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S U M M ER 2 016

Also in this issue:  Trailblazers  Africa Night  Successful


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

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: Rustum Southwell, BBI

Message from the Mayor of Halifax


Message from the BBI


Mike Wyse, Still Climbing...


‘Wright” Man for the Job - Devon Wright


People & Business on the Move


Black Business Community Investment Fund-Update


CFIB - The Federal Budget


It’s All About Service - NDS Property Services


Fashionable Future - Duane Jones


TRAILBLAZERS - Two Directors


Cover Story Family Matters - Family Businesses


Paying it Forward - Ernest Simmonds


Instagram Tactics - Ross Simmonds


Africa Night - Saint Mary’s African Student Society


Business Is Jammin’ Hits the Road


The Emerging Lens - Shelley Fashan


The Art of Conversation - John Wedderburn


Here to Help You - Community Resources


BBI Training Schedule and Report


Potential Empowerment - Higher Education


w w w. b b i . ca

Are You a “Growth Champion”?



BBI Regional Shout-Outs


Community & Business Events


Creative Director: Dan O'Brien, Design North - Halifax Coordinator / Line Editor: Carol Dobson Cover Photographers: Russell Wyse and Lou Gannon

The Black Business Initiative Centennial Building Suite 1201,1660 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1V7 Phone: 902.426.8683 Fax: 902.426.8699 Toll Free: 1.888.664.9333 E-Mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca

On the cover: Lawrence Willis (top left), Carlo Simmons (bottom left) and Glynis Simms (right), see their stories, Family Matters, on page 17.

Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687

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The BBI focuses on supporting business starts, growth and business attraction to Nova Scotia. The BBI also places priority on supporting Black owned firms to improve productivity, invest in strategic innovations and enhance regional and global competitiveness. In 1996, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia set up the BBI to address the unique needs confronting the Black business community in Nova Scotia.

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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.


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. 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 Mayor of Halifax Mayor Mike Savage

It is my pleasure to extend greetings on behalf of Halifax Regional Council and Halifax Regional Municipality, and warm congratulations for the ongoing work of the Black Business Initiative (BBI) as you con-


tinue to mark 20 years of service to the community. The BBI has played an unparalleled role in helping businesses moved from start-up to success. The work of the BBI and the wide variety of Black businesses it has supported serve as a strong example of grassroots economic development, the kind of sustainable growth that will help define the future of our city and our province. We would all do well to look to the BBI model of paying it forward, of mentoring and creating the conditions for business success. Thank you for your contributions toward the building of a more diverse, entrepreneurial Halifax region. I wish continued success to the many businesses that have hard work and BBI support to thank for where they are today. At City Hall we are committed to create a more business-friendly climate that recognizes that your success is our success. We are working to keep commercial taxes down, to tighten our processes and turnaround times, and we are investing in the community infrastructure you rely on every day. Together we can make Halifax a more fertile ground for the growth of new business and the flourishing of those that are already well established. Kindest regards, Mike Savage, Mayor

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The Black Business Initiative Cynthia Dorrington, Chair, BBI



n 1996 the destiny for Black-owned businesses changed with the creation of the Black Business Initiative (BBI). Through the years the BBI has transitioned and a group of companies has been established to promote and advance its mandate of building a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotian business community. We have supported start ups across the province; worked in the building and development of human capacity thus leading to a stronger workforce; and have stood proud as Black-owned businesses have been building the economic fabric of our great province. The Composite Group of Companies expands our range of services, reach, impact, and outcomes. Business is Jammin’ (BIJ) plants the seed of entrepreneurship for our leaders of tomorrow. Black Business Consulting (BBC)/ ADEPA Construction focuses on finding opportunities whereby our businesses can collaborate and compete in the bigger marketplace. The Black Business Community Investment Fund (BBCIFL)’s key focus is to invest in Blackowned businesses providing companies with the financial capacity to grow and flourish. Each of these organizations has strategically and collectively aligned as One Brand, One Vision, One Organization, our mantra. Over the past 19 years we have embraced transition and change. We are and will continue to be a change agent for the Black business community across our province. Past and current board members and staff of the BBI and its Composite Group of Companies are change agents people who act as catalysts for change. Malcom Gladwell noted in his book “The Tipping Point” that “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” Individuals who are truly successful in helping to be catalysts for change embody the following characteristics. They: • possess a clear vision; • are patient yet persistent; • asks tough questions; • are knowledgeable and lead by example; and • build strong and trusted relationships.

BBI and its Composite Group of Companies have had the opportunity to attract people with these characteristics and, for that we are thankful. As we transition from our teens into our twenties, we will continue to forge ahead as both a change agent and advocate, as required for the Black business community across Nova Scotia. We will chart the strategic direction of this organization and will continue to enhance our relationships with our stakeholders, build stronger partnerships, and define strategic alliances that will aid us towards fulfilling the mandate of the BBI. The BBI Board along with the boards of its Composite Group Of Companies will collectively work towards building a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. A quote from Henry Ford states, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” We will strive for success everyday. Respectfully Submitted,

Cynthia Dorrington, Chair, BBI I am pleased to announce that Rustum Southwell has been appointed as the Interim CEO of the BBI. His term will extend to the conclusion of the search for a permanent CEO. Rustum is well known to the BBI family having being the former and founding CEO of the organization, and most recently as the Interim CEO for the United Way of Halifax. He has been and continues to be a dedicated and respected volunteer across our Nova Scotian community. As a strong leader and collaborator, he will continue to move BBI on its journey to build a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community. “We developed and worked around a cluster of strategic objectives,” he says. “These objectives were formed by our vision to foster an enduring presence within the Nova Scotia business community of a dynamic and vibrant Black presence. Our ultimate goal, to which the strategic objectives point, has been, and remains to facilitate the development, growth, and expansion of Black-owned businesses that will create and sustain a positive influence on the province-wide Nova Scotia business culture. Having now being tasked with rebuilding the depleted resources of the organization, we will begin by setting the framework for getting it Right!” n

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Mike Wyse

Still Climbing...

by: Carol Dobson

“After climbing a great hill, one finds there are many more hills to climb”

~ Nelson Mandela


hose words can describe what Michael Wyse did this March after resigning as the CEO of the Black Business Initiative – successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It can also describe the variety of hills he has climbed for the BBI since its inception. He’s worn many hats while climbing those hills – Regional Business Development Manager with responsibility for setting up the first training office, board member, Chair of the Board, and latterly CEO, so his corporate memory is long and deep. “The BBI has done great things during its 20 years,” Wyse says. “We need to continue to be nimble, adaptable, and ready to align with changing trends and economic development priorities. This means growing existing relationships while applying creative innovation to finding new ways to doing things better, faster, and more cost effectively. We must focus on maximizing ROI, remaining relevant and valued by stakeholders. BBI is an action arm of government’s economic development and equity policy priorities. I am proud to have been part of the BBI team, committed to moving NS’s economic needle and advancing economic prosperity in the Black community.

Mike Wyse, (directly above), with his wife Sue (red hat) celebrates at the summet of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

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“It’s been a pleasure interacting with Mike at various events and meetings over the past few years,” the Hon. Tony Ince, Minister of Communities Culture and Heritage, and African Nova Scotian Affairs, says. “I’ve had the chance to get to know him better and to appreciate the work he did at BBI. Mike is always a consummate professional. I’ve seen first-hand how he inspires loyalty in his staff and

Lou Gannon

I would like to take this opportunity to express a sincere “thank you” to Mike Wyse for his hard work and commitment to BBI over the years, and in particular his most recent role as CEO. Mike gave voice and energy to maintaining and ensuring BBI was seen as a relevant entity for the African Nova Scotian community; and for the entrepreneurial sector in Nova Scotia. For Mike, it was all about building a strong and prosperous organization.

others through his leadership skills, but also because he has a genuine belief in the value and potential of Black business owners.” During the time Wyse was the CEO, beginning on April 12, 2012, he calls himself “a champion for inclusion and participation in the mainstream economy. I was an advocate for community members working better together, for the community, reclaiming its political voice and to strive for equitable participation in Nova Scotia’s mainstream economy.” “In my first 30 months, training was up 214 per cent, business loans were up 87 percent, funds raised for business growth were up 68 per cent, and helping clients leverage mainstream financial resources was up 81 per cent.” he recalls. I believe we need to wake each day and challenge ourselves to do better today than we did yesterday. Nova Scotia needs us all to live our economic potential. It needs more businesses, exporters and innovators. We can and must seize the opportunity to be the change that the province needs.”

of Excellence Entrepreneurship & Innovation Award. On reflection, Wyse hopes that the BBI community will remember him as a strong champion for the various sectors, including cultural tourism, music, construction, and women in business and for strongly advocating youth entrepreneurship. Enabling members of the community to innovate, start, enhance their productivity, and grow their businesses successfully are hallmarks of his tenure.

When he came down from the BBI hill in March, he and his wife, Sue, set their sights on climbing to the “Rooftop of Africa”, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania - 19,341 feet above sea level - 5895 meters. They made it to the summit on March 15, 2016. It was an extremely scenic seven day hike During his tenure, the BBI signed eight Memoranda of up and one day down – through glaUnderstanding with both local and national organizations, ciers. After the climb they enjoyed an including the Cooperative Council, three Community amazing four-day safari through the Business Development Corporations, Dalhousie University, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Highlands the Preston Area Housing Association, and the Canadian in Tanzania. Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council. As well, the BBI continued to grow its client - and labour market-focused As he looks for his next hill to climb, programs, by offering 14 new programs during his tenure. the final word goes to Mike, “I am proud the BBI team received a Work Place Champion Award presented by the Honorable Kelly Regan, Minister of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education,” he says. “We also nominated members of the community for major awards including the House of Auto Detailing (Natalie Wilson) for the Chamber of Commerce New Business of the Year Award (second place); Michelle Williams-Lord for the Women of Excellence Education and Research award and Laurissa Manning for the Women

His stewardship was characterized by innovative ideas, strategic thinking and tireless efforts to increase the credibility and visibility of BBI in the community. The resulting goodwill has advanced the BBI brand and he has nurtured the existing relationship with supporters and partners in all parts of the province. From a personal point of view, his friendship and support have been very important to me and to African Nova Scotian Affairs. I have enjoyed the privilege of working with Michael and I have seen firsthand his dedication and passion for improving the current state of affairs for Black entrepenurialship and business. The manner in which he offered guidance, ideas and wisdom is especially noteworthy. His energy and devotion to the role will be impossible to match. I wish him well in his future endeavors Sincerely, Wayn Hamilton Executive Director African Nova Scotian Affairs

“To so many, thank you for your support, engagement, and assistance over the past four years. As we look forward, may we all remain vested in building a stronger Nova Scotia. Never under estimate your ability to inspire, even when you don’t know others are watching.” n 4 ...

“Wright” Man for the Job

Workhorse Property Services, a small business with big ambitions


evon Wright’s not the type

Devon Wright, of Workhorse Property Services 902-225-4176 or 902-402-8928 workhorse property services @gmail.com

to clock in and out of a nineto-five desk job.

“I like working with my hands. Ever since I was 17, I worked in this field,” the Dartmouth native says. “I did some masonry work, I did roofing. I knew this was the field I wanted to be in, I just didn’t know which direction I wanted to go.” The catalyst to send Wright on his desired career path came in the form of a 12-week program organized by the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association and the Black Business Initiative. Renovator 101 covers a broad spectrum of residential renovation topics and combines classroom and hands-on experience. “I felt it could help me narrow down exactly where I wanted to go. I definitely needed this program before I started this business and it helped me out tremendously.” Sherry Donovan, the chief executive officer of the Nova Scotia Homebuilder’s Association, remembers his quiet confidence and the growth in his leadership abilities during the course. “It’s a very intensive course and everyone needs to jump right in and be dedicated,” she says. “Devon showed his leadership qualities from the first day and as the program went on, became a mentor for the other students. He had a quiet confidence about him that grew as things went on. We are so excited that he has been able to take the skills he learned in Renovator 101 and transfer them to his own business.”

Russell Wyse

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Fast forward to this past summer, the official inception of Workhorse Property Services. After spending several years working under other established construction companies, Wright, along with long-time friend, Timothy Adams, created a multi-service brand that caters to a homeowner’s indoor and outdoor home improvement needs. From decks and

by: Lindsay Ruck fences to drywall and framing, Workhorse Property Services already has several completed projects under its tool belt. Wright and Adams, whose friendship dates back to elementary school, have based their company on simple fundamental values. Fair pricing, exceptional workmanship and punctuality are just a few of the guarantees clients can expect when hiring Workhorse Property Services. “We like to be on the job site by 8:30 a.m., unless the homeowners request us to start a bit later. We get the job done and we do everything to a ‘T’.” Wright also stresses there are no surprises at the end of the day. “Before we even start a job, we explain everything we’re going to do and how it’s going to be done and we put it in a contract – all the way down to material and labour costs.” The 31-year-old entrepreneur says while it’s not always easy owning your own company, it’s absolutely worth it. “Nobody wants to be stuck in a job where they’re miserable. I have the satisfaction of hard work, and when the job’s done and the customer’s happy, then I’m happy. It could be 10 years later and I could drive by a piece of property and see a fence or a deck there and I would be able to tell my daughter that I did that.” Wright can now add his name to the growing list of entrepreneurs who are doing what they love. He has this advice for those pondering start-up success. “I would most definitely say go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose and if you don’t do it, you’ll probably regret it in the long run. Being my own boss, working with a good friend, and being on our own schedule – it’s a wonderful feeling.”. n

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 6 ...

People & Business on the Move


ongratulations to BBI board member Eleanor Beaton who has been invited to sit on a global advisory board for the Visiting Women’s Executive Exchange Program at the Yale School of Management. She has also launched a series of podcasts on leadership for women. See more at: eleanor beaton.com. As a part of the regional Atlantic Book Awards festival, shortlisted authors Carole Glasser Langille (I Am What I Am Because You Are What You Are), and Sarah Mian (When the Saints) took part in a panel discussion moderated by author Lindsay Ruck at the Halifax Central Library on April 25.

Dalhousie Masters in Nursing Student Keisha Jefferies, a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program (QES) will be studying in Tanzania this summer. She will be working at the Muhimbili University of Health Sciences (MUHAS), where there is currently a study on nurse midwives’ and physicians’ perspectives on postpartum care in the community and hospital, and later on a research proposal related to the mother’s perspective of postpartum care in the community and hospital. The United Church Men of Maritime Conference hosted the regular biennial men’s event at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church in Amherst,

Congratulations to Dinuk Wijeratne, the winner of the 2016 JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year. Wijeratne is Symphony Nova Scotia’s RBC Composer in Residence, and a fixture in Nova Scotia’s classical and world-music scene. Along with conducting and composing for Symphony Nova Scotia, he also serves as Music Director of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, and keeps a busy schedule performing with orchestras and ensembles across Canada and around the world. Wijeratne’s JUNO win was announced Saturday, April 2, at the awards ceremony in the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and also won for best classical compositon at the East Coast Music Awards. He was nominated for his new work entitled Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems, performed by the Afiara Quartet with Nova Scotia’s Skratch Bastid on their award-winning 2015 release Spin Cycle. Congratulations to other ECMA winners including, The Bucky Adams Memorial Award given to Chelsea Amber - Introducing Chelsea Amber.

Lindell Wigginton, of Dartmouth, capped off his breakout season at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia by winning the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Championship in a 62-60 overtime thriller against La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) at Madison Square Garden on April 2. He was also one of four Canadians at the NBA’s ‘Basketball without Borders Global Camp’ for teens in Toronto during the NBA’s All Star Weekend. Halifax filmmaker and poet Andre Fenton was at The Emerging Lens festival with his inspiring documentary about breaking free from a painful adolescence. His film, “Bigger than My Body”, premiered at the Halifax North Memorial Library, telling about his dramatic weight loss, depression, and how spoken word changed his life. Haleigh Atwood

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Nova Scotia on the weekend of April 23. The special guest speaker was Rev. Major Charles Deogratias, a Presbyterian minister originally from Rwanda, currently serving in the Canadian Forces at CFB Gagetown in NB.

The man behind Stop the Violence Spread the Love organized a community peace march after a week that saw three young men murdered. The march attracted hundreds including the mayor and chief of police. It was held on April 24 and participants marched from Novalea Drive and Duffus Street to the Grand Parade. Congratulations to another group of women for completing their training through the Business Cohort for Women Leadership. The keynote speaker at its April graduation was Jessica Bowden, who reminded the graduates “that we are never to lose sight of who is most important to you - YOU! And that means “Unique Opportunities are Yours.”. Kyturera Jones, Donntayia Jones, Christiana Tesfai, Nikaya Paris, Emily Muse, and Josh Creighton are members of the North End Community Action Committee, which is concerned about planned changes to

Halifax’s north end. The group has been communicating with Jacob Ritchie, urban design program manager for HRM, to make sure their voices are incorporated as much as possible in the community’s impending extreme makeovers. The committee has a number of activities planned to raise awareness of the design plans to create opportunities to reach out to their neighbours. A community cleanup and BBQ is planned for late May, along with an upcoming information session. “The Times of African Nova Scotians, Volume II” was launched at the atrium of the Nova Scotia Community College on April 20. Vol. II was written by Tony Colaiacovo and shortlisted for the Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction. Special guests included Dr. George Elliott Clarke, Dr. Walter Borden, Dr. Geraldine Browning, and El Jones. The second Notable Nova Scotians poster, featuring 49 African Nova Scotians who have made the province a better place, was also unveiled. Dalhousie University has introduced a new minor in Black and African Diaspora Studies. Through core courses and other materials, students in the Black and African Diaspora minor program will discover and analyze the history, culture, and sociology of Black Canada and the wider African diaspora. .This minor will give students the knowledge, tools, and abilities to enrich their reparation for careers in fields such as law, business, art, education, politics, and more. The Cobequid Radio Society licensee of CIOE FM Radio, in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia hosted a Roast in Honor of the Hon. Dr. Wayne Adams, noted politician, community leader, entrepreneur, and award winning broadcast journalist at the East Preston Recreation Centre on April 29. “ONCE: AFRICVILLE STORIES:” Voices Black Theatre Ensemble’s multiple award-winning production of “ONCE:

AFRICVILLE STORIES” was re-mounted for a two performance run at The Re Fringe Festival at the Bus Stop Theatre in March. This play won Best Drama, Best Original Script, and Fringe Hit Awards (for attendance) at last year’s Halifax Fringe Fest. “ONCE” is also currently being readied for both a provincial tour and national tour. It was written and directed by David Woods. Cast: Koumbie, Nathan Simmons, David Woods, musical accompaniment: Tracey Grouse, and Owen Lee. Russell Grosse, the executive director of the Black Cultural Centre, was one of two presenters during African History Month at the popular, “Evenings at Government House” where he talked about “The Legacy of Commitment - The Contributions of African Nova Scotians in Society”. Two weeks prior to his talk, Sunday Miller gave a presentation about Africville. Historica Canada hosted an evening celebrating Nova Scotian women who have been creating and cultivating change in our communities- Wanda Robson, Sylvia Hamilton, Wanda Thomas Bernard, Bernadette Hamilton-Reid, LaMeia Reddick, Shauntay Grant, and El Jones, as well as the Hon. Tony Ince. at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

Institute Lifetime Achievement Award during the ANSMA Gala. The first Leadership Conference for African Nova Scotian Males at Cole Harbour District High was held in early March. Congrats to Acadian Axewomen’s Paloma Anderson on being named as an AUS championship Tournament All-Star

Jessica Bowden, the dynamo behind Teens Now Talk magazine, was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal by Governor General David Johnston at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in mid-December. Congratulations.

On February 25, the name of the Halifax Transit’s latest ferry, The Viola Desmond, was announced at the Black Cultural Centre. This selection garnered one third of the votes cast to name the vessel. A new book on the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children has been written by Wanda Lauren Taylor, who has also authored a book on the Black Loyalists in Shelburne.

Lt. Cdr. Paul Smith, the captain of HMCS Summerside and the first African Canadian to hold that rank, is currently on manoeuvres in the Caribbean. Since he assumed command of Summerside, his travels have taken him north (with former Prime Minister Harper on board) as part of the search for the Franklin expedition and south to Antigua. Congratulations to Dr. Linda Carvery on receiving the Delmore Buddy Daye Learning

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Halifax students looking for advice or insight to a life in the public service can now look to a former lieutenant governor on campus. Dalhousie University has appointed Mayann Francis as its first Distinguished Public Service Fellow in the School of Public Administration. On March 1, she delivered her first address to the Faculty of Management, “A Very Public Journey from Whitney Pier to Government House”. Congratulations also to Her Honour as she is one of the honorary degree recipients at the 2016 Dalhousie University convocation. Dal President Richard Florizone has announced that Dr. Wanda Thomas-Bernard is starting a three-year, part-time appointment in the President’s Office as special advisor, diversity and inclusiveness. Dr. Bernard will advise the university’s leadership team and the Human Rights, Equity and Harassment Prevention Office, working alongside Norma Williams, executive director, diversity and inclusiveness, in liaising with faculty, academic leaders, and the Senate on diversity plans and initiatives. Viola Cain, Foster Mother to A Hundred Children, was honored during African Heritage Month. Her home in the community of North Preston is dubbed Nanny’s House. Currently, the 70-year-old is now taking care of three school-aged children, plus her adopted 33-year-old son, who has an intellectual disability.

Models with gold glittering faces darted around Mount Saint Vincent University ahead of a fundraiser for scholarships for black students. More than 30 models were dressed in a host of Halifax-designed ensembles with fabrics ranging from monochromatic dark colours to vibrant, block patterns in a fashion show, called “The Fabric of our DNA,”. The show celebrated local designers and raised money for Black university students at Mount Saint Vincent. Community volunteer DeRico Symonds of Future Roots hosted the show. The Halifax-based designers in the show include Nicole Johnson, Duane Jones of Be Glitterati, Sarom Curtis of Curtis Couture, and Toria Aidoo of Kwestomar Kreations. n

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Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL) Update


he BBCIFL has had a very busy once in the fund’s 13-year existence. The Board however expects to be last few months – from the share able to do this more often going forth. offering, to issuing dividends, In fall 2015, the Board introduced investment activity, and instituting a board a pilot board mentorship program mentorship program, the team of volunteer as a means to aid its renewal. The six-month program aims to provide board members and staff have been kept board experience to young business on their toes. professionals interested in volunteering on one of the boards within the This year’s offering, the 12th to date, was partic- Black Business Composite Group ularly energized by the noteworthy support from of Companies and beyond. Nine the Hon, Tony Ince, Nova Scotia’s Minister of successful applicants from the African Nova Scotian Affairs and Communities, Black community, who are either Culture and Heritage, who promoted the fund at young professionals or university various events during African Heritage Month. students, were accepted into the Through the work of the fund’s Subsequent program when it kicked off in January Offering Committee and other BBI Boards, 2016. The program includes mentoras well as the verbal support provided by the ship from current board members, minister, $54,000 was raised from the sale of attending and participating in board shares. Twenty individuals, five of them first meetings, as well as board govertime investors, participated in the offering which nance training. If the pilot program brings to $853,080 the total funds raised to date is seen to be a success, subsequent from 115 investors. On the investment side, a installments may be offered in the single $150,000 debt investment made in the future. Already the current list of fall brought the total amount invested directly participants has shown willingness into Black-owned businesses to date close to $1.7 to work hard and they have not been million, with several more leveraged from other shy to get their hands dirty. sources as a result. Work continues across the whole On January 19, 2016, the BBCIFL Board of Directors entity, from the above-mentioned declared a one percent dividend payable to share- board renewal processes, to strategic holders later in the year. This was the Board’s planning for the future of the fund, way of acknowledging the contribution of the and the identification of suitable shareholders, our primary stakeholders, to the investment opportunities to grow; existence of BBCIFL and its ability to support the pointing to a prosperous future for growth and success of Black-owned business the fund and its shareholders - the in Nova Scotia. Paying a dividend this year is a benefactors of this work as well as momentous occasion as this has been done only the businesses in which we invest. n

by: Nick Langley, CFIB

The Federal Budget: Small business left out in the cold


fter the October federal election, many people were wondering what the new federal government would mean for small business. There were doubts, but given that the majority of small business owners fall squarely into the middle class, there were some reasons for optimism. The March federal budget was not a good start.

back of planned premium reductions, combined with the elimination of the Small Business Job Credit, will leave the smallest businesses paying more. Also on the EI front, the waiting period to receive benefits was reduced from two weeks to one, which will put upward pressure on future premiums. The budget also failed to deliver on a promise to introduce an EI premium holiday for employers hiring youth aged 18-24 in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This would have provided an incentive for business to hire young Canadians.

The consensus in the small business community was Another narrative of the federal budget was the $29.4 billion deficit prethat this budget was many things to many people, but it sented by the Finance Minister. Modest deficits were proposed during the definitely wasn’t helpful to the small businesses that drive election as a way to jump-start the economy through a massive infrastructure Canada’s economy and employ Canadians. spending program. However, CFIB is concerned that spending increases in the budget go well beyond infrastructure spending, and there seems to be no During the election, the federal Liberal party promised, plan to get back to balance. in its platform, in survey responses and in speeches, that if elected, it would reduce the small business tax rate And perhaps the biggest blow to small business is the plan, discussed in the (SBTR) from 11 to nine per cent over the next four years. budget speech, to continue to move forward with mandatory CPP increases The budget broke this promise. The decision is expected by the end of the year. CFIB and our members view this as a job-killing payroll to cost small business approximately $900 million per tax for small employers. year until 2019. CFIB prides itself on being a non-partisan organization that supports good The SBTR is fundamental to CFIB and our members for policies and criticizes bad policies. We are always open to working with any many reasons. The special rate was originally put in place government to improve conditions for that forgotten middle class: Canada’s in recognition that small firms face a) higher relative costs entrepreneurs. to comply with government regulation; and b) greater difficulty in securing traditional funding from banks. CFIB Whatever the government in Nick Langley is CFIB’s Director of Provincial was founded in 1971 in response to a 1969 federal white power, it is clear that the latest fedAffairs, Nova Scotia. paper that proposed raising the rate to an astronomical eral budget was not designed with CFIB represent 5,200 50 per cent. small business owners in mind. CFIB small and medium-size is disappointed, but hardly discourbusinesses in Nova The broken promise on the SBTR wasn’t the only bad aged. What is good for small busiScotia and 109,000 news in the budget for small business. Decisions related ness is good for Canada, and we will in all sectors across to Employment Insurance (EI) will, on the balance, mean continue to work with government to Canada. higher premiums for many small businesses. A scaling find common ground. ◆

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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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It’s All About Service NDS Property Services

by: Chad Lucas Russell Wyse

It’s telling for Symonds that people ask if he provides other services: it shows customers are willing to build a lasting relationship with someone they can count on. “A lot of my customers are repeat customers, which says a lot,” he says, as he highlights three key qualities of NDS Property Services: “Commitment, honesty and trust.” He stresses that NDS is also a member of the Better Business Bureau, a designation that shows its focus on trustworthy service.

Nathan Symonds, NDS Property Services 902-818-0708



he most important element of NDS Property Services is right in the name. “It’s all about service,” owner Nathan Symonds says.

“In this business you have to give superior service. There are so many competitors out there, you have to differentiate yourself through your service.” NDS Property Services is a year-round property maintenance company that provides everything from lawn and yard care to ice and snow removal. Symonds and his employees do plowing, seeding, garden mulch installation—if it needs to be done on a property, they can do it. NDS is formally in its second year as a full-service company, but the business has evolved over more than a decade.

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Good service starts with good people. Symonds employs both full-time and part-time staff as the demand requires, and he’s especially keen to involve more motivated young people as the property services business expands. Symonds launched a Jani-King commercial cleaning franchise in 2005, which he still operates. That business provides cleaning services to approximately 30 properties in the Halifax area, including commercial retailers like Staples and H&M. As the franchise grew and became more successful, Symonds saw other needs and opportunities. “Clients needed more than just cleaning,” he says. “They needed plowing, they needed their grass mowed. I thought, ‘Why have one company inside cleaning and someone else out taking care of the property?’ I’m trying to cover all the bases and keep it in-house.” He started by branching out to plowing in the winter, and clients met him with the same response: what else can you do? “I had customers say, ‘Hey, do you do lawn care too?’ That triggered it for me. I’ve got these trucks I don’t use in the summertime, so I’m going to try something new.”

“It’s all about building and bringing people into leadership,” Symonds, who is also a talented musician and co-founder of the popular band Asia and Nu Gruv, says. “You need a team of interested and motivated people to bring along with you.” Symonds sees a strong demand for property maintenance services as people lead increasingly busy lifestyles. Whether they’re frequently on the road for business or just looking to make the most of what spare time they have, many people like the security of having professionals take care of their property. There’s also a growing need among seniors who want to stay independent but maybe can’t do some of the tasks they used to. “People want to spend time with their family, they want to enjoy their summers and vacation, they want to live their lives,” Symonds says. “We can help with that.” n

Fashionable Future

Blending Passion with Purpose

He can be reached at: www.artpaysme.com


In 2000, the Bermudian arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia to pursue a degree in Communication Design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. At the time, he had aspirations to work for a design agency, but discovered getting his foot in the door would not be an easy task.

Glitterati Communications was founded in 2006 as a creative firm specializing in graphic design and art direction. Working as a ‘one-man show’, he has produced posters for Dalhousie University’s theatre program, student resource guides for Nova Scotia Community College, a book design for a newly-published self-help work called Lucky Code, and annual business reports for Black Business Initiative (BBI).

Brent McCombs

Duane Jones, Glitterati Communications

which is where I really wanted to be. As an entrepreneur, people seem to be receptive. It seems to be, as long as you can show improvement, then people will accept you.”

Mitch Valcourt

Brent McCombs

Brent McCombs


f you ask Duane Jones his advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs, he responds with two simple words, “Be intentional. If you worry about how hard it is and all the challenges you’re going to hit, then you won’t start.”

by: Lindsay Ruck

“That was an amazing experience. I’ve walked in fashion shows before, but that was my first time presenting as a designer. Getting to work with models and having all of those people looking to me for guidance was overwhelming and amazing. The great thing is that I was able to establish myself locally. I’ve done two more fashion shows since then.” Jones has been working hard towards launching a new fashion label called Art Pays Me, inspired by those who earn a living through art.

“It’s all about artistic empowerment. I really stand behind cre“ The whole idea of cultural fit “I have to give BBI props because ative individuals, the people who kept coming up. BBI gave me my start at a time when I are different, the outsiders…” Like, ‘Oh you’re a really wasn’t feeling supported.” good designer, but you don’t quite fit here.’ I don’t want to say it was race, but being different was a challenge. I had a harder time getting into the agency world,

With a passion for design and fashion, Jones began tapping into his other artistic talents in 2011. Two of his most popular designs are the “Nawf Shore” and “Sowf Shore” T-shirts, which were inspired by his Bermudian roots. Last year, his line showed at Atlantic Fashion Week.

With a new website in the works featuring a weekly Q & A with local artists, a line of men’s ties to be launched next year, and ‘Art Pays Me’ ready for release, family man Duane Jones is an unstoppable force ready to make a fashionable imprint on the creative world. n

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Saluting Two of

Our Directors by: Carol Dobson & Nicole Jackson


ruce Johnson has been the voice of south western Nova Scotia on various BBI boards for the past 18 years. The Yarmouth resident was formerly the owner of City Drug but recently sold his shares in the business and continues to work there as one of the pharmacists. He’s also a trailblazer in his own right, as the first African Nova Scotian to obtain a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Dalhousie, which he did in 1974.


Bruce Johnson were able to turn some heads in the right direction. It’s good to see BIJ getting out of Halifax and into the rural areas.” In addition to his responsibilities as a member of the BIJ board, Johnson is an active volunteer in his home community and also serves as the chair of the Yarmouth and Shelburne Black Employment Partnership. That organization is currently changing as it is pairing with the local Persons with Disabilities to widen the scope of the services it provides to southwestern Nova Scotia. “We’re still a viable organization operating out of Pier One in Yarmouth,” he says. He says he’s always been proud to have been associated with the Black Business Initiative and its various boards. n “I met Rustum Southwell through basketball when I was at Dal and our paths seemed to be always crossing,” he says. “In 1998, he called me and asked me to represent my part of the province on the BBI board and the rest, as they say, is history.” He went on to spend nine years on the main BBI board of directors and is now a director on the Business is Jammin’ board. “The BBI is always trying to ensure continuity so, once a member

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is finished their term on the main board, they are often asked to go onto another board, such as the BBC/ ADEPA Construction Services board, or in my case, the BIJ board. It’s good for the corporate memory.” Recently he participated in BIJ’s “Role Model on the Road” program in Digby. He said it was an interesting day, with a very strong turnout. “I think the participants got a good understanding of some of the possibilities that are out there and that we

“The BBI is an organization that has always attracted strong, skilled board members with a desire to fulfil the BBI’s mission, and over the past 20 years, they have made great strides moving our community forward.”


assandra Dorrington is an accomplished woman. She attributes her suc- Cassandra cess to a lot of hard work and dedication, Dorrington but definitely doesn’t discount the advantage of The importance of numbers certainly strong relationships built along the way. shines through as she speaks about her

“I’m a strong believer that we’re in charge of our own destiny,” she says. “But we also have to reach and help each other, therefore, you have to want to do it, but if you want to do it there are so many willing hands and

considerable work with various committees and boards, including long-running service with our very own BBI. After joining the Board back in the early 2000s, she went on to serve nine years as Chair. Today, she sits as the Chair of BBI’s Black Business Enterprise (BBE) work at CAMSC. It is a national, non- board of directors. profit organization that seeks to create partnerships between Aboriginal and “[BBI] is a strong organization; its manminority suppliers and major Canadian date is incredible”, she says. “You see corporations. By promoting procure- some of the growth of that as you see ment opportunities between these more black businesses start-up or get supply chain participants, CAMSC connected.” hopes to contribute to the growth of a more competitive Canadian economy. “It’s an incredible community down there for all races,” she says, referring “We measure ourselves by the number to Nova Scotia. “If you’re interested of opportunities put in front of [and in moving forward, they’re interested awarded to] our suppliers, and the in helping you move forward, and so actual growth of supplier diversity the impetus is on us to want to do it. I across Canada,” Dorrington says. strongly believe we have to make sure There are currently approximately that, as we move forward, we ensure the 700 suppliers registered in the orga- youth behind us have every opportunity. nization’s database and 80 corporate So if there is anything I can do to help members taking part. anybody, my door is always open. If there is any door I can open for people If her day job wasn’t enough to or any information I can share, that’s keep her busy, Dorrington also does important.” n

Making Nova Scotia stronger by supporting immigrants to start and grow their businesses

people around you to help you get to where you need.” Dorrington currently lives in Toronto, where she is the president of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), but she’s quick to confirm, “I’m a born and raised Maritimer, for sure.” She’s a New Glasgow native who studied accounting at Saint Mary’s University.

Immigrant Services Association of NovaScotia

www.isans.ca 902.423.3607 business@isans.ca

“I’m an accountant by profession,” she says. “You know, it’s the one attribute or skill that will get you into any C-suite office. The minute you can actually talk numbers with anybody, they will listen.”

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by: Carol Dobson

Cover Story


t’s a chilly mid-April morning and Terry Simms is out getting two gardens ready for planting outside of Just Right Childcare in Greenwood. One will be a flower garden while the other will grow vegetables that the kids can tend and then enjoy in their meals come harvest time.

justrightchildcare .com 902-242-3080

Lou Gannon

Glynis Simms, Just Right Childcare

Glynis Simms, Terry’s wife, opened the daycare in 2007 and she was the Black Business Initiative’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2010–2011. Today her total enrollment is 44. On average, there are 25 children at the centre every day. It’s a mixture – full day care, before and after school, part time, and kids who come during school breaks or on professional development days. “We’re full, with a waiting list and we are now getting calls from 14 Wing Greenwood when people are being posted to the base to see if we have a spot,” she says. “One thing we do is that we do not celebrate any holidays here. Our children come from many different backgrounds and we want everything to be on a level playing field. A lot of parents are happy about that because they know their children don’t have pressure on days like Valentine’s or Hallowe’en, and the parents don’t either. We have stuck with that principle and it has really worked for us.” When she looks back, she’s thrilled the company has grown and succeeded for almost 10 years, giving hard work, experience, a willingness to keep learning about the business, and a great staff. “I’ve got a great core group of staff,” she says. “They have a real sense of ownership. It’s a good place to work and if anyone wants to step up to the plate and take on a leadership role, that’s great. Terry now works with me, but we also like to be able to get away and know that our more senior teachers have taken on the responsibility for us. I also have to say that, whenever I had a question, the BBI has been my absolute first point of contact. ” Family is also important to Carlo Simmons. His family business, Simmons Paving Company Ltd. is the longest running Black paving contractor in the province. It was started by his father Wilfred Senior and his mother Gloria in 1975 and the BBI recognized

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Russell Wyse

the business with the Hector Jacques Award of Excellence in 2010. It’s still a family-owned and operated business, with various members taking part in running the day to day operation. Carlo’s official title is vice president and director of operations. “We tackle pretty well everything we can get our hands on, “Simmons says. “We’ll do residential, commercial, and government projects. One thing he says is that, prior to the BBI being setup, finding the type of support his business needed was a little harder. “The BBI helped us a few years ago when we wanted to upgrade our advertising,” he says. “They set us up with a designer, Jill Laing, and she redesigned our logo, our business cards, and other advertising materials. There are many businesses that are just starting to do that, so we were glad to that she came up with a really nice design for us.”

Carlo Simmons Simmons Paving Company Ltd.

When he was asked about what helps a business to last for four decades plus? “The things that help include trustworthiness, financial aptitude, loyalty, honesty, and dependability,” he says. “We pride ourselves on being upfront and running our company with spirituality and great dignity.”

simmonspaving company.ca 902-434-6212

Family is also important to Lawrence Willis, the owner of Willis Plumbing and Heating. It’s actually where he got his start in the trade.

As he grew older, he went to the old Nova Scotia Institute of Technology, worked for Eastern Plumbing for a short time, and received his certificate in 1983. He and his brother had a joint company, United Plumbing, and, when his brother moved to Edmonton, he went out on his own and has never stopped.

Russell Wyse

“Back in 1969, my mother started to build a new house,” he recalls. “My father decided he could plumb the house, I helped him and found my calling.”

Lawrence Willis Willis Plumbing and Heating 902-434-9690

“I do everything there is to do in plumbing from the ground up,” he says. “It’s a trade I love. At one time, I worked from Exit 11 on the 103 on up but now it’s more in the Halifax-Dartmouth Metro area.” Generally, the business has been small, with Willis and a helper, and he likes it that way. He already has succession plans in place, though. “I have grandsons who are taking plumbing at the Akerely campus right now. I put them to work as soon as they were old enough to help, so I definitely have a succession plan in place.” n 18 ...

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

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Paying it Forward

Ernest Simmonds has a Mind for Business and a Heart for People by: Lindsay Ruck Paul Adams

Now with multiple members of the family on the payroll, Ernest and his wife are able to spend as much quality time together as desired. “The last couple of years, my wife and I have been doing a lot of travelling. They look after the business while we’re gone.” Perhaps the only thing bigger than Ernest’s drive for success is his heart for his community. For Ernest, it’s all about paying it forward. “I used to sit back and wonder, where did I get all of this stuff? How did I get this new vehicle? This home? It wasn’t because I worked for it. It was because God gave it to me. He gave us the strength to get out there and get it. So then I just started reaching out to other people.” Ernest Simmonds, (seated) pictured with his family Sim Clean Commercial Cleaning Services simcleanservices @gmail.com 902-462-4578


he n p e ople te l l E r ne s t Simmonds he’s a hard worker, he is quick to correct them. “It’s not how hard you work. It’s how smart you work.” With this mentality, it’s no surprise that his business, Sim Clean Commercial Cleaning Services, is still going strong after 30-plus years. In 1985, while still working as a school bus driver, he began taking on small cleaning jobs. With his son by his side, the pair would work late into the night, stripping and waxing floors, and cleaning storefronts.

“I was really just trying to make enough money to keep my son going while he was in school.” But, after winning a bid for a cleaning contract with the Halifax Regional Municipality, the entrepreneur realized his unparalleled work ethic and infectious positive attitude were the winning ingredients to a successful business. While the original inspiration was to put his son through school, the 65-year-old grandfather of 21, great-grandfather of two and great-great grandfather of four, also had another motivator. Eight years ago, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. “I took her from work and I wouldn’t let her go to work anymore. I kept doing the cleaning, and it got so good that she didn’t have to go to work anymore.”

Ernest’s random acts of kindness include ploughing driveways for members of his community and purchasing anti-bullying T-shirts for every student and teacher at his granddaughter’s school. To say Ernest is busy would be an understatement, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. “If you know how to be smart about your work and how to treat your employees and how to treat people – you can do amazing things. I get up in the morning at 6 a.m. I go to one job with the school board and finish there around 4 o’clock. I go to my other buildings around 5:30 and then I go from there to check on different jobs. I get home around 9 o’clock at night. It makes for a long day, but it’s an enjoyable day. It’s been a blast.” n

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Tactics to Drive More Followers by: Ross Simmonds

These tactics are all about a short period of time, Instagram is growth. more likely to place your content there. If you want to grow your Instagram following, I’m confident you’ll benefit from this one. And if you’re just getting started, I hope you’ll take a look at the Ultimate Guide to Instagram (www. rosssimmonds.com). It’s a great place to start.

“Double Tap If You Agree” or “Tag Someone You Love” - This is a simple call to action that can think you’ll agree have enormous results.


with me when I say that it’s really hard

to build a large following on Instagram unless you’re an established brand, are showing lots

Ross Simmonds, •Marketer •Strategist •Entrepreneur

of skin, or are a celebrity. But is it really? Well, it turns out that I’ve uncovered a

He can be reached at: rosssimmonds.com handful of different strategies and tac-


tics that can work for any brand looking to grow their account. Implementing these few ideas has helped Hustle & Grind acquire more than 4-5000 Instagram followers per month. The thing is, these strategies worked for us, but they can work for other brands as well? It’s all about leveraging the insights we uncovered and applying your own spin on these tactics to drive engagement with your audience.

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It might sound simple but you would be surprised how rarely I see calls to action on Instagram posts. A call to action is when the person sharing a piece of content makes a direct statement asking the reader to do a specific task. Around the web, we’re met with calls to action everywhere we look. But, for some reason, most brand accounts on Instagram haven’t caught on that this tactic works well. For example, @HustleGrindCo shared a quote from Neil Patel, In the top right-hand side of the image, there is a suggestion, “Tag a friend below”. The results of the post speak volumes - 573 likes, 137 comments, and 84 new followers. This particular type of hack works well because it achieves brand awareness to anyone tagged. Other calls to actions like “Double tap if you agree” or “Comment with your thoughts” are more one-to-one engagement but have the power of leading you to the featured section via Instagram search or Discovery: Accounts found on the “Top Posts” section are the pictures that include hashtags or images that line up with the user’s behaviour. If the content has generated a handful of likes within

Hook people with “bucket brigades” in your captions. Are you ready for one of the best tips I can offer? It’s one of the tactics that, once we started implementing for @ HustleGrindCo, truly helped skyrocket our results and it’s simple to do. It’s simple to do because there’s no technical headache and no complex algorithm hacking. It’s just having an understanding of what a ‘bucket brigade’ is and using it to your advantage. Most people know them as transition sentences. You may have encountered them while watching TV or reading a popular blog. It’s the idea of building up anticipation with your writing to keep the reader following along.

In the first line, I asked, “Are you ready for one of the best tips I can offer?” This resulted in intrigue. From there I validated it by referencing what it did for Hustle & Grind. The next step was continuing to build the anticipation. It’s a tactic that we’ve all seen on talk shows. The host will say things like “Come right back because we’re going to be bringing out Adele to feature her new single!” It gets you hooked. It makes you want to stay. The same tactic can be and should be used at the beginning of your Instagram captions.

Reach Out to Accounts for that as soon as you see it, you’ll understand why it works so well. The post Shout Outs on Instagram reads “48-Hour Contest. Prior to Instagram ads, this was the most scalable and effective approach to grow your account. It’s still likely one of the most effective. But now, you have options. The concept is simple enough. You identify accounts that have a large following and reach out to them to see if they would be interested in shouting out your account. Some accounts will have their email listed directly in their bio. If an account doesn’t have its email listed, reach out by commenting on a post or sending them a direct message.

Win a box of awesome shaving goodies. How to win – love (heart image) this photo and share with two friends. This post had more than 230 comments with people tagging their friends and ultimately helping drive awareness.

• Hey! I saw your email listed on Instagram, I’m Ross, the co-founder of @HustleGrindCo – and we were wondering if you could send us some info re: shout outs. Do you typically charge? If so, how much? I’d love to figure out a way to collaborate – Let me know!

I say this because in doing so, you’re not attracting people who actually want what you’re offering. Instead, you’re attracting people who simply want a big shiny prize. You want people to enter the contest because they’re people who would genuinely be interested in what you’re offering.

Don’t get fooled by the hundreds of Instagram marketers out there offering overnight success. Success on Instagram comes from building a following and then building deep relationships with those who follow you. Now that you have a few tips and tricks on getting more Instagram followers, it’s Both of these have worked wonders important to understand how to keep for our account. your followers engaged. The best shout outs are those that are built on a mutual respect between accounts. We’ve built quality relationships with folks like @FoundrMagazine and @Rich20Something. (These are two accounts you should follow btw.) You’ll notice we shout each other out every now and then. This isn’t anything beyond quality relationships and an appreciation for what each other is doing.

Building a following that leads to real results (sales) takes time. We didn’t monetize the Hustle & Grind Instagram account until we were beyond the 10,000 follower mark. You may not have 40,000 followers yet, you may not even have 10,000, but that’s perfectly fine.

Focus on those who currently follow you, build trust, connect with them, engage frequently, Run “Tag Your Friend” For Entry and don’t be afraid to check to Competitions out their accounts and follow This is an idea that we got from @ or send likes their way. n WetShaveClub. It’s a simple concept




One piece of advice: Don’t run contests that give away prizes that have nothing to do with your brand. If you’re selling hair products, don’t give away an Here are a few tried and tested iPad. If you’re selling t-shirts, templates we’ve used: don’t give away a hoverboard. • Hey! Love your account. I’m wondering if you would be up for doing a S4S? I’ll shout out your account and you guys can repay us back with a shout at some point this week. Any interest?

Bring Your Business to a New Audience 2 015



2 014

BU Y Black Bu siness INVE ST LOCAL , Comm LOCAL . Inve unity stm Limited

ent Fund (BBCIFL)

Also in thi s issue :

“A dynami c

and vibrant Black pres ence

 Wome n in Busine ss  Youth On The Mo ve  Succes sfu ue l Entrep i s sren eur s 58 within the Nova Sco tia Busines s

Commun ity.”

Also in thi s issue :

Invest in g in Com m u nthe it y

 Social Ent erprise  IB& M Init Good Advic iative- 25 Years e for s Investing inesSuccessful Entrepreneur s Wisely u s B sic e u h M T of Scotian ova MA) an N n (A“ANS dynamic o Afric and vibrant The ssociati Black pres ence with cA in the Nov a Sco Musi tia Busines s

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ADVERTISE in the next Issue of B2B d ic an


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For Advertising Information & Rates call: 902-426-2224 e-mail: bbi@bbi.ns.ca Thank you to the Black Business Initiative from Jamie Baillie and the PC Caucus for 20 years of great work! PC Caucus Office 902-424-2731 pcmlas@novascotia.ca

22 ...

Africa Night 2016

Saint Mary’s African Student’s Society


frica Night 2016 roared into life on March 26, 2016, at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. Africa Night is about celebrating Africa and its myriad of cultures through dance, music, and enjoying the best of African cuisine. This year’s Africa Night was the most elegant and it drew not only people of African descent but also the cosmopolitan population of Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, and all of Nova Scotia. Over the years Africa Night has received massive support from the generous people and businesses in Halifax and this support continues grow. The theme for this year was “UBUNTU: ABANTU, I AM BECAUSE WE ARE” presenting all five regions of rich African culture, embracing their African identities and heritage. This celebration of Africa is to educate the world about the diverse culture and to celebrate the end of African Heritage Month.

To conact the Saint Mary’s African Student’s Society smass_halifax@ gmail.com



23 ...

St. Mary’s African Student’s Society has taken on a project to drill a well in Sierra Leone for an orphanage housing children who lost their parents from Ebola. All revenue we generate this year will be channelled to this project.

Business Is Jammin’ Hits the Road

by: Paul Rukidi & Amber Grosse


he past few months the Business Is Jammin’ team has spread out across the province, speaking about entrepreneurship to eight schools from Yarmouth to Cape Breton during the winter and spring of 2016. As summer approaches, they’re working on programming and laying the foundation for a new mentorship initiative (next issue).

As added value, BIJ is running summer entrepreneurship camps around the province (Halifax, Dartmouth, New Glasgow, Kentville, Yarmouth, and Sydney) this summer.

Vibe Arts Youth

BIJ, African Nova Scotian Affairs, and the Department of Communities, Culture, and Heritage has introduced a promOne BIJ’s objectives is encouraging youth to stay in school. ising program for youth this summer called “Vibe Arts Youth That led BIJ to develop programs introducing entrepre- (VAY)”. It is an art-based program set up to encourage youth neurship as a career choice, building partnerships and links to develop skills, learn about their culture, and explore interests within the business community, assisting with business they may not have previously considered. ideas, and providing expertise. This program is set to run from between April to June, 2016 “Role Models on the Road” is an hour-long panel where until the fall (Vibe Arts Week) where youth (ages 13-21) will be African Nova Scotia entrepreneurs speak to youth in given the opportunity to showcase their work at an art exhibit/ schools, community groups, and other youth programs show. During this program, BIJ plans to expose participants promoting awareness about entrepreneurship and the to professional performances and art exhibitions, educational importance of education. Panelists speak about their career offerings, and mentorship from artists. This year it will be path, what their work entails, offering advice about staying Metro-based, with plans to expand further next year. in school, setting goals, and entrepreneurship. The mission is to provide opportunities for the youth by: “We are hoping to continue to engage youth and encourage • Engaging youth in African Nova Scotian culture through art them to consider entrepreneurship as a viable option,” Paul Rukidi, the Business Is Jammin’ manager, says. “The next • Getting youth to foster and acknowledge the African plan is to involve teachers achieve some common goals to Nova Scotian history of migration. show how a ‘Student In Business’ program can fit in the schedule and how using combined resources will benefit • Promoting awareness and applied skills to encourage the project at hand.” more Black-owned businesses.

The Value of Going to Rural Nova Scotia

To start and grow a business under the Student In Business Program, ($5,000 interest-free loans) contact: grosse.amber @ bbi.ns.ca 902-476-9764


• Strengthening cultural values and preserving heritage and history;

BIJ feels it is important for youth in the 48 African Nova Scotian communities across the province, who identify as • Building community character and sense of place; and being of African descent, to have a chance to encounter real life entrepreneurs from their communities. Meeting • Enhancing community engagement and participation real life role models gives students a connection they may have not known before. This can lead to potential We believe youth of African descent are equipped with the volunteer experiences, job opportunities, and mentorship. desire to develop their artistic talents, but most of them are unsure how to execute them. Art Advisors will be given the “This was a great experience and I was delighted to be asked opportunity to work directly with the participants, guiding to participate in this way.” - Conrad Grosse, Role Model at them directly throughout the program while ensuring that Ross Road culture is not forgotten. The areas of focus during camps may include, among others fashion, drawing, painting, dance and BIJ plans to follow up with participants and wants to be music, culinary, film, theatre, poetry, writing, graphic design, another support for students needing someone to talk with and spoken word. about staying in school and furthering their career goals. This way our connection with all youth will be stronger and The advisors include many leaders from the community we’ll be offering another opportunity to discuss all things including Delvina Bernard, Kim Bernard, Tara Taylor, and business-related and youth “stuff” in general. Youth just Nicole Johnson. Watch for the fruits of their labour during the Vibe Arts Week scheduled for the fall. n need to be heard!

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The Emerging Lens

Creating Our Own Cultural Scene by: Shelley Fashan


he Emerging Lens come from. For example 2015, was the year of the students - there were a Cultural Film Festival began in 2010 and is

number of students coming out of the Screen Arts Program at NSCC and daVinci College. The variety of stories was incredible and the energy was infectious.

“Annually, we begin with a call out in November and we wait to see who submits and who may be out there,” she says. “We seek stories that come from the began like most things do - it African Nova Scotian community, the African Diaspora, and the multi-cultural community. We’ve expanded our reach of story tellers because sharing our seemed like a good idea at the stories is what connects us to each other. For example, Emerging Lens 2014 time. Essentially, it started featured an evening of aboriginal storytelling, spoken word, and drumming. Each year just confirms the wealth and the depth of stories yet to be told. We with a real meeting of minds. are scratching the surface of a very deep well.”

now in its seventh year. It

After the screening of the documentary, “In Season”, produced through the Centre for Art Tapes about a beautiful matriarch from the community of Cherry Brook, Sara Bundy, Tara Taylor, who had recently screened her documentary about her community of East Preston, Shelley Fashan, and Delvina Bernard were talking about these stories and how they can be presented to their communities.

“As a part of our evening events we begin each night with a cultural performance - it could be dance, song, spoken word, or reading poetry. We feel it’s important to mimic our cultural norms and incorporate our cultural undertones by starting every night with our other forms of storytelling and artistic expression. We like to give artists the opportunity especially emerging artists to practice their art. Some of our past performers are MAJE, Keonte Beals, Reeny Smith, Allysha Flint, El Jones, and Dr. Afua Cooper.”

Each year the festival tries to bring a guest artist - an amazing opportunity for artists to share experiences and learn from each other. This year the guest artist was a native son, Floyd Kane, an award winning producer from East Preston and accomplished industry professional who produced the feature “Across the “It was like we all came to the same Line”, shown at the Black Cultural Centre on April 23. conclusion, at the same time,” Fashan, the Festival’s co-creator, says. “We Some great results the festival’s organizers didn’t anticipate is the way in which it can do this, in our own way was the has connected to the industry and partnered with many supportive organizations. general consensus reached by the three of us. We can showcase our films to “For example, the festival was contacted by two provincial departments to screen our communities and we can see who Shelley Fashan, some of our stories during their diversity recognition events and we involved the The Emerging Lens else is out there and involve these other filmmakers in a dialogue with their employees,” she says. “We have become an Cultural Film Festival filmmakers while, at the same time, economic driver and educational resource. Last year, when Studio Black was in appreciating their work and celebrating its developmental stages, we were contacted to create an inventory and pool of 902- 488-6355 rarely told stories. We wanted to build www.theemerging technicians, film crew, and directors for this award winning production. a community of cultural filmmakers to lens.com recognize and celebrate their artistic “It featured four African Nova Scotian directors and a film crew composed of expression and contribuAfrican Nova Scotian technicians. This is something we are very proud of and tions to the community.” we hope to create even more possibilities and opportunities”, she adds. Since 2010, the festival has grown from one night at the Black Cultural Centre to four nights of screenings and an educational workshop or panel discussion with local producers and industry representatives. Each year the festival develops organically as the organizers never know where stories may

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“There is such a positive and empowering feeling in seeing our stories reflected on screen and being able to share these reflections with our community and others. The griots and elders of our communities are fading away into history before many of their stories are even documented. In future our stories, traditions and culture will be told through new mediums such as film, video, and multi-media.” The Emerging Lens 2016 was held between April 20-23, 2016, with screenings at Pier 21, the North Library, and the Black Cultural Centre. The festival is a production of the Charles Taylor Theatre and Media Arts Association. n

The Art of the Conversation People Love to Talk.


by: John Wedderburn, CM Communications

o matter your business or


t he plet hora of

communication platforms in today’s world often usurps an important, fundamental communication skill that is necessary for just about everything in life - the conversation. With the advent of the digital age and “talking” in 140 characters or less, conversation – voice to voice, face to face - seems to be a dying art but it is no less important than it has ever been.

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

The benefits of a good conversation are many - from encouraging different perspectives and ideas to learning something important about a person or their business, and from creating healthy, positive relationships to building your own healthy well-being. Not everyone is a natural born conversationalist. My father had a knack for the gab. He was very good at talking with anybody about anything in a way that set people at ease. A stranger could walk away from a conversation with him feeling like they’ve known each other for years. Whether you have an innate natural charm or not, anyone can and should become a good conversationalist. Certain old school etiquette is as relevant today as it was back in Emily Post’s day when she said, “Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those

who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory.” Although it may seem too obvious to mention, it’s often surprising how people forget these few simple conversational rules:

Listen a little more than you talk “When you talk you are only repeating what you already know but when you listen, you might learn something new.” – Dalai Lama My father-in-law could often be heard saying, “Are you listening or just waiting to talk?” Ironically, the key to excellent conversations has less to do with talking or “waiting to talk” and more to do with listening and learning. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to the conversation. After all, conversations are reciprocal but be mindful not to do all the talking.

Ask good questions People love to talk about themselves so asking interesting and thoughtful questions will engage others right away. If you’re headed to an event or a meeting, arm yourself in advance with questions and topics. Think about who you’ll be seeing, do a little research on their company or recent developments in their business, and then mentally prepare a few relevant questions to ask. If you find yourself in a room full of strangers, don’t be shy. Ask more general questions but don’t be too general. Ask about what line of business they’re in or where they grew up or their favourite sport. You’ll be amazed what you can glean from a simple conversation while in the process creating what could be an important business relationship.

Keep it positive Maya Angelou, one of the world’s most prolific and positive people, said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” It’s proven that people tend to gravitate toward others with a positive attitude so try to keep your conversations light and approachable. Don’t emphasize highlighting what’s wrong about your job or your life or the world in general - that’s a signal for people to stay away and that won’t benefit you in your business endeavours. There are many ways to begin a conversation on a positive note. Lead with a compliment; be sincere and specific and you will instantly generate a smile. Share an amusing story. Either way, the person with whom you are conversing will be far more likely to stay engaged.

Pay attention Try not to appear distracted. Maintain eye contact when you can and go out of your way to show that you’re genuinely interested in what your conversation partner has to say. Look for “tell me more” opportunities. Keep potential questions in the back of your mind and be as specific and inquisitive as possible.

Be respectful It’s OK to express opinions; good conversations should be engaging and informative but do so amiably; a conversation should not be a battleground to try to prove others wrong. Be respectful of other points of view. It’s OK to agree to disagree. Excellent communicators look for commonality in their conversations and build from there. If you haven’t taken the time to stop and have a conversation with someone today, pick up the phone, walk down the hall or invite someone for a coffee. You’ll be glad you did. 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, and celebrate

African Community Cumberland Investment Co-Op African Nova of Canada Ltd. Scotian Association (ACICC) (CANSA) Last year, the board of the African Community Investment Co-Op Canada Ltd. realized its first successful harvest of okra, eggplant, and hot pepper from its ethnic farming demonstration in partnership with Just-Us- Farm, Perennia, and the Nova Scotia, Dept. of Agriculture. This year, the ACICC is planning on setting up two herb and vegetable gardens, one in East Preston and the second in the community garden behind St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Church on Robie Street in Halifax. They are also planning on growing tilapia in an aquarium in their business lounge at 334 Herring Cove Road. Additionally, the BBI, through an application to its Community Development Fund, was able to purchase four sewing machines for the purpose of training a group of women of the African Community Investment Co-Op of Canada Ltd. ACICC also has a commercial kitchen available for rent at its Herring Cove Road location.

CANSA is a Careers Nova Scotia Centre that provides employment assistance services to Cumberland County. It provides intake and needs assessment, career counselling, and the skills to develop a work action plan. Workshops include resume development, cover letter creation, and employability skills with information on the current labour market. It also provides follow-up services to clients and options for funding if people need to retrain or go back to school. The director, Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu, is a resource for clients who are looking at developing a business, either through the Self Employment Benefits programme, or on their own. She assists with business plans, offering advice about financing, and referrals to organizations such as the BBI and CBDCs, to assist clients in furthering their business goals.

Ngozi Blessing Otti, Executive Director 13115 Veith street, Halifax Nova Scotia
 902-453-4320 www.acicc.ca

Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu, Executive Director 71 Victoria St E. Amherst, Nova Scotia 902-661-1509 www.cansa.ca

our rich heritage. Here are a few organizations working hard to support the African Nova Scotian community: 27 ...

The Emerging Lens Festival a project of the Charles Taylor Theatre and Media Arts Association

Community Business Development Corporation Blue Water (CBDC)

Since 2010, this festival has featured films from the African Canadian community and beyond. It’s grown from a one-night event to four nights of screenings and an educational workshop or panel discussion with local producers and industry representatives. Every November the call goes out for submissions and how the Festival evolves comes from the proposals it receives.

At CBDC Blue Water, we assist in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion or modernization of existing businesses, by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs. CBDC Blue Water serves rural HRM (areas between Hubbards and Ecum Secum) including such communities as Tantallon, Timberlea, Sackville, Beaverbank, Eastern Passage, Preston, Porters Lake, Sheet Harbour, and Middle Musquodoboit. Services include: • Business counselling and advice is available to small businesses. We help businesses to succeed and therefore we give high priority to the advisory role of our mandate.

This year’s festival featured local filmmaker Floyd Kane’s production “Across the Line”. Each evening begins with poetry, spoken word, music and other cultural expressions. The organizers of the festival seek stories that come from African Nova Scotians, the African Diaspora, and the multi-cultural community. Organizer Shelley Fashan says, “It’s expanded our reach of storytellers because sharing our stories is what connects us to each other.”

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.

• Entrepreneurship development and training is available to individuals and small business owners. • Financial assistance is available in the form of term loans to aspiring or existing and entrepreneurs. Our financing options are targeted to entrepreneurs who require customized financing not normally available from traditional sources. If you are thinking of starting a business, or need help with your existing business, contact us today!

Shelley Fashan, Director 28B Kennedy Drive Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 902- 488-6355 ww.theemerginglens.com

Patrick Breton, Senior Development Officer 5228 Highway #7, Unit #6 Porters Lake, Nova Scotia 902-889-7532 www.bluewatercbdc

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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Upcoming Training Building a High Performance Business: Cynthia Dorrington Date: (TBA)

Online & Social Media: Ross Simmonds Date: (TBA)

Project Management Professional (PMP):

Training Statistics Impact of 2015 – 2016 Training Winter 2016 Training Courses - 9 Participants - 87 Courses Completed: • Financial Management (2) • Business Cohort Women’s Leadership • Business Managing • Business Growth & Profitability • Word Press • Photoshop • Dalhousie Executive Leadership Training • Design Tools

One of the main courses where we have seen direct impact from training is with our Photoshop course. At the Photoshop class graduation, each student demonstrated their new skill set by sharing the work that they developed for their respective businesses - invitations, flyers, business cards, and congratulatory designs for BBI’s 20th Anniversary. With this new learned Photoshop editing skill, participants are now able to create, edit, and better manage designs produced for their business.

Brenda Fay Date: (TBA)

All classes are held at: Association of Workplace Educators of Nova Scotia (AWENS) 3667 Strawberry Hill, Suite 107, Halifax, NS 29 ...

Graduates of the Business Growth & Profitability training course


Participants attending the

Business Growth and Profitability course also displayed an immediate impact from their training. All participants were assigned accountability partners, which in turn made the participants more accountable, and participants shared their progress and successes from participating in the class.

Here are a few testimonies from participants in the course:

Antoine Brown hands on with the class, didn’t teach in a textbook style, and provided assignments that were very interactive and engaging. I am a photographer, so my interests include editing photos. I have had Photoshop on my computer for at least two years, and when I tried to use it, nothing much came from it. Now, after taking BBI’s Photoshop course, I definitely use the program more often, and I am very comfortable using it as I am now more inclined to practice on my own. Taking this course has increased my skill level, and I applaud and encourage the BBI in continuing to offer more training courses like this one”.

(Former Business Student): “I initially took the course to gain more knowledge and increase my business sense. I wanted to learn as much as I could about negotiating, exporting, managing, generating more revenue, better techniques for selling a product, being a better leader, and so on. I was very pleased with the course, because I learned everything I wanted to get from it and more! I appreciated Zoran’s teaching style, he brings a unique experience. He helped everyone and provided hands-on teaching, reaching out to all of his students to ensure that our businesses are becoming better”.

Lisa Coates

Winter Training Draw Winners

(Level Ten Landworks): “It allowed for me to step back, analyze, and restructure how she I running her business. I now have an employee handbook and safety policy, as well as more organized accounting records after taking the Business Managing Course with Ms. O’Toole. I was introduced to a number of programs which provide access to free professional marketing material for free or a small fee from the design tools course. After taking the business growth and profitability course, I have gained more knowledge and direction in regard to project management, delegation, and conducting business locally and internationally. I believe that any small or medium size business owner needs to be taking the business training courses the BBI offers, you would be a fool not to”.

Lou Gannon (Mr. Lou’s Photography): “Mr. Evans was a great instructor, great personality. He had great contact with his students, and very helpful no matter how familiar or unfamiliar the students were with the computer or using the Photoshop program. I loved how he was very

Graduates of the Photoshop training course

Antoine Brown (right)

Graduates of the Business Managament training course

Celina Butt (left)

BBI Winter Training Draw: BBI recently held a draw for two youth’ and ‘non-youth participants who successfully completed training to conclude the winter training courses! Congratulations to the winners: • Antoine Brown (Photoshop) • Celina Butt (Photoshop & Business Managing)

BBI Intake Sessions: When it comes to the BBI providing assistance to business owners and potential business owners, it is important to assess the client’s state of readiness to enter the business realm, and to receive assistance from the BBI. All new clients must attend an orientation session. This session informs the client of the purpose of the BBI, and what they can and cannot reasonably expect from our organization. n

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Potential Empowerment Making Higher Education Attainable


s I sit at the front of the classroom, a few hands go up. It is my third year talking to Lesley Choyce’s English class – one of six courses offered in Dalhousie University’s Transition Year Program (TYP). I was invited to talk about my book, Winds of Change: The Life and Legacy of Calvin W. Ruck, and share a little bit about the writing process. The engaged students are eager to share their own stories and experiences. Some talk about how, just like my grandfather, they too have loved ones who were treated unfairly because of the colour of their skin. Others share their future goals and career aspirations. It is a treat to converse with these students and see the positive impact TYP is having on their lives.

While it is only my third year speaking to students of this unique program, the TYP has in fact been around for 40-plus years. With a mandate to “increase the Lindsay Ruck, access and the successful participation with her book, of Black and Aboriginal students at Winds of Change: Dalhousie University”, the TYP was The Life and Legacy born out of a conversation between the of Calvin W. Ruck late Burnley (Rocky) Jones and James For more Walker. The story goes that, on an overinformation night duck hunting trip, the pair began on Dalhousie discussing inequalities in the educaUniversity’s tion system and questioning why more Transition Year Program, check out Black and First Nations students were dal.ca. not present on the Dalhousie campus. Out of a great desire to change the status quo, they rallied students, faculty, and members of the African-Nova Scotian community and proposed the idea of a transition year program which would be offered to Black and First Nations students who may be pondering – or perhaps just not adequately prepared to enroll in – university. Along with English, the TYP offers Black Studies, Math, Native Studies, Strategies for University Learning, and the most recent addition, Academic Writing.

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by: Lindsay Ruck “For the longest while, the only courses at Dalhousie which covered First Nations or Black experiences were in the TYP,” program director and Black Studies senior instructor, Isaac Saney says. “The whole point was to give Black Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq students a sense of their history; a sense of their community’s position in society. Now Dalhousie offers a Black studies minor and a First Nations minor.” Saney has been an instructor in the TYP since 1992. After serving as the associate director and acting director on and off for several years, he was named as the director of TYP in September 2014. While approximately 100 to 150 individuals apply every year, the program only selects 20 to 25 students for enrollment. The selection process includes math and English testing and an interview stage. While no two students are exactly alike, many share certain commonalities which led them to the TYP. “They’ve been savaged by what can only be described as an education system that has disadvantaged African Nova Scotian and First Nation students,” Saney says. “They share a realization they want to find different career choices and move forward with their life and they realize they need to have a degree – a higher education. Most of them are hard-working, dedicated, and focused.” With a drive to succeed and to rise above racial stereotypes, an outstanding number of TYP grads have gone on to complete degrees in architecture, sociology, nursing, law, and social work. Shawna Hoyte is a staff lawyer with Dalhousie Legal Aid. As she reflects on her success, she circles back to the TYP. Hoyte learned of the program through her brother, who entered TYP in 1971. When it was her turn to begin thinking about post-secondary education, she was bluntly told she was not “university material.” “I remember that day well,” the Queen’s Counsel recalls. “I asked for the TYP application and was told by the guidance counsellor that he did not know what I was talking about. My brother got the application for me and helped me complete it.” Hoyte was accepted into the program in 1974. “I was so grateful. Without the financial assistance the program offered, I would not have been able to attend university. While in TYP, I had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with like-minded individuals whose values and beliefs were in sync with mine. TYP opened the door to a world I would have never known and opportunities I could have only imagined.” “It’s incredible to see people grow and get the realization of what their potential is,” Saney said. “We help them realize they can do this. We help them overcome fear. Some of them have had such a bad educational experience that they feel they can’t do it. You see their confidence grow as they realize they are just as capable as anybody else.” n

Shawna Hoyte staff lawyer with Dalhousie Legal Aid Service 902-423-8105 dal.ca/faculty/ law/dlas

Are you a “Growth Champion”?

by: Valerie Payn, CEO, Halifax Chamber of Commerce


he Halifax Chamber of Commerce has an overarching strategic goal: To become one of the top three growth economies in Canada by 2018.

When this goal was first developed in 2013, it seemed hugely ambitious. So much so, that we double checked with our members to make sure that this was a goal that they could support and embrace! Now, at the half-way mark of our five-year Strategic Plan, our 2018 deadline has become much more of a reality. This once overly ambitious goal is now well within sight. In fact, the Conference Board of Canada is predicting that Halifax will be the second-fastest growing city in Canada in 2016, behind only Vancouver. This is very exciting news for our board of directors, staff, and, indeed, all chamber members that have been working the plan for three years. Valerie Payn, Halifax Chamber of Commerce President & CEO

This doesn’t mean the job is done! The Halifax Chamber exists for its 1,550 plus members, meaning we offer money saving opportunities

through our members’-only benefit programs, more than 100 annual events - from free networking events to our Halifax Business Awards gala dinners celebrating local business success, and our always important policy work. The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is your “voice” on behalf of the business community. We advocate on your behalf all the time for things that are important to all our businesses, such as reducing red tape, lower taxes, increasing immigration numbers, and much more. By the way, if you have a red tape issue, we always want to hear from you. How is the Chamber supporting and promoting growth in Halifax? Our Growth Champion program was launched last fall, as part of our ‘Grow and Nurture the Skilled Workforce’ task force, Through this, we’ve been recognizing member businesses that have hired recent graduates and immigrants, and that have supported training programs for their employees.

What qualifies as a “Growth Champion”? Does your organization: • Hire immigrants? • Hire recent graduates or co-op students, or participate in programs such as Junior Achievement?

monthly magazine Business Voice, and at one of our 100 plus annual events. We want to celebrate those member businesses that are actively contributing to the success and growth of our city. And there are many, many businesses who are doing just that! I may sound like a broken record, but in order to be among the top three growth cities in Canada by 2018, we need to make some drastic changes. Engaging our youth, growing our population through immigration, and developing our workforce are the key areas your Chamber wants to celebrate and promote. We’ve heard from more than 130 member organizations already that are proud Growth Champions, who have done everything from investing in training and new equipment, to hiring youth and immigrants, to exploring partnerships that will let them compete on a global scale. Let’s keep the momentum going.

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is • Support and encourage con- here to assist local businesses. This tinuing education within your could be by providing information on workforce? how to hire an immigrant or co-op student, or assisting with training If you have answered “yes” to any of through continuing education courses. these questions, then your organiza- We can help. Reach out for assistance, tion qualifies as a Growth Champion! and one of team members can help Congratulations! We have been, you and your business get on track and will continue to recognize these to become a Growth Champion too! Growth Champions on our Chamber website, social media channels, our I welcome you to reach out. ◆

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Shout-Outs New BBI Staff

  We would like to congratulate Ryan Johnson and Nicole Chaisson, owners of Black Velvet Beauty Supplies and Accessories, 120-172 Wyse Rd Dartmouth N S, for their first successful year of business in selling the finest synthetic wigs, braids, and human-hair extensions, etc.

Amber Grosse Business is Jammin’ (BIJ) Youth Coordinator

Amber hails from the community of East Preston. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, with a major in marketing, and a minor in management, at Mount Saint Vincent University. She has experience in event planning and developing educational programs for students. Amber has a strong work ethic, a high level of professionalism, and a friendly personality.

  Congratulations to Jason MacLean, a correctional officer from Sydney, who was acclaimed as the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union’s president. This position was vacated by Joan Jessome, who served as the union’s President for 17 years.

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“People have often told me I have a way with children,” she says. “For some reason, children of all ages are able to relate to me and find me approachable. The opportunity to work with children within the context of business is a perfect combination I have not considered before. I am very excited to be part of this team and I am looking forward to my chance to celebrate the young Black business talent in our communities. This is my time to give back.” n

Community & Business Events

June 9. 2016

June 18, 2016

12:30 pm

6:30 p.m.

The Centre for Women in Business

22nd Annual Rev. Dr. W.P. Oliver -Night of Honour

will host the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), Black Business Initiative (BBI), and Ulnooweg Development Corporation for Connections for Success 2016 902-457-6449 | 1-888-7769022 centreforwomeninbusiness.ca cwb@msvu.ca

June 9-12. 2016

Gospel Workshop

Sharp 5 Productions in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, is hosting, a multi-day Gospel Workshop featuring Javert “Jaye” Haynes, music minister of Blessed Hope Missionary Church, Cleveland Ohio. . This workshop will take place at the Black Cultural Centre and will provide an opportunity for those who would like to develop their music harmonizing and vocal techniques. This event will end with a concert performance on the final day. Registration is $ 50 per person with limited spaces. For further information contact: The Black Cultural Centre 902-434-6223 or Toll Free 1-800-465-0767 www.bccns.com

Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, 10 Cherry Brook Road, Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia. For further information contact: The Black Cultural Centre 902-434-6223 or Toll Free 1-800-465-0767 www.bccns.com

June 18-19, 2016

Play On! Halifax

Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! is Canada’s most amazing street hockey tournament and outdoor hockey festival! Get a team together and come on down. Halifax Commons North End, Halifax, Nova Scotia

June 23, 2016

Save the date to Raise a Little Hell...p for Habitat

The Delta Barrington and Halifax Hotels are once again hosting the Raise a Little Hell…p for Habitat. This will be the eighth year of the event which raises money for Habitat for Humanity NS. The event features award-winning musical artists, delicious cuisine, drinks and a silent auction. June 15. 2016 902-492-6448 or 1-877-535-6444 2pm-5pm raisealittlehelp.com www.deltahotels.com/en/hotels/nova-scotia/ delta-halifax Their Honours, Brigadier-General The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and Mrs. Joan Grant are delighted to invite June 29, 2016 all Nova Scotians and visitors to Government House for a Garden Party on Wednesday June 15 from 2pm-5pm 902-424-7001 www.ltgov.ns.ca “Females Fore Females” women’s golf day

Annual Garden Party

Upcoming Fundraising Events for Adsum House

June 16,2016 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Chamber Golf Challenge

Oakfield Golf & Country Club, 6055 Highway #2, Oakfield, Nova Scotia www.halifaxchamber.com

November 3 “Successful Canadian Women’s Dinner” honouring Leilani Farha Adsum for Women & Children 2421 Brunswick Street Halifax, NS T: 902-422-3389 C: 902-266-2650 F: 902-423-9336 www.adsumforwomen.org


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June 30- July 7, 2016

July 29 - August 1, 2016

Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo

Natal Day Festival

Featuring a salute to the #2 Construction Battalion Please note there is only one performance daily. Doors open one hour before showtime. Tickets: 1-877-451-1221 or 902-451-1221 www.nstattoo.ca

July 9, 2016

Black Battalion Memorial Celebrating 100 Years

Pictou Waterfront c/o Town of Pictou 40 Water Street, P.O. Box 640, Pictou, NS info@townofpictou.ca

July 22-24, 2016

Africville Reunion

Africville, NS www.facebook.com/africville www.africville.ca

July 22-24, 2016

Back to Birchtown 1st Anniversary Black Loyalist Heritage Society 119 Birchtown Road Site 10, Mod 3, Comp 14 Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0 T: 902-875-1310 F: 902-875-1352 www.blackloyalist.com

The Natal Day Festival will involve more than 30 events, including family activities, live concerts, road races, talent showcase, one of the oldest parades in Atlantic Canada and a spectacular fireworks show launched from a barge in the middle of Halifax Harbour. www.natalday.org

August 5-6, 2016

Apex Invitational Golf Tournament Our 43rd Year

Truro Golf Course The first 110 paid entrants will be accepted. Absolutely no entries will be accepted that do not include a paid entry fee. Early Registration is fees paid by June 30th; late registration is fees paid after June 30th. PLEASE NOTE THE LATE REGISTRATION CUT-OFF DATE IS JULY 15th. NO ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THIS DATE. Power carts for the golf tournament are limited and will only be booked to paid golfers by Kevin Jackson, Foster Paris, or Trevor Jordan. All cheques are to be made payable to: Apex Invitational Golf Association and forwarded to: Foster Paris 27 Convoy Avenue, Apt.#8, Halifax, NS B3N 2P5 Please indicate your handicap and choice of playing partners for day 1 or for the first day with your payment.

Nominations are now open for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2017 To apply, contact: Halifax Chamber of Commerce 32 Akerley Boulevard, Suite 100 Dartmouth NS, B3B 1N1, Canada 902-468-7111 :info@halifaxchamber.com

July 23, 2016 Shot Gun Start 1:00 pm

28th Annual BEA Open Golf Tournament Osprey Ridge Golf Club 492 Harold Whynot Road, Lunenburg County, NS www.beaopen.com

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


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 62 – Summer 2016  

Black to Business – Issue 62 – Summer 2016