other way. “I come from a family of service. I didn’t get to where I am now without the presence of a lot of volunteers who supported me along my journey.” For more than three decades, Jocelyn has worked in one form or another as an educator. Her journey working with youth began when she applied for her master’s degree in social work. “At the time they said I needed to get the experience working in social work before I could get my master’s. When I applied to the community service agencies, they said I didn’t have the education. I knew there had to be another way to work with youth.” Jocelyn turned to education and began her teaching career at the high

In 2001, Jocelyn joined the Black Business Initiative (BBI) and served on the board for nine years. A year later, the New Glasgow native joined the Business Is Jammin’ (BIJ) Board of Directors. BIJ is a registered charity with the focus of “Empowering Black Youth Through Entrepreneurship.” In the past two years, program participation levels have grown by 60 percent and through educational materials, mentorship programs and financial support, Jocelyn and her team are confident this number will continue to grow. “I stayed on with BIJ because I believe that, as adults, we have to provide opportunities for our youth to broaden their horizon. There’s not a lot of programming available for youth – especially African-Nova Scotian youth. If there’s a program that’s going to provide something new, then they’ll gravitate to that.” As an educator, Jocelyn believes learning should extend far beyond the classroom, and through initiatives such as BIJ and supportive partners such as the BBI, youth are encouraged to explore their many gifts and talents and determine how these gifts can translate into a thriving future. While the former executive director of the Black Educators Association says she enjoys stealing a moment of downtime when it does present itself, it is her volunteer work that motivates her to continue.



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Business Is Jammin’ Movin’ Forward...

by: Emily Rendell-Watson and Paul Rukidi also has a small selection of tiaras and gloves.

Empowering Black youth through



s her scissors snip through pieces of thick red satin, Kayla Fells creates a custom bridal gown for one of her clients. It’s a

Kayla Fells , opened a small bridal shop at the beginning of 2014–Ladykay’s Formal Attire in Yarmouth..

challenge–the client is short, stout and doesn’t want to wear a traditional white wedding gown. She also planned to wear Converse sneakers and asked Fells to design a custom dress for the wedding. “She wouldn’t have found a dress that fit her in the amount of time she had and within her budget. The bridal industry wasn’t working for her. It was a chance to give her exactly what she deserved,” Fells says. “When I watched her come up the aisle, I thought, this is exactly why I wanted to do this.”

She always “had a flair and love for formal wear” and decided to use that passion to run her own business. Fells became interested in entrepreneurship while she was participating in programs run by Business Is Jammin’ (BIJ). She learned about the skills she would need to start her own business and was motivated to “dive in head first”. Business Is Jammin’ focuses on empowering Black youth across Nova Scotia through entrepreneurship. It began as the youth arm of the BBI and, in 2005 became a registered charity, and as such will issue tax receipts to those who wish to invest in the future of our youth. “We work with youth as young as eight to adults up to the age of 29,” Paul ukidi, the BIJ Manager , says. “We’ve developed programs to address the needs of three different age groups - eight-15, 16-20, and 21-29. We also focus on partnerships by working to connect youth to other business training and resources offered by organizations like the CBDCs, CEED, Futurpreneur, ISANS, etc.”

Fells opened a small bridal shop at the beginning of 2014–Ladykay’s Fells participated in the BIJ summer Formal Attire in Yarmouth. The store camps, learning how to create a busisells prom and evening gowns in addi- ness plan, and about market inteltion to renting suits and dresses. Fells ligence. She eventually became a

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summer camp coordinator and used skills she learned during her years attending the BIJ youth camp to instill the values that she strived for as a participant. “I taught kids how to talk and interact with the public. The comfort of your business pitch is important,” Fells says. “You need to know what you’re there for, what your purpose is, and what you can offer them. I would teach them charisma and how to embrace themselves to make it work whether they were an introvert or extravert.” “Business Is Jammin’ has a proven value within both the Black community and Nova Scotia’s economy. In the last two years alone, our program participation levels have grown by more than 60 per cent,” Rukidi says. “This will only increase as we respond to rising demands from the community for more entrepreneurship and business development activities. Nova Scotia needs not only more entrepreneurs but also an entrepreneurially-minded workforce that will support the growth, competitiveness, and well-being of the economy.” During the weeklong camps, participants from across the province learn about entrepreneurship - generating business ideas, tapping into opportunities, business planning, financing directions, running a business and a debrief of the experience, They develop a plan and run their business for a day. They might make fudge or biscuits to sell at a local farmers market, or provide nail care. While they are running their business they learn essential skills, such as how to calculate their profit margin after paying off the costs of running a business. Jocelyn Dorrington has seen the positive affect of these camps on youth across Nova Scotia. She says there is a direct connection between youth of African Nova Scotian descent and entrepreneurship. Dorrington, who is the chair of the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute Board, says youth have told her, “because of (BIJ) I now have my own business. I didn’t realize I could do all of this.”

The youth at Hope Blooms in Halifax are prime examples of the success of BIJ. Not only are they preparing gourmet salad dressings for sale at the Seaport Market and their new retail location, but they are also making soups for Meals on Wheels, baby food for mothers who are clients of the North End Medical Clinic, and are now planning on creating salads for the school in their neighbourhood.

Successful BIJ Camp in Wolfville as youth participants finish a day of in class sessions with BIJ Training Associate, Keira Carey

Their participation on “Dragons Den” gave them the confidence to cross swords successfully with some of the hardest business leaders in the country. When you listen to them talk, as Craig Cain did at a meeting of the Local Council of Women, and he shares his dream of going to Stanford, you can only cheer - and the encouragement from Jessie Jollymore, as she tells him to get out and sell more salad dressing to reach this goal, is the icing on the cake. Rukidi joined BIJ in February 2015 and he’s seen more than 200 youth go through the programming. One of these programs affiliated with BIJ is Junior Achievement, where youth team together to run a company from mid-October to the end of March. Last year’s participants created Le Crew, a business making custom mugs. These opportunities leave youth feeling empowered and motivated with the skills to run their own businesses. continued on page 23 >

Michael Wyse, CEO of BBI, and Paul Rukidi, BIJ Manager, with Hope Blooms youth at their recent successful Superstore launch

She says BIJ inspires youth through a learning by doing approach and by developing confidence that enables participants to move forward in a more informed and strategic manner. Indeed experience can be one of the “textbooks” used to build skills, knowledge, confidence, and competencies to take action. “It allows their artistic and creative visions to come into play. They realize the possibilities for their life,” Dorrington says. “Some of the kids that were participants in the camp program were hired as summer youth coordinators and others have gone on to graduate with business degrees. (The camps) are a small investment for a lifetime of returns. I’ve seen what they have done for youth across Nova Scotia.”

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During the BIJ Camp, participants were able to meet and engage some community leaders as they ran their business

“BIJ aims to strengthen Nova Scotia’s entrepreneurship culture by supporting youth’s participation in entrepreneurial activities that stimulate their knowledge, interest, and capacity to engage in business activities. BIJ strives to turn job seekers into job creators. We have an opportunity to address economic challenges faced by youth in Nova Scotia by helping them to develop skills to take control over their economic futures,” Rukidi said. He says one of the most important components of working with BIJ and going through the programs is recognizing the “giving back” aspect of the program.

Youth running a Business for a Day at a camp with Brianca Provo, BIJ Youth Coordinator

“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. We, working together, is symbolic of the future I envision for us,” Channing Davis, a participant from Beechville, says. When Fells decided to open her own business, she knew it needed to be in her hometown. The other bridal shop in Yarmouth had closed, so she saw an opportunity to fill a gap in her community. Fells also wanted to be close to her friends and family for support when she made the “bold” move to open Ladykay’s Formal Attire. Her business has now been running for almost two years. Fells says she wouldn’t have the skills and confidence to do it without her experience with BIJ.

Paul Rukidi, BIJ Manager, at the 5th Annual TNT Passport 2You-th Success Xpo engaging youth in grades 9-12

‘This was my opportunity to learn and grow which I would encourage any young person to do,” she says. “BIJ allowed me to challenge myself. Without these experiences I wouldn’t be the same person.” n

Empowering Black youth through


For more information about Business Is Jammin’, contact: Paul E. Rukidi BIJ Manager

Achievers created “The LeCrew Mug Company” in partnership with Junior Achievement

Centennial Building Suite 1201, 1660 Hollis Street Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B3J 1V7 902- 478-6476 Fax: 902 - 426-8699 Email: paul.rukidi@bbi.ns.ca www.businessisjammin.ca

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Empowering Black youth through

Entrepreneurship The Business Is Jammin’ (BIJ) board and staff

would like to thank the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute for its generous sponsorship of the BIJ entrepreneurship programs delivered across the province during the summer of 2015. We also extend a special thank you to the following organizations for offering office space and support to BIJ’s youth co-ordinators:

Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association (VANSDA), Kentville Black Employment Resource Centre, Pier One Complex, Yarmouth CBDC NOBL, New Glasgow BBI office, Centennial Building, Halifax WADE Office, Dartmouth We also extend a sincere thank you to Service Canada, Nova Scotia Community College (Yarmouth), the Community Business Development Corporation (Shelburne), and RBC for supporting this project. We can accomplish great things when we collaborate to empower youth through entrepreneurship, strengthening Nova Scotia’s entrepreneurial culture, and helping unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the leaders of tomorrow.

Your support is valued and greatly appreciated!

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Community Business Development Corporations Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) oer a wide variety of business supports including: > Financing for new and existing businesses (up to $150,000) > Business Counselling > Training and Advisory Services > Students in Business Program > Self-Employment BeneďŹ t (SEB) Program which can provide: ~ Personal Income Support up to 40 Weeks ~ Practical Learning Seminars ~ One on One Support

Working together to serve you better.

Come see us today!

Growing businesses one idea at a time

Please stop in to visit your local CBDC. We are here to help whether you are thinking of starting a business or want to grow an existing business. 1-888-303-2232 www.cbdc.ca

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An Ounce of Prevention by: Carol Dobson It’s also important to carry liability insurance to protect any part of your business where you might get sued.”

You can contact Steve Kimball, the owner of SMK Insurance Ltd., via his website: www.smkinsurance. com

additional insurance for protection. While, in this day and age, many one or two person businesses do much of their work on line, over the phone, or in coffee shops, it is reassuring to have coverage in case a client does come to the home and slips on the sidewalk in the winter.


He also suggests having life insurance and disability coverage for both the business owner and any employees the company might have. There are other types of insurance that are also beneficial including business interruption insurance (helpful in case of fire), partnership (or buy-sell) insurance, critical illness insurance, and, if you have staff, key person insurance, to protect yourself in case the person you depend on moves on to something else.

We buy insurance policies for a number of things – for our homes, our cars, our health, our financial wellbeing, to protect our families, and to pay for our send-off from this world.

“If you can swing it, it is beneficial to offer your employees a health plan to cover additional medical expenses,” he says. “One of the best ways a company can do this is to join a board of trade or chamber of commerce because that allows you to tap into their group insurance programs, which are very economical because they are bought in bulk.”

This coverage provides wage replacement and medical benefits to those who are injured on the job. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up his rights to sue his employer for the incident. As a business owner, it is important to have worker’s compensation insurance because it protects yourself and your company from legal complications.

If a vehicle is being used as the ‘company car’, it’s important that the car insurance reflects this.

The first step to ensuring that all insurance needs are covered, are sitting down with an insurance agent and finding the best package to meet your company’s needs n

he old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies to the business world just as strongly as it does in a person’s business life.

Businesses also need a wide variety of insurance, and for the same reasons. “If you own a building, you need property insurance,” Steve Kimball, the owner of SMK Insurance Ltd., says. “You also need content insurance to cover your inventory and equipment.

One of the big trends in small business is the establishment of a home based business. If that is the case, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to add

Many self-regulating professions, such as real estate appraisers and accountants, require that members carry liability insurance and have arrangements with insurance companies that have developed industry specific products and, because they are offered through professional associations, the cost is based on bulk buying, as well. Another form of insurance is workers compensation. Most employers in Nova Scotia are required by law through the Workers’ Compensation Act and Regulations to register their business with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and pay premiums. Registration is mandatory if you are an employer in a number of sectors, including hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, fishing, trucking, construction and other manufacturing, and there are three or more employees.

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Diversity, Connection, & a Global Presence Key to Small Business in Nova Scotia By Ellen Davis


uring the month of October, The two new programs are designed when Small Business Week to help. The first is Small Business is celebrated, Nova Scotia Development, which will allow small Business Inc. launched new programs business owners to participate in the to help Nova Scotian businesses to global supply chain by becoming first export globally and to improve growth. time exporters, enabling them to overcome barriers to export, and gain customized experience. “In a small economy of less than a million people, your home market is not big enough,” she says. “You have to have a product or service that other people around the world want to buy or use.”

Laurel Broten, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. offers her take on diversity, business development, and working for NSBI’s most important client: the citizens of Nova Scotia.

Reprinted, from Biz Beat, with thanks to the Centre for Women in Business www. centreforwomeninbusiness .ca

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The second program, Export Growth Program, will provide financial incentives for businesses to grow their export As Nova Scotia’s private-sector led with financial support for travel to marbusiness development agency, NSBI is kets, and the cost of attending events focused on ramping up global investlike trade shows and conferences. ment to create new jobs across the province. They work with companies “To sell a product or service globally in all communities to become more means you compete against the best in successful exporters, and it is all done the world, and your product has to be under the direction of President and best in class,” she says. “Every single day CEO Laurel Broten. as an organization, we work with small companies who have totally embraced A former politician and Liberal cabinet that.” minister from Ontario, Broten served as the Minister of Intergovernmental The reach of these programs will go well Affairs, Minister Responsible for beyond the bottom lines of participants Women’s Issues and Minister of to impact the Nova Scotian economy. Education. She was appointed President and CEO of NSBI in January of 2015, and, “One million dollars earned through with the support of her team, is working export sales can create up to 15 new hard to equip Nova Scotia businesses jobs,” says Broten. “In our communities, with the resources they need to face that can make the difference between all of the challenges that go along with an entrepreneur working in a home export growth. office to setting up their own firm and employing a team of Nova Scotians. Looking back, Broten says she considered her move to Nova Scotia an “As a province, we have a collective vision opportunity to make an impact. and goal to see more people come here from all over the world and contribute “We want companies to be thinking to the province’s future.” export first, and that means companies of all sizes,” says Broten. “The benefit Broten cites women-driven leaderof exporting is indisputable. Small to ship at the Port of Halifax, the Halifax medium-sized companies that export Stanfield International Airport, and the generate, on average, more than twice Nova Scotia Health Authority as key as much revenue as non-exporters.”

contributors to what will undoubtedly be remembered as an exciting time for women in Nova Scotia. From a personal perspective, Broten is excited to be a part of it. “It was a big challenge coming to a place quite a bit smaller than Ontario, where everyone seems to know each other,” she admits. “But people have been welcoming - the women’s business community in particular was so welcoming.” She appreciates the diversity here, adding that it is key to business development. “At NSBI, we know we can’t do it alone. It’s about being able to help businesses navigate, whether they call the Centre for Women in Business or NSBI for help. By working in partnership in economic development, we can help businesses find the right resources.” Though October has been set aside to celebrate Small Business Week and to integrate these new programs, NSBI offers a range of programming throughout the year for businesses of every size and sector. That, Broten explains, can be attributed to NSBI’s client-centered approach. “Always at the forefront of our work is our biggest and most important client: every Nova Scotian. We work for your kids to build a brighter future for them. We work for your grandparents to make sure that health care will be available for them. Every single person. That’s who we work for.” ◆ For more information on NSBI and its export programs, please visit www.nsbi.com.

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by: Carol Dobson

“When I first came to Canada, I went to schools to tell them about my country, Ghana,” Toria Aidoo says. “That gave me an idea – to show the children the scope of the culture in my home, I’ d explain it by putting on outfits.”


ora admits she always enjoyed fashion and always liked to be creative. Then, she found herself staying home to look after her three daughters, was bored, and missed adult conversations so she started looking for ways to express herself creatively. The family took a six-month long trip home to Ghana, where she found one of her older sisters sewing beautiful garments. “My sister dared me to create the same thing and I like to rise up to a challenge!” she says, with a smile. “So, in the beginning, I designed the garments and then sent the designs home to Ghana to be sewn.” Through the years, the process has been refined. Her company, Kwestomar Kreations, participates in fashion shows – the most recent celebrated the company’s 20th anniversary at the Westin Hotel in August, and has a website where her designs are showcased. Customers can order on line (kwestomarcreations.com), the orders are transmitted to Ghana, where the garments are custom sewn, and then couriered back to the customer. Victoria Aidoo, popularly known as Tori is the Proprietress of Kwestomar Kreations.

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Her designs are eclectic, from contemporary to traditional designs reflecting her native culture, all created from beautiful, vibrant fabrics. Her current line, the 20th Anniversary collection, has garments, for both men and women, ranging from weekend casual to perfectly appropriate for a formal night on board a cruise ship, and at extremely reasonable prices. Aidoo believes in the principles of fair trade when it comes to her relationship with her 15 designers in Ghana. She’s proud to showcase the talents of her fellow Ghanians while assisting them in having a sustainable lifestyle. “I’ve learned how to obtain a high quality product at a most reasonable price without shortchanging the person who made it.” She is now importing African artifacts and accessories to accompany her line of clothing. “I’m constantly telling stories from my country through dancing, singing, drumming, and wearing our clothing,” she says. “So these artifacts and accessories are just one more way to complement these activities.”

From the Kwestomar Kreations website A White African Skirt Set Kaba with Large Embroidered Eyelets

kwestomar kreations.com


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 on-going support from a strong business development team.

Mixed Woodin Ankara African Print Collection

When she looks back over her years in business, she says that if a person is looking at becoming an entrepreneur, the first piece of advice is to be in a business where you like what you are doing.

“We live in a very competitive marketplace so you always have to be creative and versatile,” she says. “You have to be willing to try new things. It’s also necessary to have money smarts.” She’s an advocate for developing strong relationships with her suppliers and her customers – strong relationships build strong businesses. She has a strong online presence both on her website, www.kwestomarkreations.com and via her Esty online shop. Because of that, she has had sales from across Canada, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. As a result, Toria is an importer, exporter and a job creator – an inspirational success. “Not only does my business help the people of Ghana, but it also creates spinoffs here in Halifax,” she says. “I created my online catalogue, that provides work for local models and photographers, and when I have one of my fashion shows, I’m bringing work to the hotels that host them. So, I’m helping many individuals here, as well, so it’s a win-win situation.” n

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

paul.rukidi@bbi.ns.ca (902) 478-6476

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Rocky the Pug

Teaches Life’s Lessons and Race Relations by: Abena Amoako-Green Corey Katz

“I thought it would be cute if I made picture books with funny little sayings,” she says. These evolved into the first storybook titled “Rocky and Raisins Have a Pool Party”. The story carried a lesson of pool safety and playing nicely with friends. She shared the story with a few children and adults in her social circle and received positive feedback. So she went ahead and wrote her second book “Rocky and Barack”, which addresses the issue of race. “I write about how Rocky thinks he’s an African pug because he’s black and I have to explain to him that his heritage is Chinese.” In a following book “Rocky the Pug Poses with Pride” Reid-Demeter writes about self-image. Each Rocky book has a subject and carries a valuable life lesson as well as tips and tricks from Rocky at the end of each story. Reid-Demeter combines imagination and aspects of real life to write her stories. People have requested topics for future Rocky books. One person e-mailed her to share that their child had schizophrenia and could Reid-Demeter write a Rocky book on this subject to make it easier to explain to other children? In 2012 Demeter-Reid had the chance to pitch the Rocky Series on season seven of ‘Dragon’s Den’. Though she did not walk away with an investment, she did leave with encouragement from the ‘Dragons’ and a new perspective about living one’s dream.

Chantel ReidDemeter hopes one day a publisher will take interest in the books but for now they, along with other Rocky merchandise, are available on the website: rockythe pugliest.com


he didn’t plan on buying a dog that day, much less to write a series of books about him but when Chantel Reid-Demeter saw the one black pug among the other fawn-colored ones in a New Waterford pet shop one afternoon, she could not forget him. “Right away I fell in love with the black one. I went home and tried to get him out of my mind,” she says “but I couldn’t.” A few days later she stopped in to see the dogs again and laughs at the memory of being jealous after seeing another woman snuggling the black pug in her arms. She took him home and named him Rocky. Reid-Demeter has since created a small enterprise around her new dog. Beginning with one story book, she has now written and self-published a 10-book series where she writes about Rocky’s adventures and the lessons he learns along the way. It began playfully with Reid-Demeter, a marketing major with a master’s in education, posting photos of Rocky online along with captions like ‘pug-tastic’ and ‘pug-noying’..

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Last year, Reid-Demeter went on a six-school tour in the Chester, Nova Scotia area. She has read to children in grades primary to eight at schools and museums and plans to continue doing readings with Rocky at her side. The Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board and the South Shore Regional School Board have purchased the entire 10-book Rocky series. n

Travel Miles of White Sandy Beaches The snow is soon to start blowing around and if this winter is anything like last year’s, then a southern destination quickly moves to the top of the bucket list.

BBI/Dalhousie Corporate Residency MBA Scholarship

Fortunately there are a number of carriers who offer great packages for southern destinations, from all-inclusive resorts on Caribbean islands, to family fun at Disney, or cruises to the eastern or western Caribbean. In a few short hours, the white snow of Nova Scotia can be exchanged for the miles of white sandy beaches.

Downtown Travel Halifax   2479 Brunswick St, Halifax, NS Phone: 902- 425-7458

Debbie Johnson, of Downtown Travel, has been specializing in business and leisure travel since 1998. She has a track record of superior customer service for her customers. As one grateful customer says, “Debbie always makes me feel like I’m her only client. She goes above and beyond for me, and for everyone else. That’s why I keep going back to her, whether I’m travelling for business or leisure.” n

Arnaud Kubwakristo We are pleased to announce that Arnaud Kubwakristo is the recipient of the BBI/Dalhousie Corporate Residency MBA Scholarship for 2016. This scholarship reinforces BBl’s commitment to facilitating the development of leading business skills to further advance competitiveness within the Black Business Community. We also want to thank Dan Shaw, Director, Corporate Residency MBA Program and the Rowe School of Business Administration for their engaged partnership in funding and delivering this scholarship!

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Reeny Smith Born to Sing

by: Betty Dobson Paul Adams

Reeny Smith, accepting her 2015 ANSMA Award for African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year from (l-r) Nathan Symonds and Vanessa (ASIA) Symonds.


eeny Smith may have been born to sing. She certainly grew up as part of a musical family, sparking a lifelong passion. “Seeing my parents and my grandparents, aunts and uncles and everybody in the church singing,” she says of her childhood. “Also being able to watch and observe my father as he travelled with the Gospel Heirs for a number of years when I was younger - that definitely started a passion for music for me in those earlier days.” After high school, she embraced her own talent and decided to pursue a music career. Since then, she has won numerous awards, most recently the African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year at the Nova Scotia Music Week Music Industry Awards in Yarmouth. Despite having just released her first single (“Last Call”), Smith is already something of an awards show veteran. Smith is intensely aware of where she comes from, acknowledging her

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grandfather, Pastor Wallace Smith, Sr., as one of her biggest musical influences. “His vocal ability is unbelievable,” she says. “I listen to him today and I’m still in awe. He’s just one of those people who you really want to mould yourself after.” Looking farther afield, she cites Chaka Khan as a musical role model. “Her vocal ability just surpasses so many people. She’s been such a tremendous, tremendous influence on me, my vocals, and my music.” Smith has also been favourably compared to Alicia Keys. “She definitely influences a lot of my musical decisions and choices,” she says, adding, “Not necessarily in the fact that we sound the same, but it’s just a similar type of look, type of style. I’ve sort of tried to break away from that mould, but that comparison’s definitely been there for a long time.” While she never thinks of herself as a role model, she realizes others may look at her in that light. “I understand

that there are probably people who look at me and say, ‘Oh, she would be a great role model.’ Really, I’m just trying to live my life the best way that I can.” She aims to succeed, envisioning a future filled with touring, albums, and more awards. But she’s also prepared should that future prove elusive. “I think the biggest thing I could if I wasn’t a singer is to take what I’ve learned so far and probably instill it in the people who are looking to pursue this career and teach them some things that I’ve learned along the way.” When she was asked about the business of music, Reeny says, “I am working harder than I have ever worked, but when you are doing what you love, it does not feel like work. Like any business I imagine, you need to build a strong team around you. With a strong team and hard work, great things are possible!” n

Keonté Beals Charting his Future

by: Betty Dobson


eonté Beals, of North Preston, may be young, but he has a strong sense of what he wants and how he means to achieve his goals. He started singing prior to joining the junior choir at St. Thomas Baptist Church at the age of seven. “Ever since then,” he says, “I’ve always just loved singing. But I was always so shy, I didn’t sing much in front of people.” Despite recording a few YouTube videos, he remained reluctant to perform in front of others until high school, when his vocals teacher insisted he perform and encouraged him to develop his talent. “Basically, I had no choice,” he adds, with a laugh. His major musical influences include Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Usher, and a fellow rising star, Reeny Smith. His wish list of future collaborators includes fellow Maritimers JRDN, Classified, and David Myles. Five years from now, he wants to be running his own production company

in Toronto. Within 10 years, he wants to be touring the world, with several albums under his belt. He is already off to a strong start, winning the African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA) Emerging Artist of the Year Award for 2015. “I’ve only been [performing] professionally for a year now,” he says. “The achievements that I’ve been blessed with so far have just been incredible, and I never thought that it would happen. But it happened, and I feel like I’m on a great path right now.”

Beals knows what he wants, but he also knows that he has to be prepared for life to have its own plans. He’s an entrepreneur at heart, so he can see himself selling musical instruments or becoming a music teacher. “If I couldn’t be a singer anymore, I still would want to have the production company,” he says. “I definitely want to do something in music. Music is just me.”

Keonté Beal accepting his 2015 ANSMA Award for Emerging Artist of the Year Award

Music is so deeply ingrained in who he is that he will always find a way to be part of that world, no matter what. n

Beals credits his parents, family, and friends with supporting his career choice and believes he owes much to other local performers, who have reached out to him over the past year to offer encouragement and assistance. He also praises the two-year Music Arts program at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), in which he is currently enrolled, for helping him develop his talent as well as production skills and business sense.

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The Banker Your Best Friend?

by: Carol Dobson company’s product and or service, and how the business owners expect to be paid for these.”


hen you run a small business, one of your closest business partners invariably turns out to be your banker. A good relationship with the bank is crucial in both good times and bad, whether you are starting a new business or growing an existing one. One piece of advice that people starting a new business often receive is to write a business plan. This is the roadmap that the business will be following as it grows and develops. It’s not a document to be tossed in a drawer to gather dust. Instead, it’s a living, breathing entity that should be revisited and revised as the conditions of the business change and evolve. “The relationship with your banker depends on the quality of the information you provide,” Rob Cunningham, Vice President Commercial Banking, Small Business and Cash Management, for BMO Bank of Montreal, says. “We can help by looking at your plan and asking questions to help you fine tune it. This is a perfect way to start a dialogue with both new and existing clients.” At one point, he said that a business plan was a document comprised only of numbers but that has changed, and now bankers are looking for other elements, such as the research and strategy used to achieve those numbers. This involves information about the potential customer base, how they are going to be attracted to using the

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“We not only want to look at the business plan as a document that shows where the business is going to be a year down the road, but also what it’s going to look like tomorrow,” he says. “What is the amount of the capital that the owner(s) will be injecting into the business? How much do they anticipate they will be financing by debt? How will cash flow into the business? Where is the money from the very first sale coming from?” He also says that the banker will look at other elements of the owner’s financial life. Where will money be coming from for them to pay their personal bills while they are waiting for cash flowing into the business? Rent, mortgages, food, clothing and utilities all have to be paid for while the business is starting. And, if there are staff being hired, they are also expecting to be paid for their work. Cunningham says the bank has a number of different plans for small businesses and it offers an initial three months of free banking when a business opens a commercial account. This allows the bank and the customer to determine the services that are right for the situation and make changes as things evolve. One thing is certain in small business and that is that no matter how much planning has been done, life happens and things can change rapidly. “At the end of those three months, you can come in, talk to your banker and they’ll make recommendations about the best plan that is most effective for you and can save you money in terms of fees.” Cunningham says that he has seen a great deal of evolution in how small businesses operate.

“When I first started in banking, most small businesses served their neighbourhood,” he says. “But, technology has opened up markets in the rest of the world to them and they’re truly an important part of our economy. We have a number of cash management products that can help them, ranging from assisting with exchanging currencies to paying bills to e-mail and wire transfers.” Technology has also changed how small business banking is done. E-mail transfers make it extremely easy to both pay bills and receive payments without having to leave your desk. Banks have now developed software so that companies that still receive payments by cheque can scan the cheque using a smart phone and the money is deposited into the account – no more racing to the bank to make sure the deposit is in the bank on time. Smartphone apps can also scan credit and debit cards, to take payments from clients, easily and anywhere there is internet access. Building a relationship with a banker means establishment of a bond between the banker and the client. It means that the bank trusts you to meet your financial obligations, and you trust them to meet your financial needs. The stronger the bond of trust, the more financially beneficial that relationship becomes for both parties. A long term relationship can pay off when times get tough. Then the banker, who knows your business can act as a financial advisor and partner, because they understand the complexities of the business, and can talk through the fluctuations being experienced, and suggest courses of action to remedy the situation. n

What’s Your Story? Making Connections

by: John Wedderburn, CM Communications


onnections – they are the heart and soul of any business. Building those

connections takes work and trust. One way to accomplish that is through storytelling. Good stories fascinate us. They make us care and when we care, we’ve got ourselves a connection. Like a good novel, your brand/business story should be engaging and make the reader (in this case your customers) want more. It should intrigue, engage, and connect emotionally.

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

Your story goes beyond what’s written in the copy on your website, in your brochure, or in the presentations used to pitch investors or customers. It’s about more than what you tell people; it’s what they believe about you. Part of your story may not even be told by you. A brand/business story is made up of all that you are and all that you do. Your story is the people, places, and ideas on which your company thrives. It could be how you came to be, why your products/services are special, what you’re passionate about, how you make people’s lives better, or why you would do business with your company. With the explosion of social media and content marketing, you have more opportunities than ever to tell your story(ies). No matter the platform, good stories are built on the following.

Compelling moment(s) No two moments are exactly alike. Think of your own personal stories, from a moment of triumph or a moment of defeat. What happened? Who was there? What did they say? What would others have seen? If you can think about your customers at that very moment when they experience the best value of your brand, you’re a step closer to finding your “moment(s)” and creating a deeper connection with your customer. For example, if you sell food products, maybe it’s that moment when Mom or Dad or kid makes a special meal with your product(s) in celebration of a success or to soothe a defeat. If you’re a contractor, maybe it’s that magical moment when your customer turns the key on their new house or opens the door to a newly renovated space. It’s important to understand that your compelling moments aren’t sales pitches. Your stories are compelling moments that illustrate the heart and soul of your brand.

Dove products but it explores the way social media shapes the way we see and perceive beauty. Dove wants consumers, young women in particular, to embrace the selfie in all of its authentic beauty. The Result, consumers embrace Dove.

Personalities If you want to capture the hearts and minds of your customers/readers, show real people doing real things that make a real difference for someone. Remember the Mean Joe Green “Have a Coke and Smile” campaign? This was so much more than advertising. It was a story about a hero athlete who took the time to stop, appreciate and engage with a young fan. If you recall, Mean Joe hobbles crankily off the field and a young fan follows behind to see if he needs help telling his hero how he feels - that he thinks Mean Joe is the “best ever”. Then he offers Mean Joe his bottle of Coca Cola. “It’s OK, you can have it,” he says. Mean Joe takes it, drinks the whole bottle (offering no thanks) while the young fan walks away, in disappointment.

And that’s when connection happens.

Authenticity Marketing can sometimes and arguably often feel artificial. Generic product attributes and abstract business-speak feels cold and unconnected. Try telling your brand story out loud to yourself and others and then ask “Do you believe it?” “Does it make you feel something?” Awesome, inspiring, human stories like the Dove – Selfie Project and videos epitomize authenticity. Although it has nothing to do with

Then, Mean Joe turns gets his fan’s attention, says thanks and tosses him his game towel, much to the young fan’s delight. It was an unforgettable, human moment and a classic brand story. A Parting Thought: Don’t forget to share your stories across the variety of platforms you have at your disposal, which seem almost endless these days. Whether it’s blogs, live Tweets, podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, or another platform, get your story out there and begin making those memorable connections. n

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Here to Help You Community Resources

by: Emily Rendell-Watson and Carol Dobson


here are many resources

available to members of the community who are looking to promote their events, share their stories, access information about employment and entrepreneurship,

Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs (ANSA)

Watershed Area Development Enterprise Ltd. (W.A.D.E.)

The Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs is a government agency providing community support to groups through grants and contributions and advises government on issues impacting the Black Community. It collaborates with government and broad range of community organizations such as the Nova Scotia Brotherhood Initiative (men’s health). The ANSA website is used by community groups to promote events and explain about their activities. This office is also the umbrella organization coordinating African Heritage Month events and information networks across the province. The ANSA team works extremely hard building bridges for enhanced dialogue and engagement between government and community.

W.A.D.E. has been providing economic development services to residents of Cherry Brook/Lake Loon, Lake Major, North Preston, East Preston and now including the Dartmouth African Nova Scotian Community since March, 1983. It is one of a network of Career Nova Scotia Centres, providing free employment counselling and labour market workshops (resume writing, interview skills, self-esteem development and computer training - basic to advanced levels), along with helping clients access skills training institutions, scholarships, and financing for small business. W.A.D.E. supports community economic development by advocating for housing, health and public transportation services. The WADE team is working hard to offer support and build partnerships that create job opportunities for community members.

Wayn Hamilton, Executive Director 1741 Brunswick St., 3rd Floor

 Halifax, Nova Scotia
 902-424-5555 www.ansa.novascotia.ca

Tony Atuanya, Executive Director 49 Wilfred Jackson Way Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 902-435-4648 www.wadens.ca

and celebrate our rich heritage. Here are a few organizations working hard to support the African Nova Scotian community: 41 ...

Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia (BCC)

Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute (DBDLI)

Valley African Nova Scotian Development Assoc. (VANSDA)

The Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia is a centrepiece museum and cultural gathering place celebrating and educating the public about four centuries of African Nova Scotian experiences in Nova Scotia. It is a must see cultural tourism attraction! It preserves, promotes, and protects African Nova Scotian history by offering guided and self-guided tours of the Black experience in Nova Scotia. The facility also holds camps for youth, and hosts events such as the W.P. Oliver Hall of Fame celebration to honour major contributors to the community. The centre documents the history of migrations to this province and contributions by prominent Nova Scotians, including William Hall V.C., sports heroes, community leaders, military and RCMP officers, and musicians.

The vision of the Delmore ‘Buddy’ Daye Learning Institute is to empower African Nova Scotian/African Canadian learners and communities and to ensure that they have access to learn about their history and community and to inform all people in the province about the history and contributions of African Nova Scotians to this province. They do this by forming research partnerships and collaborations that, among other outcomes, deliver vital community programs. Current collaborations include an outreach program with ‘Teens Now Talk’ magazine to focus on African Nova Scotian learners. Masters and doctoral level students have received fellowships from the DBDLI to study various aspects of life in this province, through an Africentric lens including education, spirituality, the church, gender relations, publishing books, and community programming.

The Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association is a community-based employment agency specialising in employment related issues for people in the Annapolis Valley. The programs are geared towards youth, seniors and integrating people with justice issues back into work. Its immigration program assists people with the transition into the Canadian work force, by covering office etiquette, budgeting, literacy, getting a drivers’ license and anything that may be barrier to finding full-time work in Nova Scotia. VANSDA’s resource library contains books, pamphlets, periodicals, and videos dealing with the topics of career self- assessment, resume and letter writing, using the telephone in your job search, interviewing skills, and effective networking assist clients in their employability goal. People are also able to come to VANSDA, which is a CAP site, when they move to the community, to be connected to schools and organizations.

Russell Grosse, Executive Director 10 Cherry Brook Rd. Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia 902-434-6223 www.web1.bccnsweb.com

Sylvia Parris, Executive Director 5539 Cornwallis St. Halifax, Nova Scotia 902-407-3200 www.dbdli.ca

Robert Ffrench, Executive Director 55 Webster Street Kentville, Nova Scotia 902-678-7410 www.vansda.ca

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There is Nothing but Promise Ahead

Collaboration is Key

by Neville Gilfoy

Micheal Wyse, CEO, BBI, collaborating with Kathleen Rayworth. CEO, entrepreneurs3.0 and Neville Gilfoy, founder and publisher of the Progress Media Group.


was chatting with a business leader recently after we

had both attended the Progress 101 Growth Conference. The delegates numbered just over 200 and the “Titles” list read like the very who’s who of Atlantic Canadian business.

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My colleague was giving me his thoughts on the event itself and some thoughts he had on the attendees. He said he had been sitting in the group and looking around and was struck by not only how many high value prospects were in the room but by the fact that most of them do not do any business with each other. That led to a discussion on just how much we as a business community are willing to find ways to collaborate. The conclusion was that we for the most part don’t collaborate in a meaningful, intentional way. Collaboration is a powerful tool for business owners and operators. In the case of Progress we have collaborated with two NGOs for several

years – the Black Business Initiative and Entrepreneur’s Forum which is now Entrepreneur’s 3.0 (E3). Both organizations are committed to helping business owners at various stages of growth find new ways to succeed. They provide advice, direction, networks, how to, mentoring and insight and understanding: all the things Progress seeks to do within its mandate. Progress and BBI collaborated two years ago to produce a feature on Black-owned businesses and other support organizations. We published it in the “101” edition to give the story broader distribution and a longer shelf life, while at the same time allowing Progress magazine to showcase diversity. Progress and E3 collaborated

“Collaboration is a powerful tool for business owners and operators. In the case of Progress we have collaborated with two NGOs for several years – the Black Business Initiative and Entrepreneur’s Forum which is now Entrepreneur’s 3.0 (E3).” to produce a year-long training curriculum for small business entrepreneurs. Because of our existing relationship this program was offered to BBI clients. In addition Progress offers discounted rates for members and clients of the two organizations so that it is easier for them to take advantage of the programs offered by Progress.

but there are many ways companies, NGOs, post-secondary institutions and governments can collaborate. The priority is to start building relationships with the leadership of other aligned organizations. During the process of building trust and respect, learn as much as possible about the other organization and start the giving process (the basis for any kind of solid relationship).

little cynical and definitely not trusting – at first. But once we’ve developed relationships built on trust we tend to be very trusting and open. And that’s when all the benefits start to kick in. We can’t necessarily plan for them or define exactly what they’ll be. But if your organizations are aligned in values, there will most assuredly be ways to find the hidden gems of opportunity.

Finding collaborators who are aligned with direction, values and purpose is the main consideration. And once you do find them, you must work it, work it and work it. Eventually the collaboration will pay off. In this region we tend to be conservative, a little reserved, a

Look around and see where your collaborators are. Figure out how to move forward with them. There is nothing but promise ahead. n Neville Gilfoy is the founder and publisher of Progress Media Group.

Russell Wyse

The CEOs of both NGOs are members of Progress Squared, which puts them in touch with the broader Progress community. And all three organizations are co-located in the same office space. This gives the management and staff of all three groups the ability to connect instantly, to have spontaneous conversations, which almost always result in new ways of approaching challenges and opportunities. “Co-location has facilitated dialogue about strategy, value-add collaborations, and pooling resources that just would not happened otherwise. Enhanced stakeholder value, impact and reach are among the many benefits of our co-location” Michael Wyse, CEO, BBI, says. That kind of collaboration cannot physically work for every situation,

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What does Community Mean to You?

by: Valerie Payn, CEO, Halifax Chamber of Commerce


s the President of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce I often reflect on what makes a strong community. Our strategic goals for 2013-2018 focus on community, connectivity and growing together.

We are less of a community when we are separate, rather than together. And the word “community” can be used to refer to the Black community, or the white community, but the community I am representing is the entire community that calls Nova Scotia home. Through diversity, we can build a stronger community, for all of us.

Valerie Payn, Halifax Chamber of Commerce President & CEO

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one of the leading chambers in North America. As the voice of business in Halifax, the Chamber advocates on behalf of more than 1,500 members and the 90,000 men and women they employ.

Through many hours of discussions And by Halifax, I mean our entire our team created three key areas of municipality, including Hubbards, focus, with one overall aspirational Bedford, Dartmouth, Hammonds statement: Plains, North Preston, East Preston, Spryfield and Cherry brook, and so on. “The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is committed to enhancing the prosIt’s important to note our membership perity of its members and to realizing consists of primarily small businesses. Halifax’s potential to be among the More than 80 per cent of Halifax top 3 highest growth city economies After all, we all contribute to the Chamber members have fewer than in Canada by 2018.” prosperity of Nova Scotia: Black busi- 25 employees, and the focus of our nesses, white businesses, aboriginal advocacy efforts reflect the needs of I told you it was aspirational! businesses, Lebanese, Greek, Asian… these small businesses. We offer our all of us. members an impressive benefit pack- I want to talk a bit about this audaage including group health, insurance, cious goal and what it means for the So if we all contribute to the prosper- and other exclusive member-to-mem- Black business community. ity of Nova Scotia and we agree that ber offers. together we are stronger, the question Imagine a Halifax that is fast-growing becomes: how can we prosper better We also offer our business community and vibrant. A city where Black comtogether? more than 100 networking and educa- munity members, including youth tional events each year. And I’m hoping and immigrants, not only see, but are The Halifax Chamber is one of the to see more and more Black business living a bright future here. largest Chambers among mid-sized leaders participating in all of our events. Canadian cities and is considered We need to start with the belief that Twice a year we hold Gala Dinners with Halifax can, and will, be a Top-3 city premier keynote speakers from around in Canada. But then we need to make the world. If there are any Black thought it happen through individual and colleaders that you would be interested lective change and effort. in bringing to Halifax to address our community, I’d be very interested in There is so much going on in our city, your suggestions. it’s hard not to be optimistic: offshore drilling by Shell, the King’s Wharf The Chamber’s work relies on the development, Nova Centre, shipbuildefforts of many. A volunteer Board ing, to name just a few. of Directors of 14, a professional staff of 15 and more than 150 volunteers, It isn’t only Halifax that will benefit provide member services, advocacy from these major projects, we want and leadership. our entire region to take advantage of these economic opportunities. This past year, our dedicated Board of Directors and management met to So what else can we do together to develop our five-year strategic plan help Halifax become a Top-3 fastest for 2013-2018. growing city?

One thing we can all agree on is that Nova Scotia needs more people.

We also need to create a positive business environment for all the communities of Halifax by promoting entrepreneurship, capitalizing on major projects and building a vibrant downtown core.

Nova Scotia’s population dropped from 945,000 (2011) to 943,000 (2015). We also have an aging workforce. As such, we need to focus on increased immigration, worker pro- All of these positive opportunities have ductivity, and capitalizing on major projects boosted confidence in Atlantic Canadians to increase local jobs and retain our youth. and, we feel, they are driving a rebirth of our entrepreneurial spirit. According to the We’ve heard it in different ways that deaths Halifax Partnership’s Business Confidence are outpacing births. For us to succeed, for Survey almost 80 per cent of businesses feel all of us to prosper, we need to tap all our optimistic about doing business in our city. human resources. To conclude, implementing our strategic One way of doing this is to better engage the plan – specifically supporting entrepreneurs people that are already here, which includes to take advantage of major projects – cannot the Black community. happen alone. Specifically, we need to grow a skilled work- The mandate of the Black Business Initiative force by ensuring that post-secondary edu- is to help grow Black-owned businesses in cation is matched to employer needs. Nova Scotia.

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce exists to promote the diversity and culture of business in the region. So, both of our organizations are focused on growing and nurturing a dynamic and vibrant business culture. I see “business” as an important cultural bridge and engaging the Black business community is important to the success of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. I don’t have any silver bullet solutions, but I do have an open heart and I want to work with you. I encourage you to join the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and to reach out to me, I look forward to hearing from you how we can work and prosper together. ◆

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Malcolm Fraser, President, ISL Web Development

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Credit Union Financing for Nova Scotia Small Business

We are very pleased to partner with the Black Business Initiative (BBI) to support Black entrepreneurs across Nova Scotia.

• Are you a Black entrepreneur hoping to start a business? • Are you a Black entrepreneur wanting to grow or expand your business? • Are you a Black entrepreneur wanting to purchase a business?

Come see us! You will be glad you did! Our Small Business Financing Program is a joint initiative of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, Atlantic Central, local credit unions, and the Province of Nova Scotia. Credit unions have a long history of commitment to their local communities. Our Small Business Financing Program is part of this commitment – helping to establish new businesses, grow existing businesses, and empowering entrepreneurs with the support they need to create employment for themselves and others.

• If you answered yes, then we want to Who can apply for a small business loan? hear from you!

Residents of Nova Scotia who wish to start a small business, and/or com-

• Nova Scotia credit unions have a panies, co-operatives, and social enterprises operating in the Province who smallbusiness financing program to intend to grow their business. help you get on your way. Where is this program available? WE ARE NOT YOUR AVERAGE LENDER! We are a community owned finance institution. That means, if you do business with us, YOU are an owner. Your success is our success! Over the past decade our credit unions have provided financing to over 1800 small businesses to help get them started. We have helped to create over 12,000 jobs. Businesses like Maritime Directional, who said: “After struggling with national banks for over five years and not receiving the support I needed to grow, I went to the credit union. Great team, great terms and a forward thinking approach to small business”. Or a business like Wink Day Spa who said: “When I was ready to open my business I was told that the credit union should be my first stop as they were supportive of small business. They were not only interested in my business plan, but also in me as a person. They made me feel comfortable and welcome. They walked me through every step of getting started and are still there today as my support. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to start a business”.

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This program is available across Nova Scotia, exclusively through your local credit union.

How do I apply? Visit the local credit union in your area. To find the credit union nearest you, visit www.atlanticcreditunions.ca

What will the credit union require from me? If your business is a new start-up, the credit union will require a business plan that shows the viability of your idea. If your business is an existing business, you will be required to present past financial information, usually the past three years. You will be asked to provide information regarding your net worth, credit history, and other documents that are normally required when applying for a loan.

Your success is our success!

Does my past credit history count?

What are the terms of a loan?

Credit history is an important piece of your identity. All financial institutions will check credit histories when you apply for credit of any kind. A credit history report is not the only criteria used by a credit union to make a lending decision. Those with a less than perfect credit history are still eligible to apply under the Small Business Financing program.

The terms and conditions of the loan will be negotiated between the business member and the credit union. The maximum term under this program is ten (10) years for term loans and seven (7) years for lines of credit.

What is the interest rate? Will I need to give personal security or guarantees to the credit union? The interest rate is negotiated between the business member and the credit union. Yes. The credit union will evaluate your loan request by following normal credit lending criteria. This will include an assessment of your personal net worth. Is there a fee to access this program? If your application does not fit normal lending criteria, but the credit union feels your business has potential for success, the credit union can apply for Business members are required to pay a one (1) per cent a loan guarantee to offset their risk. You will be required to provide any and finance fee annually, based on the total value outstanding all personal security available against the loan before a guarantee is issued. on the loan. This one (1) per cent is a guarantee fee that is remitted by the credit union to the provincial Department How much can I borrow? of Finance. Under this program, the maximum lifetime amount that can be borrowed is $500,000.

What kind of financing does this program cover? Term loans, working capital and lines of credit are eligible.

Are there any restrictions on the type of business eligible? All businesses are eligible except residential and commercial real estate, beverage rooms and taverns. Also, any venture of a questionable ethical or legal nature is ineligible. Each application is evaluated on a case by case basis, and based on the business plan and viability.

Are personal loans eligible? No. The program only applies to business ventures.

Are there any other requirements under this program? The credit union may request that you have a business mentor as a condition of the loan.

For more information: www.novascotia.coop www.atlanticcreditunions.ca 902-896-7291

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Upcoming Training - Winter 2016 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. The only cost to you is your time and commitment!

Dalhousie Leadership Development CEO Business Growth Training (6 weeks, 42 hours)

(11 days – January to May 2016)

Lead your company towards living its growth potential. From January 15 - March 31, six highimpact sessions will help you refine your leadership skills and strategy. To participate, your business must have been operating for more than a year in Nova Scotia and have a payroll exceeding $25,000.

Adobe Photoshop (10 weeks, 40 hours) Tired of hiring or waiting for someone to do your graphic designs? Learn how to create visuals for websites, flyers, posters, brochures, and other promotional materials.

Specifically designed and delivered by C-Level Executive Solutions for business owners, CEOs, and senior executives of small to medium-sized businesses. This hands-on training will help executives build specific tools, tactics, and “business plays” focused on business growth. Participants will work to foster innovation, and enhance productivity and competitiveness to achieve their business’ full economic potential.

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

Tentative courses for Winter & Spring 2016 - Express Your Interest! Please note we need a minimum of 10 interested participants to roll out the following programs. Give us a call to identify the courses you want to see BBI offer!

• Business Growth & Profitability

• Online and Social Media • E - Marketing

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• Business Planning

• Business Managing

• Export Training

• Business Proposal Writing

• Business Strategy • Business Cohort Women Leadership

* Please check with BBI for eligibility requirements

Thank You to the Sponsors of the

2015 BIJ Charitable Golf Tournment

Empowering Black youth through






Premium Builders of Energy Efficient Homes

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Community & Business Events 51 ...

December 11, 2015 6:15 -9:00pm

Book Reading with Lawrence Hill

Black Loyalist Heritage Centre

African Heritage Month


To honour the 100th year anniversary of the No. 2 Construction Battalion and to continue to create awareness about the Decade for People of African Descent.

Join Lawrence Hill at the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre for a reading from his newest novel, “The Illegal”. “The Illegal” is a contemporary novel about an elite The African Heritage Month Information Network is marathoner who flees violence in his homeland and pleased to present as the theme for African Heritage goes into hiding as an undocumented refugee in a nation Month 2016: The Black Battalion: Legacy of where he is not wanted. Commitment – Fighting the Fight. Book signing begins at 6:15pm, reading and questionanswer period begins at 7pm. The book will be available In December 2014 the UN declared the next ten years to for sale at the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre. be the Decade for People of African Decent with the theme: Justice, Recognition and Development. Tickets are $20/person and seating is limited! In 1916 the formation of the No. 2 Construction Battalion Advance tickets will be available at the Black Loyalist was completed. The making of the Battalion was the Heritage Centre in Birchtown. result of months and months of struggle for Black Call Arlene at 902-875-1310 if you would like to Canadians to be accepted into active duty to fight in the purchase advance tickets. Great War. The members of the Black Battalion had to fight to fight. The Black Battalion were trail blazers, they December 11, 2015 broke the color barrier in the Armed Forces. Because of 7:00 pm their unwavering desire to fight for Freedom they made significant contributions. Their efforts paved the way for African Nova Scotians to serve in the armed forces in the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghan War; and Peacekeeping in the Sinai, Black Cultural Centre Cyprus, the Congo and other conflict zones. Tickets available online at www.bccns.com or in person at the Centre. To have your event included in the official Call 902-434-6223 for more details.

O’ Holy Night Family Christmas Celebration

December 12, 2015 6:30 pm. - 1:00 am

Annual Multicultural Gala

Mount St. Vincent University, Rosaria Centre

Hosted by The United African Canadian Women’s Association (UACWA) and the African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes (ADAM) Tickets: $35.00 per person Email: information@adamns.ca Web: www.adamns.com

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

African Heritage Month 2016 Calendar of Events, please submit your event online at: www.ansa.novascotia.ca by: Friday, December 18, 2015

Monthly, throughout 2016

Center for Women in Business: Power Lunch Series

The Meadows at MSVU

This is your invitation to join the Center for Women in Business every month as they serve up a POWER Lunch featuring presentations from some of the business experts who make up their membership, along with Q&As and fresh lunch.

Doors open at 11:30 am for networking, with presentations from 12 - 1:30pm. Cost: $15 + HST for members; $25 +HST for non-members; Contact: Nora Perry, 902.457.6320, nora.perry@msvu.ca

January to March 2016 Racism Is Killing Us Softly

Seminar Series

This Series is in partnership with the Dalhousie School of Social Work, the Nova Scotia Association of Black Social Workers, The James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies and the Dalhousie Black Student Advising Centre. All sessions are scheduled from 6:00 pm in the Dalhousie Student Union Building

January 18, 2016 Racism is Killing Us Softly: The System as a Weapon and a Shield Dalhousie Student Union Building, Room 307

February 4, 2016: Racism is Killing Us Softly: Narratives of Young Black Men

January 28-29, 2016

FITTskills: International Trade Research Nova Scotia Business Inc. WTCC Halifax, 7th floor

January 28, 2016 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Halifax Chamber of Commerce Halifax Business Awards World Trade and Convention Centre

February 2016

African Heritage Month For a list of events across the province, contact


February, 27, 2016

Dalhousie Student Union Building, Room 303


March 21, 2016: Racism is Killing Us Softly: Combatting Anti-Black Racism

18th Annual ANSMA Awards & Show,

Dalhousie Student Union Building, Room 303

Sponsored by Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2 T: 902-494-6592

World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax

February 17 – 19, 2016

Starting Point Student Entrepreneurship Conference Sobey School Business Development Centre Saint Mary’s University, 923, Robie Street, Halifax

January 16, 2016 NS Mass Choir presents the 13th Anniversary of

“The Dream Continues” tribute to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rebecca Cohn Auditorium www.dal.ca/dept/arts-centre/events-schedule

January 19-21, 2016

Trade Mission to International Builders’ Show Walker Program

Nova Scotia Business Inc. Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

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February 25 – 26, 2016

May 27, 2016

FITTskills: International Market Entry Strategies

8:30am – 3:30pm

Nova Scotia Business Inc. WTCC Halifax, 7th floor

April 21, 2016

W.A.D.E. Job Fair Main Meeting Auditorium New Beginnings Ministry Complex 26 Cherry Brook Road (Next to the Black Cultural Center) Dartmouth, NS WADE Head Office 49 Wilfred Jackson Way, Dartmouth (902) 435-4648 www.wadens.ca

7:00 pm

Harlem Globetrotters 90th Anniversary World Tour Scotiabank Centre www.ticketatlantic.com

June 5-June 7, 2016

Progress: Face to Face

April 29, 2016

Halifax Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Spring Dinner Special announcement – introducing the successor to CEO Valerie Payn Information: www.halifaxchamber.ca

May 19 -May 22, 2016

Provincial Black Basketball Association

For more information on our ANNUAL Face to Face Conference, contact Ashley Stobo: (902) 494-5819. www.progressmedia.ca/face-to-face-conference

April 12-13, 2016

Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) Location: Allstream Center, Toronto, Ontario www.camsc.ca

43nd Anniversary Black Invitational Basketball Tournament • www.blackbasketball.ca


18TH ANNUAL FEB 27, 2016




FOR INFORMATION: 1-9 02- 4 0 4 -3 036 1-9 02- 4 3 4 -9 9 0 9


I’M YOUNG. YOU’RE SMART. HIRE ME. Every year, 1,300 of our most talented, educated 20-somethings – our best chance at a brighter future – walk out the door. They’re Game Changers. What are you going to do? Hire a game changer. Be a game changer. It’s your city. It’s your company. It’s your call.


Meet our Game Changer partners:

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

numĂŠro de convention



Profile for Metro Guide Publishing

Black to Business – Issue 61 – Winter 2015  

Black to Business – Issue 61 – Winter 2015