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

Black 2 Business

Special 20th Anniversary Issue


Issue 63 • Winter 2016 • Special 20th Anniversary Issue

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,

Messages The Lieutenant Governor

1

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

2

Minister of Business

3

Leader of the Opposition

4

Mayor of Halifax

5

Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI)

6

BBI, Board Chair

7

BBI, Interim CEO

8

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 Creative Director: Dan O'Brien Design North - Halifax Coordinator / Managing Editor: Angela Johnson Mirabliss Media Productions

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

w w w.bbi.ca x

Mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement no. 0040026687

BBI Interim Strategic Plan 2016-17 9 SNAP SHOT: The BBI • The Story so far... BBI ORIGIN STORY 11 FIRST 10 YEARS

13

NEXT 10 YEARS 15 FUTURE

17

BBI Board Members 1996-2016 19 BBI • Twenty Years and Counting Adam’s Photography Inc.

21

The Bin Doctor

23

BioMedica Diagnostics

24

Black Business Summits Over the Years

26

BBI • 20 YEARS - B2B Covers

27

Business Is Jammin’ - Hope Blooms

29

Community Connections - Lindell Smith

30

Opportunity: Popping-up Near You

31

Investing in the Community

33


Issue 63 • Winter 2016 • Special 20th Anniversary Issue

Business and People to Watch Level Ten Landworks

37

Birth Happens

37

Queens & Kings Natural Products

38

NDS Property Services Ltd.

38

Nicole Johnson Fashion Studio

39

The Hector Jacques Award of Business Excellence

40

BBI Entrepreneur of the Year Award

40

BBI Staff 1996-2016 • Then and Now 41

BBI • Celebrating Business Success Crowning Glory Hair Studio Plus

43

Corey Katz Photography

44

House of Auto Details

45

SLIC Laser Inc.

47

Remembering Neville Gilfoy

48

BBI • Training & Development Partnerships Anne Divine • Ashanti Leadership & PDS

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Ross Simmonds • Hustle and Grind

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Jessica Bowden, M.S.M. • Teens Now Talk

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Nova Scotia Department of LAE

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BBI • Connecting to Success 53 BBI • Training

55

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 focuses on supporting business starts, growth and business attraction to Nova Scotia. The BBI also places priority on supporting Black owned firms to improve productivity, invest in strategic innovations and enhance regional and global competitiveness. In 1996, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia set up the BBI to address the unique needs confronting the Black business community in Nova Scotia. The BBI and its broad scope of economic development activities is currently funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), 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 Lieutenant Governor Brigadier-General The Hon. J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d)

Dear Friends:

Messages

As Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in Nova Scotia, it is my great pleasure and honour to extend greetings to the Black Business Initiative on the occasion of its 20th Anniversary.

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Since its formation 20 years ago, the BBI has taken a leading role in the province by ensuring there is a dynamic and vibrant black presence in the business community. Without question, the work of the BBI has had a broad and far-reaching impact far beyond its stated mission. The BBI changes lives for the better and its programs permit its clients to fulfil their dreams and lift themselves out of disadvantaged positions by nurturing economic selfsufficiency. This organization can take great pride in its achievements over the years. I offer my sincere congratulations to the Black Business Initiative on its milestone anniversary and I wish it every success for the future. 2016

Brigadier-General The Hon. J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d) Lieutenant Governor


ACOA The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.

Message from the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

ministre de l’Innovation, des Sciences et du Développement économique et ministre responsable de l’Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique

Black Business Initiative (BBI) 20th Anniversary

Vingtième anniversaire de la Mesure visant les gens d’affaires noirs (MVGAN)

BBI – 20 Years of Leadership in Business

La MVGAN célèbre 20 ans de leadership en affaires

For the last 20 years, the Black Business Initiative has been making a difference in communities across the province. Nova Scotians continue to be the beneficiaries of the organization’s good work. Providing access to mentoring, training and business counselling, BBI plays an important role as a champion for small businesses and community development.

La Mesure visant les gens d’affaires noirs (MVGAN) a des effets positifs sur les collectivités de la province depuis 20 ans, et la population de la Nouvelle Écosse continue à tirer profit de son travail remarquable. En donnant accès à du mentorat, à de la formation et à des conseils d’affaires, la MVGAN joue un important rôle à titre de championne du développement des petites entreprises et des collectivités.

The annual Business is Jammin’ summer camp is recognized as an excellent model to introduce youth to the possibilities of entrepreneurship. For many camp participants, this is their first exposure to the world of business. Nationally celebrated social enterprise Hope Blooms counted several “graduates” from the camp.

Le camp d’été annuel Business is Jammin’ est considéré comme un excellent modèle pour faire découvrir aux jeunes les possibilités de l’entrepreneuriat. Pour de nombreux participants au camp, il s’agit de la première exposition au monde des affaires. L’entreprise sociale Hope Blooms, qui est reconnue à l’échelle nationale, fait appel à plusieurs diplômés de ce camp.

BBI is also synonymous with community engagement. Where there is an opportunity to move the markers, BBI is there to assist. Over the course of 20 years, they have helped numerous projects get off the ground or grow, including the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, the Nova Scotia Black Tourism Initiative and the Black Cultural Centre.

La MVGAN est aussi synonyme de mobilisation des collectivités. Lorsqu’une occasion de réaliser des progrès se présente, la MVGAN est là pour offrir son soutien. Au cours des 20 dernières années, elle a aidé à concrétiser ou à faire progresser de nombreux projets, notamment le Black Loyalist Heritage Centre, la Nova Scotia Black Tourism Initiative et le Black Cultural Centre.

Congratulations on 20 years serving Nova Scotia.

Félicitations pour vos 20 années au service de la Nouvelle Écosse.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.

L’honorable Navdeep Bains, C.P., député

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Minister of Business The Honourable Mark Furey

Greetings to you, Black Business Initiative (BBi) and business leaders reading this special edition of Back 2 Black in celebration of BBl’s 20th anniversary. Let me congratulate you for your valuable impact on Nova Scotia’s economy and for your work with communities from across the province. Over the past two decades, BBi has guided entrepreneurs and

Messages

community leaders by putting a focus on furthering entrepreneurial development, education and training. As Minister of Business, I have had the pleasure of seeing you make essential contributions to the province’s business setting. BBl’s commitment to regional business development, the initiation of strategic projects such as the operation of the Black Business Center, and operational leadership through strategic planning for communities all directly reflect our plan of working together to make Nova Scotia stronger by investing in infrastructure and innovation. BBi has enabled Nova Scotia Black businesses and social enterprises to become more competitive and innovative. By consistently fostering and supporting Black Nova Scotia business, assuring there is access the opportunities and financial services that are available, you have placed yourselves as key players in the province’s economic growth. We all have a stake in this province, let’s keep working to improve the competitiveness of Nova Scotia’s business environment and grow our economy.

Yours truly,

Mark Furey Minister of Business

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Leader of the Opposition The Honourable Jamie Baillie

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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 continue to mark 20 years of service to the community.

Messages

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 of Halifax

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Nova Scotia Business Inc. Laurel C. Broten, President & CEO

Since joining the team at NSBI, it has been a pleasure to work collaboratively with Black Business Initiative (BBI) towards a growing, inclusive business community in Nova Scotia. NSBI’s collaboration with BBI has greatly contributed to our vision of a strong, thriving and globally competitive Nova Scotia. It goes without saying that to achieve this vision, all Nova Scotians must have the opportunity to attain their full potential. To help the province of Nova Scotia reach our collective aspirations and goals, BBI continues to inspire, aid and service the initiatives of Black businesspeople, both young and old. BBI and NSBI are aligned and mutually focused on opportunities that will benefit our economy, such as building capacity in high potential clusters like information and communications technology (ICT), investing in strategic innovations, and enhancing global and regional competitiveness. BBI’s efforts to educate Black business owners, while supporting business starts, business growth, and business attraction to Nova Scotia, are key to building a more competitive business environment in our province as well as a prosperous future for generations to come. Please accept my thanks and best wishes, and congratulations to BBI and the Black business community on celebrating 20 years of outstanding commitment to an improved and sustainable business environment in Nova Scotia. We at NSBI look forward to our continued work together.

Sincerely,

Laurel C. Broten President & CEO, Nova Scotia Business Inc.

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The Black Business Initiative Cynthia Dorrington, Chair, BBI

T

Messages

his issue is special. It celebrates 20 years of the Black Business Initiative. Twenty years ago we united for a common cause: a dynamic and vibrant black presence within the Nova Scotia business community. And while it is important to celebrate our growth, accomplishments and victories over the past two decades our vision remains the same and will guide us into the future.

Twenty years is nearly a generation of business growth in Nova Scotia. Those who were with us from start-up were once hesitant, early entrepreneurs. Today, they are successful, accomplished business owners. And these business owners have provided an example and mentored a second generation who have grown and matured seeing themselves reflected in business across the province. It is because of the first generations’ daring beginning, supported and guided by the Black Business Initiative, that more of our young people believe in themselves and the power of their ideas. A wonderful example of the BBI’s generational impact is the story of Hope Blooms. The Black Business Initiative provided Hope Blooms with seed money and with that investment they grew a successful business that now has salad dressings and vinaigrettes on the shelves of major grocery chains. With their proceeds, they have established a scholarship fund and today the young children initially involved in Hope Blooms are becoming young adults and using their fund for post-secondary education. This one investment has created a sturdy foundation of education, entrepreneurship and achievement for generations. The Black Business Initiative began with strong leadership at the board table, and strong partnerships with government (federal and provincial) and corporate committed to a common goal: partners who believed in the vision to propel the work of the BBI forward. Without the strength of these partnerships, we would be unable to celebrate the success we’ve seen throughout these past years. More than that, the dedicated staff of the BBI have forged enduring business relationships all across Nova Scotia so that black businesses can benefit from a network of

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contacts and connections covering every corner of Nova Scotia from Yarmouth to Sydney; Halifax to Amherst. Over the course of this work, the wonderful employees of the BBI have grown into a family that nurtures and encourages their clients’ successes. The employees, board members, partners and clients of the Black Business Initiative are members of a collective. We are a community speaking with a unified voice pushing for an ongoing, lasting black business presence in this province. The unified voice of this community is strong and determined. Throughout the past two decades as the BBI has witnessed each business achieve success, the community, too has succeeded and the unified voice has grown stronger and louder. Today, twenty years later, the volume of this unified voice echoing across the four corners of the province is impossible to ignore. We’ve all become more seasoned over the past 20 years. Experiences and marketplaces have grown from local to global and our sphere of influence has grown wider and deeper. Yet, the work of the BBI is far from complete and we must continue to support the community. We will continue our dedication to nourishing and growing the black business so that our clients today, and tomorrow, can achieve a prosperous, sustainable future – and so that generations to come see themselves represented whenever they turn a street corner. The future of black business in Nova Scotia is bursting with opportunity because of the tremendous hard work of the business community; the Black Business Initiative’s employees and their clients; and our government partners over the course of the last 20 years. I look forward to continuing working alongside you, and I look forward to dynamic future and successful generations to come. Respectfully,

Cynthia Dorrington BBI, Board Chair


The Black Business Initiative S.I. Rustum Southwell, Interim CEO, BBI

A

s I reflect on two decades at the BBI, the first thing that comes to mind, is that the years went by so quickly it is difficult to recall all our activities. In June (2006), we celebrated our 10th anniversary, and although, the weather during that June did not completely cooperate with all our plans, it was otherwise a very successful summer. Mindful that this is our second ten years, and now in the fall of 2016, following a hot dry summer considered by many to be the hottest in history, we are now celebrating our 20th Anniversary.

In fact, a reflection on the season’s changing is an appropriate metaphor for the ups and downs in our journey. We opened our doors in the spring of 1996 against a backdrop of local, national and international headlines. It was the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty and Kofi Annan was elected to become Secretary General of the United Nations. A year earlier, Dr. John Savage and his Liberal Government with Wayne Adams, the first Black member of the provincial legislature and a former Provincial Cabinet Minister, was instrumental in the creation of the Black Business Initiative Task-Force who designed the Black Business Initiative business model. Funding was provided in partnership with and under Jean Chretien’s Federal Liberal Government’s COOPERATION Agreement for Economic Diversification, delivered by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The BBI Task Force authored the strategic and operational plans that became the BBI society. However, it was unified and strengthened when an African Nova Scotian community group facilitated by Voluntary Planning joined the Task-Force in conducting community consultations provincewide. Consequently, the birth of the initiative was sealed and it immediately became stronger. The bar had been raised higher than ever for Black achievement. Today’s BBI is the work of many people over two decades. The Board members who give freely of their time and expertise to contribute to the African Nova Scotian Community and professional dedicated staff members who have performed above the expectation as time went by. Everyone who has participated in this initiative is responsible for its successes.

community, we’ve refreshed our objectives to adapt to an ever changing and challenging economic environment. Disciplined processes now in place hold us accountable to our stakeholders and keep us focused on our core business - helping Black entrepreneurs develop the tools and skills they need to achieve excellence. While the tough financial markets and reductions in our provincial investments have placed our Board in a new reality, especially with our construction strategy, it is now important for us to minimize our stakeholders’ exposure to market volatility. We have forged effective relationships and true partnerships with the public and private sectors. Support is seen in our many partnerships with some major corporations and is one accomplishment. However, we are struggling to find new ways to engage our entrepreneurs to be included in the supply chain markets and this is a frequent challenge. Public sector agencies like Halifax Partnership, Nova Scotia Business Incorporated, the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs and others provide the platform to help us improve. It’s important that we remain entrepreneurial and not purely administrative and continue to develop progressive programming and strategies to grow strong companies. We represent small companies in a small market. Our position is that we have the entrepreneurs, the people, concepts and products to also supply a national and worldwide market. BBI is particularly proud to expose many youth to this life changing experience. Our future therefore is one where we engage them very young and take them on our shoulders and lift them to success. One example is Ross Simmonds, a young man who as a teenager was part of our Business is Jammin’ Youth program. Today, Ross is a BBI board member, and a successful entrepreneur and business owner of a fast-growing social media company. What happens now that BBI is no longer a teenager? Another divine coincidence? The general Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2015-2024 as - A Decade Dedicated to people of African Descent. Well, it is the correct time to shore up our infrastructure and begin to rebuild until we reach our vision. And the time is Right Now! Respectfully, Black Business Initiative

S.I. Rustum Southwell, BBI, Interim CEO

Of course, there is pride in our achievements, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly because we continually face tremendous odds. While our primary goal is to build a dynamic and vibrant Black business

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Black Business Initiative

BBI Interim Strat Our Purpose

Our Mission Statement

Through our managerial and corporate functioning and activities, we will inspire, aid, and service the initiatives of Black businesspersons, old and young,

To positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture by promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia Black-owned businesses. helping to equip them with the knowledge and skills consistent with the ongoing challenges in their chosen sectors of entrepreneurial activity.

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Sustainabi

Remain relevant a date while contin provide critical su the business comm ensuring their lon sustainability. • Lending Strategy • Revenue Generation • Business Development Support • Youth Strategies


#BLACKBUSINESSRIGHTNOW

ategic Plan 2016-17 Our Strategic Goals

Connecting

ility

and up to nuing to upports to munity, ng-term

Serve as a bridge for the Black community by facilitating linkages and partnership between the Black community and the broader business sector.

A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community.

• Relationship Building • Communication Strategy • Partnerships • Networking opportunities

Capacity Place priority on supporting Black-owned firms to improve productivity, invest in strategic innovations, and enhance global and regional competitiveness. • Public and private sector resources • Community Development • Business Skills Development

• Economic independence for individuals • Further Entrepreneurial Development, Education, and Training

Our Vision

• Build Partnerships and Linkages to Business Community • Create/improve access to public & private sector support

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The Black Business Initiative • The Story so far… by: Angela Johnson

BBI ORIGIN STORY

I

n the early 1990s Black

programs, and discrimination at the business owners were looking for institutional level. The eventual result support to help them initiate or was the creation of the Black Business grow and sustain their business ven- Initiative. tures. In 1995, a task force formed that included community members to address the unique needs confronting Start Up the Nova Scotian Black business com- On May 25 1995, federal and provincial munity at the time. After 18 community politicians gathered at the Black Cultural consultations, the task force created Centre to announce a five-year, $5-million a report with their recommendations, commitment to a new initiative for Black delivering it to the government of the entrepreneurs and the economic developday. Key concerns identified were under- ment of Nova Scotia’s Black communities. developed business skills, lack of access A year later, the Black Business Initiative, as to capital, few role models or knowledge it would be known, had its grand opening at of how to take advantage of financial Pier 22 on October 25, 1996.

To foster a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community. - BBI’s Mission 11 ...


Locations The BBI opened two locations in 1996, a training office on Gottingen Street, and a head office at 1575 Brunswick Street. In 2009, it moved to one location in the Centennial Building, 1660 Hollis Street.

Development Loans Through its provincial and federal funding, it mainly became known as a lending institution for Black-owned businesses and community groups but it also offered a resource library, technical expertise and assistance in dealing with financial institutions and government agencies. Over the years more than 340 loans have been given to community organizations and businesses.

Training The BBI also began partnering with institutions and organizations to offer the community training on business related matters, including taxation, marketing, financial planning, accounting, and web page design. “It [BBI] was known and seen as a funding and business skills development organization in the beginning and its first five years was about that a lot,” says Rustum Southwell, founding and current interim CEO.

“In the five years that followed, it was about making good companies better, supporting their growth and helping them see the importance of business success.” continued u

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u

Snap Shot continued

FIRST 10 YEARS Building the Brand The BBI Logo The Dwanimen or double ram horn symbol used by the Akan people of Ghana that symbolizes the following elements: strength, strength of purpose, character, and resolve. The colours – yellow, green, red and black - represent the colours found in many African nations’ flags.

Global Successes,

Local Solutions.

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Black 2 Business Magazine From an eight-page newsletter to a magazine, BBI’s business news and community publication has had 63 issues.

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2012 SUMMIT AWARDS Also in this Issue:  BBI Summit Recap  Trailblazers:

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Launched in the 1997, it started as a coil-bound reference book featuring entrepreneurs, professionals and organizations within the community. In the last few years, it has existed on the BBI’s website as an online database.

Business is Jammin’ (BIJ) Starting in 1999, this youth-focused division of the BBI, targeted youth aged nine to 30 with activities that featured in-class training to practical applications like business camps that are held during March break.

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Black Business Summits The first Black Business Summit was in 2000 and had been the BBI’s signature biennial event attracting national and international guest speakers like Stedman Graham, FUBU founder Daymond John and motivational speaker “Coach” Ken Carter, and guests that included local and national politicians and business owners from across province. {Editor’s note: The BBI will host another business summit in 2017 – see additional information in this issue}

Roundtables Over the years, the BBI has hosted a number of roundtables focussing on the tourism, construction, music and food service industries. These gatherings provided participants an opportunity to discuss best practices and troubleshoot challenges. These sessions assisted in paving the way for further discussions or strategies including the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference, BBI’s Constructing the Future (CTF) program, African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA), and the Black Loyalist Heritage Museum, to name a few. “In recent years the BBI has offered the Reno 101 program, which was a spinoff to the CTF program,” says Emmanuel Itiveh, Managing Director. “We are currently reviewing and revamping the CTF program in order to make the necessary improvements to make the program more current and up to date with the idea that it will be a program that we will offer again.”

Training Department An early division of the BBI has continued to expand and feature in-house offerings along with key partnerships with provincial government departments, the Nova Scotia Community College and Dalhousie University.

BBCIFL In 2002, the BBI launched the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL), a community economic development investment fund operating under the Nova Scotia Equity Credit Act. The money

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raised through BBCIFL was invested in local businesses that had to have at least 30 per cent African Nova Scotian ownership. Since its inception, the fund has collected over $850,000 and reinvested close to $1.7M in 16 different projects, in 10 businesses. continued u

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u

Snap Shot continued

NEXT 10 YEARS Training and Professional Development Division There have been many partnerships that have helped advance and expand BBI’s training and professional development offerings. They include: •

NSCC - Vital to the CTF program

NS Home Builders Association - Vital to Renovations 101

Centre for Women in Business

Ashanti Leadership

YWCA

ISANS: Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia

ADAM: African Diasporal Association of the Maritime’s

AWENS: Association of Workplace Educators of Nova Scotia

NS Dept. of Labour and Advanced Education

NSBI - Nova Scotia Business Inc

Beyond Ventures Group

Training First Consulting Inc.

Vale & Associates

!

“Over the next few years, I would like to see more advanced technology based training, this is an ever evolving area and we need to ensure our clients have access to the latest information,” says Itiveh. “I would also like to see more advanced export training which will hopefully in turn develop more export partnerships for our clients.”

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Composite Group of Companies Along with the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. (BBCIFL) and Business is Jammin’ (BIJ), the current composite group of companies also include Black Business Consulting (BBC).

BBI Composite Group of Companies Five Separate Entities Connected by a Common Mandate

“BBI’s Sustainability Strategy was created to contribute to the overall sustainability of the BBI and lower the dependency on government funding,” says Rustum Southwell, Founding CEO. “To foster and maintain a high level of organizational performance and best practices, a key component of the strategy is the BBI Composite Model.”

Society

Limited Company

Black Business Enterprises

Finance

Black Business Community Investment Fund (BBCIFL)

Compete

Innovative

Limited By Guarantee

Black Business Consulting Limited By Guarantee

Limited Company

Consulting Services

Training

Business is Jammin’

Registered Youth Charity

Black Business Consulting (BBC) was incorporated in March 2005 to

BBC: Maximizing its resources to generate profit

generate revenue to support the financial independence of the group

contributing to the long-term sustainability of BBE.

of companies. BBC operates two different entities: ADEPA Consulting Service and ADEPA Construction Management Inc.

BBCIFL: Increase shareholder wealth while contributing towards the sustainable success of the black

ADEPA Construction Management Inc. was created in 2007 to generate

business community by raising funds from Nova Scotia

profit while contributing to the development of enhanced skills, training

investors and reinvesting in high potential black-owned

and certifications for young individuals throughout Halifax Regional

Nova Scotia businesses.

Municipality. It specializes in residential and commercial projects including new home construction and renovations.

BIJ: Empowering black youth through an entrepreneurial journey by facilitating programs and services

ADEPA Consulting Services (ACS) is a social impact consulting firm

that support and encourage them to control their

specializing in community economic development, capacity building,

economic future and realize their full potential.

entrepreneurship education and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It works with corporations, non-profit organizations, communities and

BBE: To provide forward-thinking leadership and

governments to effectively channel their resources to support sustainable

coordinated strategy to ensure Composite Group gov-

development for individuals and communities.

ernance and operational alignment with BBI’s vision. continued u

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u

Snap Shot continued

FUTURE Right Now Rustum Southwell has returned to helm the BBI, after retiring from it

Black Business Initiative

four years ago. The BBI’s board of directors called upon his knowledge of the organization, business acumen and connections to lead the organization through its current transition. As Interim CEO, Southwell says the business and social environment has changed a lot in those four years. He has noticed that diverse methodologies or what was known as ‘diversity practices’ has evolved into ‘inclusion’ practice and in this transition, he says the term has less focus on ethnicities.

“There are more parties now in this market #BLACKBUSINESSRIGHTNOW #INVESTINMERIGHTNOW #BBIRIGHTNOW #GETTINGITRIGHTNOW

with the business challenges of women, the Indigenous Peoples, the LGBTQ Community, other social and cultural communities, and

Black Business Initiative

Black Business Initiative

Interim Strategic Plan | 2016-17

Persons with Disabilities and the attention has shifted to not only how we are different but how we are the same,” he says. “It is making it more challenging to differentiate to do good

The organization recently developed an interim, one-

entrepreneurial work that has a single focus.

year strategic plan, ‘Right Now’, (see plan on pg 9-10), that outlines how the BBI can assist in developing Black

“Our positioning in that group is more important now that it has become saturated.

that of the province. Southwell says he would love to see more Black-owned businesses participate directly

Our question now becomes, how do we leverage

in provincial supply chains as opposed to being “in

our 20 years of experience to showcase and

the margins”.

contribute to the province’s economic growth in this new ‘best practice’ arena?” The BBI is currently core funded by the federally administered Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Province of Nova Scotia through Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), with some programming from Labour and Advanced Education (LAE). 17 ...

business to support community economic growth and


Training is one area where emerging trends are dictating new programming for the BBI. Managing Director Emmanuel Itiveh says digital training has been one major evolution for the training department over the last 10 years. “Understanding the technological advances that have been made in the last decade and how to Emmanuel Itiveh

use them to your advantage is critical to starting,

sustaining and growing a business in todays world,” says Emmanuel Itiveh, Managing Director. “The BBI has implemented training around software such as Adobe Photoshop, and many other digital training programs and updates in technological advances that may help their businesses run more efficiently.” Along with supporting and developing the existing sector, the next generation is still top of mind. Itiveh says that is also a consideration in the choice of future programming for Business is Jammin’. “Some of the exciting upcoming projects that BIJ has in store are The Company program under Junior Achievement, Role Models on the Road and Business on the Bus, says Itiveh. “After great success last year, the VIBE Arts program will return with an increase in programs for our youth to choose from. BIJ will also be launching a mentorship program for our youth which will provide an opportunity for them to job shadow their mentor.” With all of these new developments, both Southwell and Itiveh believe the foundation is being built for the BBI’s next 20 years.

“I believe we still have an engaged team, a strong volunteer board, committed corporate partners, consultants and suppliers who still want to contribute to a vibrant, economic landscape that includes Black-owned businesses,” says Southwell. “I am proud to see how many lives we touched in 20 years and pleased to say, our story continues.” n

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BBI Board Members 1996-2016

Task Force Members – 1995 Joan Jones

Nancy Ives Resource ERDT

Greg Browning

John Madison

Daurene Lewis

Candace Thomas

Tony Ross

Theresa Halfkenny

Milton Williams

Grace White

Jesslyn Dalton Resource Service Canada

Andrews Oppong

Dolly Williams

Rustum Southwell

Shirley Robinson-Levering

Mike Hayes Resource ACOA

Chairs 1996-2016

Cassandra Dorrington

Board Members 2007-2008

Hector Jacques 1996-1997

Bruce Johnson

Cassandra Dorrington

Gordon Tynes 1997-2001

Carlo Simmons

Rustum Southwell

Barbara Miller-Manning 2001-2003

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

Joseph Parris

Mike Wyse 2003-2005

Joseph Parris

Greg Browning

Garnet Wright 2005-2006

Rose Davidson Resource Service Canada

Jocelyn Dorrington

Cassandra Dorrington 2006-2010

Jocelyn Dorrington

Garnet Wright

Greg Browning 2010-2013

Greg Browning

Candace Thomas

Cynthia Dorrington 2013-

Candace Thomas

Dr. Andrews Oppong

Milton Williams

Milton Williams

Andrews Oppong

Shirley Robinson-Levering

Board Members 1996-2005 Percy Paris

Barbara Ann Simmons

Richard Bartolo

Board Members 2006-2007

Pat Ryan

Regina James

Cassandra Dorrington

Mike Hayes Resource ACOA

Cheryl Munroe Resource ACOA

Rustum Southwell

Rose Davidson Resource Service Canada

Leonard Parsons

Mike Hayes Resource ACOA

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

William Reddick

Bruce Johnson

Lynn Crawford

Carlo Simmons

BBI Board of Directors 2008-2009

Geraldine Browning

Garnet Wright

Cassandra Dorrington

Rudolph Ffrench

Joseph Parris

Rustum Southwell

Paul Walter

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

Joseph Parris

Silas Kpolugbo

Rose Davidson Resource Service Canada

Greg Browning

George Doleman Resource Service Canada

Jocelyn Dorrington

Shirley Robinson-Levering Jocelyn Dorrington Milton Williams Candace Thomas Dr. Andrews Oppong Pat Ryan Chuck Smith Robert Browning Eleanor Beaton Barbara Ann-Simmons Mike Hayes Resource ACOA Rose Davidson Resource Service Canada Brian Watson Resource ERDT

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BBI Board of Directors 2009-2010 Cassandra Dorrington Rustum Southwell Joseph Parris Greg Browning Shirley Robinson-Levering Jocelyn Dorrington Milton Williams Candace Thomas Dr. Andrews Oppong Pat Ryan Chuck Smith Robert Browning Eleanor Beaton Mike Hayes Resource ACOA

Sandra Watts-Wilson Resource ACOA

Margo Hampden Resource Member

Rose Stevenson-Davidson Resource Service Canada

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

Joseph Nyemah Resource ERDT

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

Wendy Macintyre Resource Service Canada

BBI Board of Directors 2010-2011

BBI Board of Directors 2012-2013

Greg Browning

Greg Browning

Eleanor Beaton

Candace Thomas,

Candace Thomas

Yemi Akindoju

BBI Board

Andrews Oppong

Shirley Robinson-Levering

Dr. Andrews Oppong,

Shirley Robinson-Levering

Mike Wyse

BBI Board, Treasurer

Deborah Windsor

Deborah Windsor

Shirley Robinson-Levering

Pat Ryan

Ross Simmonds

BBI Board, Secretary

Robert Browning

April Howe

Jocelyn Dorrington

Eleanor Beaton

Charles Sheppard

Milton Williams

Cynthia Dorringtonr

Burtley Francis

Pat Ryan

Ross Simmonds

Paul Pettipas

Chuck Smith

Milton Williams

Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu

Eleanor Beaton

Mike Wyse

Sandra Watts-Wilson Resource ACOA

Robert Browning

Sandra Watts-Wilson Resource ACOA

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

Cynthia Dorrington

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

Matthew Johnson Resource Member

S.I Rustum Southwell

Wendy MacIntyre Resource Service Canada

Margo Hampden Resource Member

Mike Hayes Resource ACOA

BBI Board of Directors 2014-2015 Cynthia Dorrington

Joseph Nyemah Resource ERDT

Rose Stevenson-Davidson Resource Service Canada

BBI Board of Directors 2013-2014

Brian Watson Resource ERDT

Cynthia Dorrington

BBI Board of Directors 2015-2016

Eleanor Beaton

Cynthia Dorrington

Yemi Akindoju

Eleanor Beaton

Greg Browning

Shirley Robinson-Levering

Yemi Akindoju

Candace Thomas

Mike Wyse

Deborah Windsor

Dr. Andrews Oppong

Deborah Windsor

Ross Simmonds

Shirley Robinson-Levering

Ross Simmonds

April Howe

Jocelyn Dorrington

April Howe

Charles Sheppard

Milton Williams

Charles Sheppard

Burtley Francis

Pat Ryan

Burtley Francis

Paul Pettipas

Chuck Smith

Paul Pettipas

Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu

Eleanor Beaton

Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu

Sandra Watts-Wilson Resource ACOA

Robert Browning

Sandra Watts-Wilson Resource ACOA

Dale Proude Resource Member

Cynthia Dorrington

Brian Watson

Matthew Johnson Resource Member

S.I. Rustum Southwell

Matthew Johnson Resource Member

BBI Board of Directors 2011-2012

20 ...


Twenty Years and Counting It is said that the hardest part of starting a business is staying in business. As the Black Business Initiative celebrates 20 years of supporting Black business in Nova Scotia it checks back in with a few of its more memorable clients to learn how their businesses have grown, changed or shifted since they were last featured in Black to Business magazine.

Adams Photography Inc • Paul Adams by: Shauntay Grant The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Paul Adams

This story originaly appeard in the Winter 2008 issue of B2B. father of the bride is the owner and operator of a thriving photography company.

Paul Adams Also in this Issue • Renewing Old Trade Links • Harriet R. Michel • Recognizing the Rocks

Winter 2008 u Number 41

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

Paul Adams & Paul Adams Jr., Adams Photography Inc.

“We’re both walking up the aisle, half-crying.

“I would have never thought that a hobby would have turned into a fulltime business,” says Adams, who has been operating Adams Photography since 1998. “Ever since I was a little child I was always the guy in the group that had the camera. And I loved to take photos. But then my daughter was born in 1978 and wanting to be a responsible father and take care of her, I had to get a job. So I decided to get a job at the Halifax Infirmary Hospital, and then moved on to Canada Post.” Adams worked at Canada Post from 1982 until 2004. But in 1997 he took on a new position, freeing up some of his time. So he started taking photos on a part-time basis. Weddings, special events, family portraits, schools… His popularity grew with each new project.

Photographer Paul Adams laughs gently, remembering his daughter LaTonya’s wedding ceremony. “We get to the end of the aisle (and the) pastor says, ‘Who gives this woman…’ I said, ‘I do’. Then I took two steps back, sat down for a second, grabbed the cam-era, and went to work!”

“From 1997 to 2002 I was working two jobs,” remembers Adams. “I was driving in the postal van taking calls for Adams Photography. I felt like Superman, changing clothes to do inter-views, then going back and delivering the mail.”

The thought of Adams moving busily about a crowded church as his daugh-ter recites her wedding vows may seem startling to some. But his heart was set on honouring LaTonya’s wish of seeing her wedding day through her dad’s eyes (or rather, lens). Besides, it’s not everyday the

In addition, Adams took a leave without pay for three months each year between 1999 and 2002 to run the school-photo segment of the business. And in 2003 and 2004 he took

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full-time leave-without-pay to further his educa-tion, eventually earning a diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College in Photography and Digital Imaging. But Adams had to make a choice if he wanted to follow his dream. “I knew I had to leave (the post office) if I wanted to follow my passion,” says Adams. “That day (back in December of 2004), I knew I was retiring. And some of the fellas saw me and said, ‘Oh, you’re back (from leave)’. And I said, “Yeah I’m back for a minute, but I’m outta here. You fellas are the prisoners. The super-visors are the wardens. And this is the penitentiary. And I just got full parole,” smiles Adams. “That’s the way I felt when I left Canada Post. I just felt like I wasn’t going to be locked up anymore, because now I’m walking in my dream.” Walking in his dream means turning his family room into a studio. “Usually it’s a studio, where I shoot at different times of the year,” says Adams from his Dartmouth home in late October. “But now I call it the factory.” Stacks of school photos and order forms line the walls of Adams’ work-space. “We do school pictures; twenty-two schools, which is about 7,000 students. And you do it all between September and November.” (His busi-est time of the year.) The rest of the year he’s contracted by the Nova Scotia Government, and has


corporate clients such as the Black Business Initiative, Steele Group, Sobeys, Century 21, Acura, Exit Realty and Remax Atlantic Canada, to name a few. In the spring and summer he’s busy with family portraits and weddings. He has photographed weddings from across Canada and as far away as Jamaica. “My family is very supportive,” says Adams. “(My wife), Star, a.k.a., Wonder Woman, holds a full time job with the Department of Education and is also a major player in the running of Adams Photography Services. She now works two jobs, where I worked two jobs when we first started out. But we got it down – we’ve been doing it for 10 years.” Adams credits the East Preston Daycare Centre with giving him his first opportunity for class photos. “I still remember going to (my first schools), Nelson Whynder and Joseph Howe (Elementary Schools) – we had two coat racks and two-by-fours, and I hung the backdrop over that… and one camera. And that’s what I started with.” Adams also credits his son Paul Jr. with helping him manage his school projects. “He goes to the schools to do retakes. He also went to NSCC and took the same course that I took. And he’s been a great help to me, especially with the weddings – he does all of my post-production.” Adams also remembers his daughter, Amber, being very displeased when the business first started as it took up a lot of the family’s finances. “I thank God that before she died she got to see the business begin to prosper. ”Adams prides himself on quality service. “I believe the customer is always right. So I’ll do my utmost to make sure that when they leave they’re happy. And you gotta make sure they’re happy, especially in the school industry. You’re trying to please 7,000 parents.” His competition in the school arena is national multi-million dollar companies. But Adams says the fact that he is a smaller company in comparison works to his advantage. “What (schools) like is that if they call me with an issue, I’m right there, whereas the bigger com-panies may not be as accessible. So I provide them with really good service. It runs you off your feet for three or four months, but to me it’s all worth it. “Some of the feedback I have received from the schools is that they love my interaction with the students. But I love people, especially children so that just comes naturally. “I have freedom now. My time is flexible. I get to meet so many people of all ages and from all walks of life that I would otherwise have never got to meet.” Adams counts Stedman Graham and T.D. Jakes among the celebrities he’s had the opportunity to photograph. But at the end of the day, he says it doesn’t matter who the subject is. “I just get excited when someone calls for pictures. I give all glory to my Lord and Saviour for giving me the faith to follow my dream.”

UPDATE 2016 by: Nicole de Gier Seven years ago, when Paul Adams was last featured in Black to Business, he was reminiscing about wearing two hats on his daughter’s wedding day: father of the bride and photographer. Since then he says his business has grown astronomically; his corporate clients include RBC, Atlantic Acura, and Remax Nova, and he is the official provider for several school photos. “Right now we do 30 photos for schools,” he says, “which is one quarter of the schools in the HRM and when we started it was two or three schools.” He goes on to explain that the biggest growth in school photography has been in high schools, typically an extremely difficult sector to crack. More often than not, a photographer cannot work a high school until he has experience in high schools: a catch-22. “I was very thankful to … Karen Hudson who is the principal of Auburn Drive High School,” says Adams. “I told her I [could] handle it and she invited me in, and it went well.” During the school photography season, Adams says he and his partner, son Paul Adams Jr., will typically photograph one school every day. Taking portraits of hundreds of children a day – portraits that he must ensure both the child and his or her parents will love – is no small feat, but Adams says it is this interaction that makes his job so enjoyable. “I love kids. And I love what I do anyway so it comes easy,” he says. “My son has a youthful spirit, too, so they interact with him. If you enjoy the children, it’s not just a job. The kids will make your day.”

It was with the support of the Black Business Initiative that Adams was able to make a business out of a hobby that he loved. “They helped me with the business plan and that showed me the direction I wanted to go. My business started as a hobby, and the business plan made it real,” he says. “The BBI helped with my education, but they also taught me the business skills. School doesn’t teach you the business skills it just teaches you the technical aspects. Running your own business is hard. I took a leap of faith with a camera. I didn’t expect it to … grow to where it’s at.” Adams enthusiasm for his business and his passion for photography is effervescent: he has no regrets for leaving his former work-life as a postal worker behind. He hopes that his hard work and success can motivate others. “[Being a Black entrepreneur], it’s a great feeling: when I think about the youth of today we really need to see positive Black role models in our city,” he says. “And it also shows my children, and grandchildren that you can accomplish anything if you get your education and go for your dreams. You can excel in your dreams. Go for your gift, walk in that and it will happen for you. I really believe that.” n continued u

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u Twenty Years and Counting continued

The Bin Doctor • Robert Loppie & Jason Vaillancourt by: Chad Lucas Paul Adams

This story originaly appeard in the Spring 2004 issue of B2B.

T

he clink of bottles and cans echoes through the busy Bin Doctor Enviro Depot in centralcHalifax.

Though outside the sky is ominously grey – a few hours from now, one of the biggest snowstorms in Nova Scotia’s recent history will begin – people are still stopping by to drop off their empties. This recycling facility, which opened in January, is the latest venture for the Bin Doctor, a company started five years ago by business partners Robert Loppie and Jason Vaillancourt. “It’s going very, very well,” Loppie says of the new facility on Clifton Street. “It’s really complemented the other services we provide. Business is growing daily, and cash flow is definitely a lot better since we’ve opened the Enviro Depot.” Diversity has been the name of the game for the Bin Doctor since the company started in 1999. Then, Vaillancourt and Loppie, the former director of the Gottingen Street YMCA, were looking to create a cleaning business. Around the same time, Halifax Regional Municipality began its green bin composting program. As residents quickly complained about how messy and smelly their large outdoor bins became, Loppie saw a business opportunity. “I just started doing some research,” he says. He looked into England’s “Wheelie Bin” cleaning companies. “That’s where I got the idea.” The Bin Doctor started with a mobile van making house calls to clean the outdoor bins. It was only a year later that Loppie and Vaillancourt began working on their next product. “As homeowners using the small kitchen bins, we realized … they were just nasty,” Loppie says. The two came up with the idea of marketing boxboard liners for the smaller kitchen bins to keep them clean. Once they came up with the product, the next step was getting it on the market. “We had to overcome some major hurdles to get into the stores,” Loppie says. “When we first started, honestly, we didn’t know where to go, how to start, what to do, any of that.” The partners initially trusted a couple of people who claimed to be positioned in the market and able to help them out. “But we quickly realized they weren’t looking out for our best interests,” Loppie says. They decided to go at it themselves. It was a tough sell at first. “It took a year before people took me seriously,” he says.

23 ...

Jason Vaillancourt & Robert Loppie (l to r) The Bin Doctor But when retailers did give the product a shot, it took off quickly. The Bin Doctor’s boxboard liner is available in major grocery stores and chains like Kent Building Supplies and Canadian Tire. “Now we’re selling about a million liners a year,” Loppie says. “I’m happy about the fact we can go into any major store or grocery store and we can look and see our product. It makes us feel that we’re beginning to make a difference.... We’re becoming a household name, which is good.” But the Bin Doctor didn’t stop there. After a request from the provincial housing department to clean some buildings, the company branched out into graffiti removal and pressure washing. Last October, they put in a successful bid with the Resource Recovery Fund Board to open a recycling facility. Now the company has moved from a 2,000 square-foot (186 square-metre) office in Dartmouth to the 10,500 square-foot (976 square-metre)

warehouse in Halifax. And the staff has increased from six people to a staff of eleven - seven full-time and four part-time. There are more new ventures in the works for the Bin Doctor. Loppie and Vaillancourt will market their environmentally friendly degreasing product for green bins in a cleaning kit they hope to have on the shelves by May. “It didn’t hit us until probably 2002 that we’re only accessing one per cent of the market,” Loppie says. There are about 100,000 green bins in metro Halifax, while the Bin Doctor is only cleaning about 1,500 regularly. With the new product, even the do-it-yourself set can call on the Bin Doctor. “We’re excited about it,” Loppie says. “A lot of research has gone into it.” But the next step that has Loppie most excited is the possibility of franchising. Bin Doctor products are already available throughout the Maritimes, but Loppie and Vaillancourt want to market


the name to other entrepreneurs and have Bin Doctor franchises throughout the east coast and, eventually, all of Canada. “We feel like we’re on to something and have something really good to offer,” Loppie says. “There’s so much opportunity in the composting market.”

BioMedica Diagnostics • Dr. Abdullah Kirumira by: Angela Johnson

The company already has a few serious inquiries and hopes to launch one or two franchises on Prince Edward Island this spring. The future looks bright, Loppie says. “We’re going to be coming on strong in the next couple of years.”

This story originaly appeard in the Spring 2002 issue of B2B Pter Marsmam

UPDATE 2016

by: Nicole de Gier

In 1999 Robert Loppie and Jason Vaillancourt launched the Bin Doctor a service that helps make the task of composting a little less messy. From early days, the BBI was there to foster their business growth: from providing a local business with start-up funds, to making a capital investment through the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd as the Bin Doctor expanded globally. “The BBI has been a strong supporter and advocate since day one,” says Loppie. “They’ve provided initial and intermediate financing, professional training, referral, advertising and investment in our company. The BBI’s expertise, consulting and actual financial investment enabled us to expand and export outside of Nova Scotia.” Loppie does not speak shyly about the Bin Doctor’s success since the company was first featured in Black to Business. He says the company recently launched a new website with e-commerce capabilities, making it easier to sell directly to U.S. based consumers. While the marketplace has expanded south of the border, the Bin Doctor also continues to grow at home. “We have added new innovative products to our brand,” says Loppie, “and continue to expand our retail presence with Canadian Tire, Kent Building Supplies, Sobeys and Loblaw’s across Canada.” And yet despite the significant success the Bin Doctor has seen over the course of the last 17 years, Loppie and Vaillancourt wear the title “business successes” with modesty, and credit much of it to the support of the Black Business Initiative. “We are very humbled and honoured to be considered successful businessmen. It’s very important [to us that] we employ people from our community and give back through mentoring and giving,” says Loppie. “We face the same challenges as most small business owners, like managing cash flow, finding experienced skilled workers and remaining viable, but the advantage we have is being able to reach out to great organizations like the BBI for support.” n

T

ucked away in the peaceful rural town of Windsor, Nova Scotia is a company that is leading the way in medical diagnostics. BioMedica Diagnostics Inc. is a cutting-edge company that conducts research and develops and manufactures rapid diagnostic systems and equipment.

The privately owned company occupies half of what was formerly the Hants County Community College, about 8,000 square feet of laboratory, equipment and administrative offices. Overseeing this entire medical milieu is Dr. Abdullah Kirumira. He says the history of his company goes back ten years to when he and his wife went aboard a visiting ship that featured displays and history of Nova Scotia. “I fell in love with Nova Scotia while working in Baltimore,” he remembers. continued u

24 ...


u Twenty Years and Counting continued world, and to access additional comIn 1990 he took a job as a biochemplimentary technologies for third istry professor at Acadia University world markets; BioMedica is actively in Wolfville and moved his wife and pursing industrial partnerships with two children to the province that stole larger companies in the field. The his heart. com-pany recently completed a It wasn’t long after that the seeds of potentially lucrative agree-ment with BioMedica were planted. “I started Novitron International Inc. that will see industrial research at the university its blood coagulation testing technolinthe basement of the chemistry ogy adapted for marketing in Europe, depart-ment,” he says. It was there that Australia, USA, and other regions of he dis-covered a market for manufac- the world. Novitron International is a turing and providing diagnostic equip- NASDAQ trading company based in ment for smaller labs and alternative Massachusetts USA, first introduced to BioMedica through a local Industry testing sites in developing countries. Canada trade commis-sioner. The company started as Octopus Diagnostics but Kirumira says they “Our products are currently being soon outgrew the basement space mar-keted in Jamaica, East and Central and three years ago moved the oper- Africa, Nigeria, and the West African ation to its current loca-tion. They also region,” Kirumira explains, adding that changed the name to better reflect their marketing plans continue in the Third World. “We’re a young company their products and services. at the beginning of our commercial BioMedica markets portable analyt- capacity and at the very beginning of ical instruments and reagent kits for our marketing initiatives.” medical, research, environmental, veterinary and food safety labs. Product Kirumira says he attributes some of examples include blood chemistry his success to the supportive business analyzers, blood clotting moni-tors, atmosphere in Nova Scotia. He says sperm viability testing equipment and the National Research Council (NRCIRAP), Atlantic Canada Opportunities immunodiagnostic test strips. Agency and the Department of Kirumira says the products are Economic Development have been designed for cost-sensitive and very supportive throughout his comdecentralized clinical set-tings. “The pany’s existence. Caribbean, Latin America, Africa all require affordable health care,” he His long-standing associations with stresses. And his company is helping univer-sities and research establishto fill the gap. “My vision is to estab- ments continue but he is always looklish affordable labo-ratory medicine ing for additional part-ners, which in Third World countries that do not could include companies seek-ing have access to diagnostics equipment joint research and development venbecause these are too expensive or tures, pharmaceutical companies they don’t have the appropriate tech- seeking diversification into diagnostics, and manu-facturing and nology at their disposal.” marketing companies seeking new To address the growing market needs product opportunities for distribution for sim-pler equipment in the western worldwide.

UPDATE 2016

by: Nicole de Gier Uganda, Sudan, Ghana, Trinidad, Barbados, Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Mauritius: these are just a few of the countries to which BioMedica Diagnostics sells its products. It would be an impressive feat for any global business, but is especially impressive for a company headquartered in Windsor, Nova Scotia run by a Black businessman. Since BioMedica Diagnostics launched in 1999, Dr. Abdullah Kirumira has worked tirelessly to increase access to medical diagnostic tools in underdeveloped countries. “From the last time we were in Black to Business magazine we [have] expanded our manufacturing facility, increased product output and export revenue,” says Kirumira, “[and] total employment has … almost doubled to 25.” He says that the Black Business Initiative has supported BioMedica Diagnostics by facilitating networking opportunities, business training, promotion, and advocacy. Working in the field of medical diagnostics and biotechnology, Kirumira says it is rare to see a Black executive and he feels it gives him an advantage. “You are always noticed among the crowd,” he says. “This is great for marketing and promotion. I have always turned the curiosity of a Black scientist at major medical conferences into useful dialogues that translated into long-term relationships.” Another one of Kirumira’s long-term business relationships is with the BBI. He takes time to think about the impact the Black Business Initiative has made over the past two decades and explains that the role it plays in supporting Black business and entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia has been crucial to growing the economy of the province. “Dollar per dollar of government funding,” he says, “[the BBI has] generated more economic output and encouragement for the region compared to other better funded economic development agencies.” n

Paul Adams Photography, the Bin Doctor, and BioMedica Diagnostics have experienced much success since first interviewed with Black to Business magazine, and while each business measures its successes differently, they each credit, and thank, the Black Business Initiative for the achievements. “Congratulations on 20 years of success,” says Adams. “[The BBI is a] role model and I thank them.” Loppie adds, “The management and staff of the Bin Doctor would like to send a big congratulations to the BBI for fulfilling its commitment of supporting the growth and sustainability of our Black businesses for 20 years. ”Without a doubt, there will be a lasting legacy of economic success in Nova Scotia due in large part of the work of the Black Business Initiative. n 25 ...


Black Business Summits Over the Years

The BBI has hosted Summits on an annual basis and then moved to a bi-annual basis. Over the years, the Summits present a mix of workshops, keynote speakers, tradeshows, networking sessions, entertainment and relaxation from the Biz-show, boat cruises to golf tournaments all culminating with the AGM gala dinner and dance. The Summits have always been an event that reflected the vibrancy in the Black community and a real symbol of pride for all involved.

Leading Black Businesses into the New Millenium Les Brown

Leading Black Business into Economic Prosperity Stedman Graham & Dennis Kimbro

Building Strategic Business Alliances Susan Taylor & Dennis Kimbro

Building Bridges to Business Success Ambassador Andrew Young, Daymond John & Farley Flex

Helping Businesses Succeed Coach Ken Carter & Howard Shearer

Sustaining Business Excellence Christopher Gardner & Ephren Taylor

The Race to Business Success Judge Glenda Hatchett & Omar Tyree

Climbing New Heights Roland S. Martin

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Spring 1997 / Number 1

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Also in this Issue

Mike Duck

growing in business

• ANSMA Awards • Trailblazers • Successful Entrepreneures Winter 2003  Number 25

“To foster a dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”

27 ...


The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Fall 2007 u Number 37

Winter 2008 u Number 38

Spring 2008 u Number 39

Black to Business

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

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

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

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Special Anniversary Issue

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Also in this Issue • Youth Revisited • Black Business Summit 2008 • More Successful Entrepreneurs

Also in this Issue • Construction Industry • Halifax Rainmen • Black Business Summit 2008

Also in this Issue • BBI AGM Overview • NSCC Trailblazers • More Successful Entrepreneurs

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Marven Nelligan

Pauline Patten

DIME Inc.

“A dynamic and vibrant Black presence

within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

George Ash

Tracey Crawley

Lawyer

Crowning Glory Hair Salon

Paul Adams

Vale and Associates

Also in this Issue • Renewing Old Trade Links • Harriet R. Michel • Recognizing the Rocks

Minister Percy Paris

Also in this Issue • Surviving a Recession • Adams Consulting & Management Group • Financial Sector Trailblazers

Also in this Issue • Constructing the Future • Ask the BBI • Local Artists

Also in this Issue • Gospel Trailblazers • Successful Entrepreneurs • Community Publishers

Also in this Issue • BBI AGM Recap • E.C. Glass Ltd. • Cultural Expressions Symposium Summer 2009 u Number 43

Winter 2008 u Number 41

Spring 2009 u Number 42

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

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

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

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Spring 2010 u Number 45

Fall 2009 u Number 44

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

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

is sue

is sue

is sue

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SUMMER 2011

SPRING 2011

Black to Business Special BIJ Anniversary Issue

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FALL 2011

GLYNIS SIMMS Just Right Child Care

Judge Glenda Hatchett

Also in this Issue:  BBI 2010/11 AGM  Culturally Based Businesses

OUR CONTRIBUTORS

Summit Keynote Also in this Issue • Summit Summaries • Trailblazing Chefs

Greg Browning New BBI Chair

THE BLACK CULTURAL CENTRE After 28 Years, a Refresh

SLIC Laser

Also in this Issue • Community Gardens • Military Careers

Also in this Issue • The Arrow’s Club • Certified Accountants

Summer 2010 u Number 47

Fall 2010 u Number 48

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

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

issue

Also in this Issue:  ADHT Conference  Progressive

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

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

issue

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

issue

issue

58

FALL 2013

SUMMER 2013

FALL 2012

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

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issue

56

55

Roots Network

Also in this Issue:  Innovators  Archetypes

Winter 2011 u Number 49

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SUMMER 2012

THEN & NOW

Darla Johnston

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The Business of Music The African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA)

RUSTUM SOUTHWELL

16 Years – A Legacy Also in this Issue:  BBI Summit 2012  Trailblazers:

EBONY HAIR SALON

2012 SUMMIT AWARDS

Also in this Issue:  Training Partnerships  Trailblazers:

Also in this Issue:  BBI Summit Recap  Trailblazers:

Women in Trades

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

A Family Tradition Paul's Food Factory

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

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BUY LOCAL, INVEST LOCAL.

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Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL)

Also in this issue:

Also in this issue:

Also in this issue:

 Family Businesses

 Women in Business

 Trailblazers

 BBI Board of Directors

 Youth On The Move

 Successful Entrepreneurs

 Successful Entrepreneurs

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

Also in this issue:

 Spiritual Leaders

 Social Enterprise

 Provincial Politics

 IB&M Initiative- 25 Years

 Successful Entrepreneurs

 Successful Entrepreneurs

Investing in the Community Good Advice for Investing Wisely

Women of Excellence

Black Loyalist Heritage Society

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

Also in this Issue: African Nova Scotian Realtors

Also in this issue:

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

 Africa Night  Successful

Entrepreneurs

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

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

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

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

A dynamic and vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia business community since 1996. 28 ...


Business Is Jammin’ Hope Blooms

by: Sherri Borden Colley Among the other success stories, four of the young people have obtained organic master gardening certificates from Gaia College in British Columbia. “They’re the youngest in Canada to get these,” Jollymore said. Within a year of successfully obtaining a $40,000 investment on the television program Dragon’s Den in 2013, Hope Blooms expanded from having 19 youth to over 40.

“When you change the way you look at things…the things you look at change.” This is just one of the powerful messages 53 enthusiastic youth see when they walk into Hope Blooms on Cornwallis Street in Halifax’s north end. It is here that they make mouth-watering, fresh herb salad dressing from produce they grow in a nearby community garden.

“We didn’t have a space that could accommodate us, it was growing bigger than a project,” Jollymore recalled. As a result, Jollymore took a year off from her day job at the North End Community Health Centre to see if they could turn Hope Blooms into a separate registered charity and social enterprise with a board of directors. She’s since retired from the health centre. “With being a registered charity, the social enterprise feeds into the social mission,” Jollymore said. “And so what the social mission is about is having youth that are ages six to 18, creating an impact for determinants of health. And so it’s having youth find solutions to challenges that they face in the environments that they live in.”

Hope Blooms was founded in 2008 by Jessie Jollymore, then a community dietician at the North End Community One of the biggest determinants of health, Jollymore said, Health Centre in inner-city Halifax. is food security.

Hope Blooms 5527 Cornwallis St. Halifax, NS B3J 0B6 Canada 902-405-3830 info@ hopeblooms.ca www. hopeblooms.ca

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The Hope Blooms community garden site is in Warrington “And so growing food, especially organic food, is one of the Park, adjacent to Uniacke Square, a public housing complex. big ideas we came up with right in the beginning and we started with one little plot and now we have over 4,000 Through this program, at-risk youth learn how to grow square feet of growing space,” she said. food, produce and successfully market their salad dressing and give back to their community. And, all the funds from dressing sales go into a scholarship program for the youth. “We want to make sure that all the youth are graduating high school and also have their post-secondary picked out by Grade 12,” Jollymore said. Mamadou Wade, one of Hope Blooms’ early youth leaders who graduated last year, is studying at the University of Toronto. Wade won $70,000 in scholarships – one of the biggest awards in Canada – for community leadership. And, he will get $2,000 annually for four years from the dressings.


The youth grow over 3,000 pounds of food just in the gardens and with money they won from Dragon’s Den they were able to get a 15,000 square foot, solar-powered greenhouse. Now in their first full year of growing in the greenhouse, they hope to yield another 1,000 pounds of food. “So our big mission is to be able to feed people in the community, healthy food,” Jollymore said. “So all of that food the children take home to their families is free.” There’s been immense support for this initiative from the community and the business sector. The youth sell their salad dressing at Halifax Seaport Market every Saturday from June until the end of the growing season. They’re usually sold out well before closing time. Local grocers and some area restaurants also carry the product. Rustum Southwell, executive director of the Black Business Initiative (BBI), was sold on the Hope Blooms concept right from the start. Southwell is also Hope Blooms’ former chairperson. The Hope Blooms’ children were involved in the BBI’s Business is Jammin’ summer youth entrepreneurial program for the first few years. Southwell said BBI was impressed with how after the first business camp Hope Blooms began maximizing its community garden. The first year, the youth sold salad outside a library, the second year they sold salsa and then they began making salad dressing. “It was one of those processes that had all the right pieces, “ Southwell said. “You have your coordinator, then you have engaged kids and then you have the excitement that they were actually being able to see the results of their hard work and the product.” For at least four years, BBI gave Hope Blooms a $5,000 annual grant. “I think we were the first ones to give them cash,” Southwell said. Hope Blooms is the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently, they received Ernst Young’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. n

Community Connections Lindell Smith: City Councillor

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indell Smith has an easy-going demeanour and speaks with an air of excitement that alludes to the fact that his recent Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) election win has not quite yet sunk in.

“It’s been a wild, encouraging and exciting ride,” he said. “I’m definitely feeling the love all around.” Smith’s win in the riding of Peninsula North (District 8) was a near landslide victory, with one out of every two ballots cast in his favour. It was, and continues to be, an inspiring win – especially when you consider he almost did not run at all. He explains that when he heard that the area’s former councillor Jennifer Watts was not reoffering and calling for more diverse candidates to run in the next election he began talking to members of the community in hopes of finding the right candidate for the seat. “…the more people I talked to, the more people kept saying I should run.” Despite encouragement from members of the community, and many inspiring talks with family and friends, it was not an easy decision for Smith to make. “The way I operate, I need to see all sides: this is an important role and I need to put forward big issues. It wasn’t something to do just because,” he said. “I met with more residents, local MPs and current councillors to see if it was the right fit.” Once his final decision was made and the paperwork filed, Smith says it was his seven-year-old daughter who best prepared him to explain his platform. “She’s my biggest fan and when she saw the signs going up she started to get curious. She knew a little about what was happening and wanted to help, so she would ask questions in a

blunt way, like ‘why are you doing this?’ or ‘what will your job be?’” he said. “And [her questions] allowed me to explain my positions to residents in an easy way because I already knew the answers.” Smith’s win has become big news not just for Halifax, or Nova Scotia, but countrywide with national newspapers and magazines editorializing the election of the first African Nova Scotian city councillor in HRM in 20 years. The impact of the victory and what it means to the community: the African Nova Scotian community, the community of Peninsula North, the province and the country is a lot for him to unpack. “The old boys club, that’s what politics is. It’s older, middle class white men that people are used to seeing and are comfortable with. We need to encourage more women, more people of colour. As an African Nova Scotian male, we need mentors and role models doing things like this. Now a lot of youth are asking questions about how the city works.” “There are so many layers to being a black councillor,” Smith continued. “I feel like Council is moving forward in a positive way, and there’s the pressure [I feel] to be successful now that we have representation. But this should not be history. Nova Scotia has some of the oldest black communities in Canada. There are still few women councillors and there’s never been a councillor of Aboriginal descent, or a transgender councillor. This is a start.” n

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Opportunity:

Popping-up Near You by: Nicole de Gier

A

n ordinary Halifax park was transformed into a Black business bazaar in mid-August as the Black Business Initiative hosted its first pop-up shop featuring Halifax-based retailers with various products and services to offer the public.

Fifteen vendors set-up booths in Victoria Park and while owners peddled their wares, Jessica Bowden of Teens Talk Now live-streamed the event promoting exhibitors and encouraging viewers to visit the park. erbert Kaliissa, owner of HkMaDesigns, thought the pop-up shop was the ideal showcase for his student apparel business. Pop-up Vendors

H

included:

“I need to create an awareness of what I do and because of the student traffic along Spring Garden road students were able to [see my business] and be inspired.”

1. Big Pork Clothing 2. Kwesotmar Creations 3. Teens Now Talk 4. Ela Lani Beauty

The Black Business Initiative’s Regional Business Development Manager Rodger Smith led the organization of the pop-up shop. He says that both Cain-Sheppard’s and Kaliisa’s experiences underline the importance and purpose of the event.

5. HkMaDesigns

“The goal was to bring together and promote Black business owners as a way for them to sell their products [and] services to the [larger] community.”

6. NowYouSeeMe Apparel

Sidney Idemudia, owner of SeeMeNow Apparel, first heard of the BBI as a child growing up in Nigeria, and jumped at the opportunity to be part of the pop-up shop.

7. Gwen’s Bridal

He says one of the challenges he faces as a small, Black business owner is not knowing many people who are members of the larger community and outside of his immediate cultural group.

8. Sarom Curtis 9. Nicole Johnson Fashion Studio 10. Sarah Peterson 11. Flava Islands Caribbean Cuisine 12. Jamaica Lee Style Cuisine 13. Hair Palace Plus 14. Tenniann Edwards 15. Hope Blooms

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Gwen Cain-Sheppard, owner of Gwen’s Bridal agrees. “My intent was to showcase my shop, which is located in Dartmouth, to shoppers in Halifax and increase word of mouth. I brought a few mannequins: a man in a tuxedo and a few women in cocktail dresses,” she says. “But, by the end of the day I had completed five sales and booked a wedding party!”

“I don’t know many people from North America’s majority population,” he explains. “[This was] a free platform to showcase SeeMeNow and draw more attention to my business.”


BBI’s Smith says bringing the work of Black business entrepreneurs to the forefront of Nova Scotia is one of the organization’s most important responsibilities and that the pop-up shop was an opportunity for Haligonians to see many Black businesses at once.

Once Cain-Sheppard returned home to Montreal, Gwen’s Bridal was born, renting her sisters’ used wedding gowns to clients. As her sisters began securing more and more clients in their home province of Nova Scotia, CainSheppard relocated her family and her store to Dartmouth and expanded into men’s and women’s formalwear sales.

“Our role is as the conduit,” he says. “Bringing these businesses together and helping them to be successful.”

In 2017, Gwen’s Bridal will celebrate 10 years of business.

Kaliisa agrees and adds that events like the pop-up shop give him the opportunity to study the growing market and create a product that will meet a specific need.

SeeMeNow Apparel S i d n ey I d e m u d i a l a u n c h e d SeeMeNow Apparel, an e-commerce clothing site for women and men, in May 2015 to capitalize on the intersection of fashion and social media.

Both HkMaDesigns and SeeMeNow Apparel launched within the past two years and were introduced to the BBI early on; Idemudia as a child and Kaliisa as a university student when he was assigned his mentor Emmanuel (Mani) Itiveh. The Black Business Initiative introduced me to Mani who has encouraged and supported me, and provided me with great ideas on how I could expand my business,” says Kaliisa. “Taking courses by the BBI, for example Leadership and Management…provided me with the spectacular leadership training that helped me implement an effective leadership style when dealing with customers.” Cain-Sheppard also credits the BBI’s business leadership and management courses with growing her skills and increasing her confidence. Smith says he and his colleagues are thrilled by the positive feedback they have received from exhibitors and are looking forward to the BBI hosting similar events in the future. “We have spots for vendors to set-up at our holiday social and hopefully we will be doing another pop-up shop again next year.”

Gwen’s Bridal After arriving in Miami for a cruise without her suitcase, Gwen CainSheppard had a chance encounter that changed the course of her career. “With nothing to wear, I ended up at a small storefront that rented formalwear.” She says. “As I asked the owner more and more questions, I learned that she ran the business with her sisters, renting their clothing. I thought, I have sisters, I can do this!’”

“I was inspired by people’s desire to look stylish, plus their joy of being appreciated on social media,” he says. SeeMeNow Apparel juxtaposes fashion and obsession with celebrity culture by giving its customers the opportunity to flaunt both their SeeMeNow purchases and themselves on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter by tagging the e-commerce site in their posts. “We believe that if you’re going to be buy nice and want to look good, the world should see it, see you and appreciate your fashion.”

HkMaDesigns Two years ago, Herbert Kaliisa sat in an entrepreneurship class at Saint Mary’s University called Structuring the Start-Up where the professor, Ellen Farrell, required Kaliisa and his classmates to build a small business to make the grade. “My idea,” says Kaliisa, “was to create a new [logo] design for the [Saint Mary’s] Huskies, while still keeping the original design.” He explains that by incorporating a custom logo design – created by students – into the pre-existing university wear marketplace, HkMaDesigns gives students an individualized and unique ways to express their school pride. “My mission is to design clothes for educational institutions all over Canada.” n

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Investing in the Community Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd. by Carol Dobson issue

61

Russell Wyse

This story originaly appeard in the Summer 2016 issue of B2B.

W I N T E R 2 015

BUY LOCAL, INVEST LOCAL.

Black Business Community Investment Fund Limited (BBCIFL) Also in this issue:  Women in Business  Youth On The Move  Successful Entrepreneurs

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

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

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

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

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

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


Doctor’s Robert Loppie and Jason Vaillancourt to move from a local to national business and they are now targeting international exporting ventures. Their company began as a cleaning service for green bins, but as recycling became more the norm across the country, their products, such as their in-home recycling stations have been picked up by major retailers like Sobeys, Walmart, Kent, and Loblaws. Their sights are now set on the state of California which has recycling laws similar to Nova Scotia’s. Loppie says, “When you look at the size of the market, it’s as big as Canada. For us to enter that market is a big task but we have the products and the capabilities to do so.” to Montreal, Bay Street, or beyond – it is growing local businesses within the Black community, and creating local jobs. “The economic advantage of it is absolutely amazing,” Eisnor says. “When you look at the recommendations of the ‘One Nova Scotia Report’, funds like BBCIFL are exactly what our province needs right now, and if each member of the community invested in it, think of the possibilities.”

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

The Bin Doctor’s Jason Vaillancourt and Robert Loppie

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

Paul Adams

Since the fund started, 110 Nova Scotian investors have invested, raising approximately $800 thousand. Sixteen investments have been made in Black owned businesses, in the amount of approximately $1.7 million. Recently, BBCIFL’s investment of $250 thousand in a downtown Halifax construction project enabled a developer to leverage an additional $1.4 million in bank financing.

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

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

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Russell Wyse

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

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

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

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

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


A part of the BBI’s Composite Group of Companies

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

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

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

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

Call 902-426-4281

to find out how you can invest in the success of local Black-owned businesses. www.bbi.ca f facebook.com/BBCIFL l twitter.com/BBCIFL 36 ...


Businesses and People to Watch by: Michael Lightstone

Level Ten Landworks

A woman-led home improvement and hardscaping firm in Halifax is one of them. “I think I’m pretty unique” in that regard, says Lisa Coates, president of Level Ten Landworks. The head of a corporation that’s in a competitive field traditionally staffed, and controlled, by men, she’s perhaps breaking new ground. “I believe I’m maybe one of the few, if not the only, black woman (operating) a construction company” in Canada, says Coates. The business began in September 2015. It provides clients with such services as walkway, patio and retaining wall construction, and such interior home renovations as flooring installation, carpentry work, painting, drywall installation and the fitting of doors and windows. At the height of the most recent construction season, Coates says, her firm employed nine people.

contributed

contributed

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here probably aren’t too many businesses that are members of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia and the Centre for Women in Business, a university-based resource for female entrepreneurs.

Birth Happens

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ow does a non-medical man who enjoys camping and snowboarding develop a professional interest in pregnancy, birth and the postpartum experience? It was an evolutionary process, says Kelly Carrington, the co-owner of a small business in Halifax called Birth Happens. The company provides birth-education classes and information on what happens after the baby arrives.

Carrington, who’s a certified birth doula, says the creation of Birth Happens grew from his 15 years of work as a massage therapist. “It seemed like a continuation of care for (pregnant) clients,” says Carrington. He’s been a doula – that’s a person helping and offering emotional support to a woman who’s giving birth – for about four years. “Business is booming,” Carrington says. Asked about recent trends in his line of work, he says more clients are opting for placenta encapsulation. (Supporters of new mothers ingesting capsules of their dried, ground-up placenta say there are health benefits.) “And a lot more people are getting more comfortable with a male doula,” adds Carrington.

Coates says the Black Business Initiative was “instrumental” in getting Level Ten Landworks going. She says she took some of the beneficial courses available through the BBI.

He says financial assistance from the Black Business Initiative helped him start his massage therapy outfit, and aided him and his partner in getting Birth Happens off the ground. Carrington says loans for each company have been paid.

“And I found that they were very helpful,” Coates says. “I think that the BBI has a lot to offer, and it’s unfortunate that more people don’t take advantage of some of the courses that they offer.”

“I have a good working relationship” with the BBI, he says, adding, “it definitely would have been more difficult” to move ahead with either business without the funding.

Lisa Coates 902-443-4193

Mr Kelly Carrington Venessa Downing

leveltenlandworks.ca

birthhappens.ca

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902.483-2559

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Queens & Kings Natural Products

“ I t ’s s o m ethin g that I love to share, because it’s lacking in our community,” says Tanika Bundy, of the natural hair and skin products she’s been making and selling for the past three years. She is the owner/ operator of Queens and Kings Natural Products, a Halifax business specializing in personal care goods created to help customers look and feel well. Bundy says the idea for her business came to mind after a personal experience years ago. She says she cut her hair and decided to stop chemically processing it. “Then I had a hard time finding (natural) products for my hair. So, that’s what got me interested in making something for myself.”

Paul Adams

Paul Adams

O

ffering products you believe in is an important part of sales. It’s even more crucial when they’re personal care items made by the seller.

NDS Property Services Ltd.

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hen it comes to all-season property maintenance – including wintry snow removal and ice control – it’s all about customer service. “There’s so much competition out here, so customer service has to be your first line of action,” says Nathan Symonds, owner of NDS Property Services Ltd. His company has been operating in the Halifax region for about six years.

In the winter, plowing snow at residential and commercial properties keeps NDS Property Services busy, Symonds says. During the spring and fall, cleanups and landscape maintenance take precedence. “In summer, we do all the lawn maintenance,” says Symonds, work that could include aeration, seeding, grass cutting and shrub trimming.

Now, Bundy’s small business sells such products, to women and men, as whipped shea butter, lip butter, bath salts and beard oil.

Symonds says although there are competitors, there’s enough property-service business to go around. He usually employs three to four workers during the summer.

Bundy acknowledges her line of goods is not completely natural – a fragrance oil she uses in most products is the only artificial compound. “Everything else is natural, and good for your skin.”

“There’s still a need, with new (property) developments and older companies that are folding – that sort of thing,” he says.

Her customers are Halifax-area residents, but Bundy’s plan is to grow her client base beyond the municipality.

A former provincial government employee, Symonds says he also owns a Jani-King franchise. Symonds says he hasn’t taken the opportunity to use the Black Business Initiative’s educational services but hopes to do so in the future.

Bundy says the Black Business Initiative helped her prepare for entrepreneurship. “I did some courses” through the BBI, she says. “Hopefully, I’ll do some more sometime soon.”

“I contact them when there’s some questions that I may have, or to see if there’s anything that I could be doing or that could help me as a business owner,” he says.

Tanika Bundy

Nathan Simmonds

902-440-2602

902-818-0708

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u Businesses and People to Watch continued

Nicole Johnson Fashion Studio Paul Adams

A

dreamer at heart, Nicole Johnson is positioning herself for a successful career in the fashion industry. She studied fashion design and merchandising at the Centre for Arts and Technology School and costume design at Dalhousie University. During this time, she created three design lines including a mommy and me collection and one celebrating Black History Month. She calls her current line Flawless, “it reflects the effortless and timeless beauty of a confident female’. She is working on her business start-up venture, where she aspires to own and operate a small design studio in garment manufacturing offering custom-made services and ready-to-wear pieces. “I enjoy the process of creating and bringing ideas to life and seeing it all come together in wearable form”, she says. In the meantime, she is one of the two fashion instructors heading the Fashion 101

class offered by the Vibe Arts Youth Program through Business is Jammin! “This eight-week program will offer young people the basic tools and techniques to learn how to draw and sew which will instill long term life skills for both personal and professional use and help them view a career in fashion as a viable business venture,” she says. n

Nicole Johnson 902-410-8558

ftl

Congratulations to the BBI... serving our community for 20 Years! www.sliconline.com

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SLIC Laser Hair Removal Clinic

3 Pinehill Dr. Lower Sackville,NS

99 Dufferin St. Bridgewater, NS

902-865-1516

902-530-1516

Darla Johnston Owner/CEO

“Keeping you in SLIC Skin for over a decade” 39 ...


The Hector Jacques Award of Business Excellence

The Hector Jacque’s Award of Business Excellence is awarded biennially by the Board of Directors of the Black Business Initiative to recognize demonstrated business excellence of a company or individual within the Nova Scotia Black Business Community.

2004

2005

2006

Since the awards inception in 2004 we’ve awarded to: Larry Gibson

2007

Barbara Miller Manning

Mike Duck

2008

George Thomas

2010

Dr. Abbey Kirumira Simmons Family

2012

Darla Johnston

Entrepreneur of the Year Award The Black Business Initiative Society The Black Business Initiative Society’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award is awarded annually by the board of Directors of the Black Business Initiative to recognize demonstrated business operational excellence of a company or individual within the Nova Scotia Black Business Community.

2009

Bruce Johnson

2006

Simmons Family

2010

Donna Gaskin & Jeanie Jones

2007

Darla Johnston

2011

Glynis Simms

2008

Pauline Patton

2012

Paul Adams 40 ...


BBI Staff 1996-2016 Then and Now

2016 – Present

2013-2014

Rustum Southwell ..................... Interim CEO (2016-) Michael Wyse............................................CEO (2012-2016) Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver...Acting Dir. Client Dev. (2003–2015) Ayo D. Makanjuola .........................Controller (2016-) Ed Matwawana...........................Acting COO (2014-2015) Emma Otuki.................. Executive Assistant (2011–2015) Liora Olive......................... Accounting Assistant (2016-) Frank Belanger..................................Controller (2011-2016) Walter Muise .............. Financial Manager (2010–2013) Donna Colley-Howe ....... Executive Secretary (2016-) Gregory Adolphe- Nazaire.Acting COO, BBC (2008-2016) David Kantro Kouame.Accounting Clerk (2011–2012) Emmanuel Itiveh................ Managing Director (2015-) Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver.Acting Dir., Client Dev. (2003-2015) Shakara Russell.................................RBDM (2010–2015) Laurissa Manning.................... Special Projects (2016-) Emma Beukema..... Director, Client Services (2011-2015) Njabulo Nkala............................................. RBDM (2008-) Njabulo Nkala............................................ RBDM (2008-) Shakara Joseph.... Acting Dir. Client Dev & Youth (2010-2015) Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire........RBDM (2008–2016) Rodger Smith ...............................................RBDM (2013-) Njabulo Nkala................................................ RBDM (2008-) James Williams........Management Intern (2010–2012) Akira McQuay....................... Training Associate (2015-) Kerry Johnston...................................... RBDM (2014-2015) Mahogany Lucas....... BIJ’ Youth Co-ordinator (2011–2015) Paul Rukidi.......................................... BIJ Manager (2015-) Rodger Smith....................................................RBDM (2013-) Martha Mutale...................... BIJ’ Associate (2011–2012) Amber Grosse..................... Youth Co-ordinator (2016-) Tulsa Beazer..................... Financial assistant (2014-2015) Beverley Parker............. Admin. Assistant (2006–2013) Michael Wyse....................................... CEO (2012–2016) Mahgonay O’Keiffe........ Training Associate (2011-2015)   Frank Belanger........................... Controller (2010–2016) Russell Wyse...Sales & Marketing Manager (2013-2016) Lucy Otieno.................... Accounting Clerk (2015–2016) David Prekins................. Manager, Corporate Dev. (2014) Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire.... Acting COO (2008–2016) Rodney Small.........Youth Business Dev. Manager (2014) Russell Wyse....... Website & CRM Officer (2013–2016) Christopher Curtis.........Entrepreneurship Advisor (term) Aaron Peters.Web Design & E-Marketing Advisor (term)

2014 – 2015

Sharifa Upshaw....Admin Assistant, Receptionist (2014-2015)

Michael Wyse........................................ CEO (2012–2016) Rustum Southwell.............Strategic Advisor (2013-2014)

2011 2010 – 2011

Frank Belanger............................ Controller (2010–2016) Brittany Vailancourt.. Summer Youth Coordinator (2013) Rustum Southwell..............................CEO (1996 – 2013) Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012) Kerry Johnston............. RBDM, Accountant (2014–2015) Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire.... Acting COO (2008–2016)

2012 – 2013

Gordon Doe...Dir., Business Development (2001–2013)

Mahogany O’Keiffe....Training Associate (2011–2015) Rustum Southwell ...............................CEO (1996–2012) Evan Williams....Dir., Client Development (2005–2011) Emma Buekema... Acting Managing Director (2011–2015) Mike Wyse ..............................................CEO (2012-2016) Roselyne Orengo......Executive Assistant (2008–2011) Shakara Joseph......Dir., Client Development, (2010–2015) Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver....Training Assoc. (2003–2015) Emma Otuki .............. Executive Assistant (2011-2015) Kiera Carey....................... Training Associate, BIJ (2015) Frank Belanger............................. Controller (2011–2016) Omax Charles..................Accounting Clerk (2010–2011) Mufadzi Nyamarebvru..............Training Associate (2015) Gordon Doe ........Dir. Client Development (2001–2013) Walter Muise................Financial Manager (2010-2013) Ed Matwawana...Chief Operating Officer (2014–2015) Walter Muise............... Financial Manager (2010–2013) Njabulo Nkala............................................. RBDM (2008-) Tulsa Beazer................ Executive Assistant (2014–2015) Shakara Russell.................................RBDM (2010–2015) Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire........RBDM (2008–2016) Rodger Smith................................................RBDM (2013-) Njabulo Nkala............................................. RBDM (2008-) Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver........RBDM (2003–2015) Paul Rukidi.......................................... BIJ Manager (2015-) Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire........RBDM (2008–2016) Shakara Russell.................................RBDM (2010–2015) Njabulo Nkala............................................. RBDM (2008-) Emma Buekema..................................RBDM (2011–2015) James Williams........Management Intern (2010–2012) Sharifa Upshaw...Admin. Assistant, Reception(2014–2015) Mahogany Lucas..........Training Associate (2011–2015) Dorthy Fletcher........... Training Associate (2010–2011) Rodney Small........................... Training Associate (2013) Kilah Rolle......................Executive Assistant (2012–2013) Beverley Parker............. Admin. Assistant (2006–2013) Nadaira Walsh................................Co-op Student (2013) Beverley Parker...........Admin. Assistant (2006 – 2013) Rodger Smith................................................RBDM (2013-)

2008 – 2009 Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

2011 – 2012

2015 41 ...

Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012)

Rustum Southwell..............................CEO (1996 – 2013) Gordon Doe...Dir., Business Development (2001–2013) Frank Belanger............. Interim Controller (2011–2016) Evan Williams....Dir., Client Development (2005–2011) Gordon Doe........Dir., Business Development (2001–2013) Roselyne Orengo......Executive Assistant (2008–2011)


Walter Muise............... Financial Manager (2010–2013)

Matthew Johnson...........................RBDM (1999–2007)

Stanleigh Mitchell .....Youth Co-ordinator (1999–2001)

Njabulo Nkala............................................. RBDM (2008-)

Tracey Thomas....Dir., Client Development (2000–2007)

Larry Coles......................................... RBMD (1998–2001)

Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire........ RBDM (2008–2016)

Terry Wright .............Youth Co-ordinator (2002–2004)

Tyrone Williams.........Youth Co-ordinator (1999–2000)

Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver........RBDM (2003–2015)

Stephanie Parsons.... Accounting Clerk (2000–2004)

Funmi Joseph............... Training Manager (1999–2004)

Beverley Parker............. Admin. Assistant (2006–2013)

Amal El-Maazawi........Co-op Student (Summer 2003)

R. Connor Smithers–Mapp.......... RBDM (1998–2000)

Monique Carvery............................ RBDM (2008-2009

Jay Metcalf........................................RBDM (2000–2004)

Gordan Blackmore......................... RBDM (1999–2000)

David Noylander............................ RBDM (2003–2004)

Elfinesh Zwede........... Admin. Assistant (1996–2000)

Tabatha Cromwell......Admin. Assistant (2002–2004)

Lisa Best............................Admin. Assistant (1998–2000)

Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012)

2002 – 2003

1998 – 1999

Gordon Doe...Dir., Business Development (2001–2013)

Rustum Southwell ...............................CEO (1996–2013)

Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

Evan Williams.....................................RBDM (2005–2011)

Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012)

Idy Fashoranti...............................Controller (1996-2012)

Starr Francis..............Executive Assistant (2005–2007)

Gordon Doe...Dir., Business Development (2001–2013)

Dana Colley–Provo...... Admin. Assistant (1998–2003)

Luke Jefferies................................... RBDM (2005–2006)

Matthew Johnson...........................RBDM (1999–2007)

Larry Coles ......................................... RBMD (1998–2001)

Julius Kanyamunyu...................... RBDM (2004–2007)

Fumni Joseph .................................................(1999-2004)

R. Connor Smithers–Mapp.......... RBDM (1998–2000)

Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver......Accounting Clerk (2003–2015)

Tracey Thomas....Dir., Client Development (2000–2007)

Elfinesh Zwede...............Admin. Assistant (1996–2000)

Matthew Johnson...........................RBDM (1999–2007)

Terry Wright..............Youth Co-ordinator (2002–2004)

Lisa Best............................Admin. Assistant (1998–2000)

Tracey Thomas....Dir., Client Development (2000–2007)

Stephanie Parsons.... Accounting Clerk (2000–2004)

Devon Matthew.........................................................(1998)

Jill Provoe..................... Training Associate (2004–2006)

Jay Metcalf........................................RBDM (2000–2004)

Darlene O’neil ............................ Relief Controller (1998)

Kyndra Taylor...............Admin. Assistant (2005–2006)

Tabatha Cromwell.............Admin. Assistant (2002–2004)

Janet Johnson .........................Youth Intern (1998–1999)

Bernard Edwin...RBDM, Acting Dir., Client Dev.(2006)

Dana Colley–Provo...... Admin. Assistant (1998–2003)

Sheldon States...................................RBDM (1996–1999)

2006 – 2007 Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

Shawn Smith..................................................RBDM (2006)

John Wedderburn.............................RBDM (1997-1999)

Dorthy Fletcher......Admin. Assistant, Acting Clerk (2007)

2001 – 2002

Yolanda Grant......................... Accounting Clerk (2007)

Rustum Southwell ...............................CEO (1996–2013)

1997 – 1998

Beverley Parker........................ Admin. Assistant (2006)

Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012)

Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

Annette Slawter.........................Projet Assistant (2007)

Gordon Doe...Dir,, Business Development (2001–2013)

Idy Fashoranti ..............................Controller (1996-2012)

Melanie Clarke..................Jr. Training Associate (2006)

Matthew Johnson...........................RBDM (1999–2007)

Elfinesh Zwede .............Admin. Assistant (1996–2000)

Godfrey Frank.................................. RBDM (2006–2007)

Fumni Joseph .................................................(1999-2004)

Sheldon States...................................RBDM (1996–1999)

Tracey Thomas..Dir., Client Development (2000–2007)

Luke Jefferies..................................... RBDM (1996–1998)

2004 – 2005

Stephanie Parsons.... Accounting Clerk (2000–2004)

Michael Wyse................................... RBDM (1996–1998)

Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

Jay Metcalf........................................RBDM (2000–2004)

Bonnie Williams........... Admin. Assistant (1996–1998) 

Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012)

Dana Colley – Provo..........Admin. Assistant (1998–2003)

Gordon Doe...Dir., Business Development (2001–2013)

Lisa Willis.........................Admin. Assistant (2001–2002)

Evan Williams.....................................RBDM (2005–2011)

1996 – 1997 Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

Starr Francis............ Executive Assistant (2005–2007)

2000 – 2001

Idy Fashoranti ............................. Controller (1996–2012)

Julius Kanyamunyu...................... RBDM (2004–2007)

Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

Elfinesh Zwede..............Admin. Assistant (1996–2000)

Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver.Accounting Clerk, (2003 – 2015) Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012)

Sheldon States...................................RBDM (1996–1999)

Matthew Johnson...........................RBDM (1999–2007)

Matthew Johnson...........................RBDM (1999–2007)

Luke Jefferies..................................... RBDM (1996–1998)

Tracey Thomas.Dir., Client Development (2000–2007) Fumni Joseph .................................................(1999-2004)

Michael Wyse................................... RBDM (1996–1998)

Jill Provoe......................Training Associate (2004-2006)

Tracey Thomas....Dir., Client Development (2000–2007)

Bonnie Williams............Admin. Assistant (1996–1998)

Shawn Grouse.......... Youth Co-ordinator (2005–2005)

Stephanie Parsons...... Accounting Clerk (2000–2004)

Lou Gannon.................................................... RBDM (1996)

Violet Fletcher.............. Admin. Assistant (200 –2005)

Jay Metcalf....................................... RBDM (2000–2004)

John Wedderburn...................................... RBDM (1997)

Ellen Johnson................Admin. Assistant (2004–2005)

Dana Colley–Provo...... Admin. Assistant (1998–2003)

Katrina Jarvis................Admin. Assistant (2005–2005)

Stanleigh Mitchell .Youth Co-ordinator (1999 – 2001)

Kyndra Taylor...............Admin. Assistant (2005–2006)

Larry Coles.......................................... RBMD (1998–2001)

2003 – 2004

1999 – 2000

Rustum Southwell................................CEO (1996–2013)

Rustum Southwell................................ CEO (1996–2013)

Idy Fashoranti.............................. Controller (1996–2012)

Idy Fashoranti...............................Controller (1996-2012)

Gordon Doe...Dir., Business Development (2001–2013)

Matthew Johnson...........................RBDM (1999–2007)

Cheyanne Gorman-Tolliver..... Accounting Clerk, (2003 –2015)

Dana Colley–Provo...... Admin. Assistant (1998–2003)

1996 42 ...


Celebrating Business Success For this anniversary issue, B2B checked-in on a few noteworthy businesses who have been featured in the B2B magazine in the last two decades. Although they haven’t yet reached the 20-year mark, they have had steady growth in their sectors and we asked them questions about their past, present and future.

Crowning Glory Hair Studio Plus • Tracey Crawley by: Angela Johnson The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Paul Adams

Tracey Crawley Crowning Glory Hair Salon Also in this Issue • Constructing the Future • Ask the BBI • Local Artists

Fall 2009 u Number 44

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

I

n a nondescript strip mall of half a dozen stores, the one in the middle has been Tracey Crawley’s dream for close to four decades.

The master hairstylist will celebrate her one year anniversary as a business owner in November 2009, but she has been working in this industry for more than two decades. “I would get a doll’s head each Christmas and I would cornrow the dolls’ hair, starting when I was just four,” she remembers. After graduating from Halifax’s Transformation School of Hair Design in 1989, Crawley worked in several salons, spending the most time at London Hair Design in Halifax.

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This story originaly appeard in the Fall 2009 issue of B2B.

“I had been thinking about it for a while,” she recalls. “It became too chaotic there. I was the only one doing ethnic hair and I’d hit a wall, out grew the box. It was time.”

There is a concentrated direction in the décor as well – cerulean blue walls, turquoise shelving and touches of warm dark brown. Customers are treated to a relaxing reception area with a comfortable couch and dark brown club chairs. Upon arriving, you are greeted with a smile, an offer to take your coat and a hot or cold beverage. Depending on who last changed the CD player/radio, there is gospel, rock, jazz music or the FM radio playing.

On her way to work at that salon, Crawley drove by her current shop several times. “Each time the ‘For Lease’ sign called to me and I finally thought, I have nothing to lose and told myself to just dial that num-ber.” Soon after securing the loca-tion, Crawley hired a lawyer and an accountant, asked them “a million questions,” signed the lease and was on her way.

Although she opened her doors in November, Crawley hosted her salon’s Grand Opening in January 2009. Clients, family, friends, sup-pliers, and former colleagues all piled into the approximately 25 by 45 foot shop. All were treated to an official introduction of staff, a live jazz trio, door prizes, presentations, and circulating hairstyle models delivering hors d’oeuvres.

“There was so much to consider – per mits, scheduling trades, complying with the conditions of my lease. The construction phase took the longest,” she says.

Twyla Downey is Crowning Glory’s General Hair Stylist, one designation up from Junior. She graduated from the one-year cosmetology program at the Academy of Cosmetology in Dartmouth in 2008. One of Crawley’s clients suggested she hire Twyla but she was already working. Two months later, the salon down-sized and Twyla was out of a job. “I called her [Tracey] and asked if she was still looking and she said yes.

“The owner was looking for a diverse hairstylist and I was looking for a more permanent home,” remembers Crawley. Fourteen years later she decided it was time to strike out on her own.

However, the name of her shop came relatively easy. A devout Christian, while reading her Bible Crawley came across a scripture that reads, “…a women’s hair is her glory…” “I had a vision of my shop long before I started the process of having one,” she explains. The shop’s subtitle and motto attests to that, it reads: We are Hair to Serve You.

I thought I could learn a lot from her.” In one short year, the 20-year-old is almost as busy as the salon manger


and owner. “I hope to be here for a while and maybe even take over the business when she retires,” smiles Twyla.

UPDATE 2016 by: Angela Johnson

Both women say their working together was divine intervention. “She’s a wonderful stylist, nice per-son, easy to work with, very profes-sional. She comes to me with ideas and listens to mine,” says Twyla. Rounding out the team is the salon’s barber, Nathan Anderson. He has been cutting hair for 17 years, pro-fessionally for 11, and joined the salon three months after it opened. While looking for locations for his own barbershop, Nathan bumped into Crawley when she was renovat-ing hers. “I knew Twyla and had talked to Tracey. It was a family atmosphere and I fit right in,” he says. Nathan wields his clippers on Friday evenings and Saturdays. He says he appreciates the way Crawley has organized her store, her attention to detail and the way she communicates with staff. “Customers come and go. You have to be able to deal with each other on a daily basis – all else will then fall into place.” “Team Glory” will celebrate their one-year anniversary on November 27, 2009, with the launch of a web-site at another open house. “Our theme is An Attitude of Gratitude. It’s about the clients, because with-out them where would we be?” In celebrating this milestone, Crawley says she got through the challenging first year with three Ps – Prayer, Perseverance and Patience. “I take it one day at time, always look-ing forward,’ she explains. “I think I have finally exhaled. I can breathe easier,” she says with a smile. “But, I still sleep with a note-book and pen by my bed so I can write down my ideas, when they come to me.” She adds that the best part of all the work is walking into her shop and knowing it’s hers. “It’s like giving birth. It’s my baby, that needs nurturing and care, and because it’s mine, I respect it more and want to do more for it.”

On November 25, 2016, Tracey Crawley will celebrate eight years of operation at her location on Wyse Road in Dartmouth. She currently has two full-time stylists and along with regular styling services, she offers Indian Head massage and recently added wig services and protective styles (natural hair) to her offerings. “It is important to find the right team who understands, respects and is willing and able to move forward with you.” For Crawley, moving forward in business not only takes a strong team but also means staying relevant with trends, new techniques and offering products and services her customers want. In the last few years she’s revamped her store’s front entrance, adding a seasonal retail section that includes hand bags, jewellery, scarves, and name-brand and community-produced organic hair products. She says keeping her faith along with her mission and vision in mind have helped her make good business decisions. Being a socially conscious businessperson is important to Crawley. For almost as long as she’s had her business, she has partnered with a Cup of Cold Water to drill wells for Haiti. She routinely has fund-raising initiatives through her salon in support of this program and has travelled to Haiti twice to see the result of her efforts. “It has been very rewarding for me to be able to use my business as the foundation to support well drilling, mission trips, child sponsorship, and most currently a scholarship fund in memory of my Mother.” She says the future of Crowning Glory Hair Studio Plus includes building her team to add an esthetician, extending the hours of service and adding supplementary speciality services. n

Corey Katz Photography • Corey Katz issue

58

Corey Katz

The Business of Music The African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA)

Also in this issue:  Spiritual Leaders  Provincial Politics  Successful Entrepreneurs

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

by: Carol Dobson

“I’m 27, have been a photographer for This story originaly appeard in the the past eight years and in business Summer 2014 issue of B2B. for three,” the New Waterford native says. “I’m self-taught and do wedding, orey Katz is a young music, commercial, and advertising entrepreneur on the photography. Growing up, I was more move. His business, interested in video but as I got older I made the decision to shift into photogCorey Katz Photography, is only raphy because I really enjoyed playing three years old but his client around with my camera exploring list would make more seasoned landscapes and scenic shots.”

C

photographers green with envy. A recognized talent by his peers and clients, Corey has shot photography for the Fortress of Louisbourg, Celtic Colours (official photographer), Sobeys, and the Royal Canadian Mint, among other distinguished clients.

He gives a great deal of credit to the Black Business Initiative for getting his business off the ground. “I wouldn’t be here without them,” he says. “They gave me a loan so I could buy equipment, and access to continued u

44 ...


u Celebrating Business Success continued programs like the Self Employment Benefit (SEB) Program, which gave me training in accounting and other areas that I needed to run my business. I have a young daughter, so the financial support I received while I was in the SEB program was a really big help.”

UPDATE 2016 by: Angela Johnson Corey Katz operates his photography studio from a space he shares with two other companies in downtown Sydney. Working with people from all walks of life is what he says makes his job worthwhile and his efforts have not gone unrecognized. Katz has won the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ award from the Chamber of Commerce; the ‘Vital Cape Breton Excellence Award’ from the Cape Breton Partnership; as well as, an honorary alumni award from Cape Breton University.

Corey’s already gaining recognition for his work. In 2010, he was one of only 24 visual artists from across the province to have work purchased for the Nova Scotia Art Bank. He is a founding member of the Coastal Arts Initiative, an award-winning group of young and emerging artists from Cape Breton. Corey has participated in many exhibits and has held two solo shows – one at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design entitled “Through a Katz Eye” in 2012 and another at the Credit Union Main Street Gallery, entitled “Collection of Work by Corey Katz” in 2011.

Over the years, another of Katz’s clients has been the BBI, photographing businesses for Black to Business in the Cape Breton area. He says the BBI is a necessary organization in supporting Black business development. “Whether it is putting on workshops so that people can get the skills they require to run a business, to connecting you with people and other organizations that can help you achieve the goals you have for your business. They are always there and willing to help out any way possible.”

In 2012, Katz was nominated for Nova Scotia Entrepreneur of the Year by the Black Business Initiative. And the following year he won the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. His work follows a rhythm, with commercial photography happening year round and wedding season falling between June and October. His portfolio of work can be viewed at his company website (see below), which illustrates this young artist’s eye and how he so artfully captures the events and scenery around him.

A relatively new partnership for him is with Steve Wadden, another local photographer. Together they deliver photography workshops at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design and are working on a new business venture.

“I love living on Cape Breton Island but it can be a challenging place for a small business,” Katz says. “I didn’t want to have to move away and thanks to the SEB Program and the BBI, I can stay here.”

Along with excellent service, new business ideas, and strategic partnerships, Katz says success requires stickto-it-ness and tenacity. His advice? “Just keep your head up and push through the hard times and don’t be afraid to ask for help, there are so many great people and organizations out there that are willing to help.” n

Corey’s studio is located in a classroom in the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, which is located in the iconic former Holy Angels High School in downtown Sydney.

House of Auto Details • Natalie & David Wilson

by: Emily Rendell-Watson

issue

contributed

57

FALL 2013

Also in this Issue: African Nova Scotian Realtors

This story originaly appeard in the Winter 2013 issue of B2B. “We call it the anti-garage because it doesn’t look like any of the garages we’ve been in. It’s fresh. I find so many garages you walk in and the customer area seems like an afterthought, it’s not the main priority,” say owners David and Natalie Wilson.

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

After working in upscale dental practices in New York for 15 years, Natalie wanted to emulate some of the things people responded to in New York at House of Auto Details.

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“People respond to being in an atmosphere where they feel like they are being taken care of. Every car that comes into our care, we go out and talk to the customer, whether it’s raining or whatever, we go outside and chat with them about what their concerns are. It’s about what they want and catering to them.”

he waiting room of House of Auto Details is bright, clean and quintessentially anti-garage, more like an upscale car House of Auto Details opened in June 2013 with financial and other support from the Black Business Initiative. spa than a garage.

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“I always eventually wanted to work for myself, but David got laid off and I had been working as volunteer dean at Sandy Lake Academy. When the opportunity to get into the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) program came by chance, we decided to think about it, and as we got more details we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to see what we could do in terms of being in business for ourselves,” says Natalie, who believes that starting House of Details has fulfilled David’s passion. “His dream is that he could drive a new car every week. I said, ‘Well your dream has come true. You drive a new car every day. Porsches, Toyotas, Minis, Land Rovers’.” David, who is a Dupont Cromax Pro Qualified Refinisher, began working on cars when he was a child at his father’s garage. “My father’s body shop was walking distance from my house. I started painting my Tonka trucks as soon as I could hold a paint gun. It’s just in my DNA. It’s the final product that is always the drive. It’s also sometimes the challenge, we can get cars in that are really gross,” says David. “We’ve had a car that was maggot-infested. I was checking the carpet to see if it was wet and I pulled it up and there were maggots. The customer had spilled milk.”

Happy 20th Anniversary to our friends at the Black Business Initiative

Both agree that it’s not necessarily about the money. Instead, even if it costs more, their aim is to clean the car and make it look brand new. “It’s about providing a service that matches the way we look,” says Natalie, who has noticed that this approach has drawn a wide variety of customers. “We had a customer come in during August who has a Porsche SUV. He came in and said that he usually takes his car to the Porsche dealership but he wanted to give us a try. He said if he liked us he would bring his other car in. He came, he brought in his Porsche, we cleaned it for him and he was absolutely impressed with our service. He dropped off his Hummer later the same day,” says Natalie, noting that the customer was particularly impressed with their professionalism and wide variety of services. House of Auto Details offers customers a number of unique services, including cleaning car seats and strollers using only steam and environmentally friendly products. They also offer a service called “While you were sleeping.” Customers who can’t do without their car during the day have the option of dropping it off at night and picking it up the next morning. Although the service requires more work related to scheduling, the Wilsons agree that it is necessary to offer something new when opening a new business. As House of Auto Details continues to grow, the Wilsons are looking at partnering with the CEED Second Chance Program, an initiative for people who have been involved with the law. The Wilsons hope to develop apprenticeships where people going through the program would learn how to auto detail, and work with customers.

UPDATE 2016 by: Angela Johnson House of Auto Details in Bedford, currently employs five people through one main location, three satellite sites and one mobile detailing operation. On September 1st, 2016 they also became an official Krown Rust Control dealership and in addition to applying Krown Rust Control, they sell a full line of automotive maintenance products. In the last four years in business they have won the silver award for ‘New Business of the Year’, through the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and the ‘Marketing Business of the Year’ award, through the Hammonds Plains Business Association for making an active contribution to the business community and forging partnership with major companies in the Maritimes. Natalie Wilson says their investment in a fully equipped detailing vehicle has allowed them to provide offsite detailing at corporate and fund-raising events, thereby expanding their business. “In the new year our plan is to introduce new automotive protective products to our clients and to car owners in general.” She says education is also key to continuing to develop House of Auto Details and the BBI has assisted in this endeavour. “I was able to complete a Leadership and Innovation certification at Dalhousie University with the help of BBI,” she recalls. “That certification has allowed me to think clearly about the direction that I want to take my business.” Her advice for business success is to seek out knowledgeable professionals for mentoring and advice. “There are tremendous resources available to entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia.” n continued u

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u Celebrating Business Success continued

SLICKLASER Inc. • Darla Johnson by: Shauntay Grant The Periodical of the Black Business Initiative

Paul Adams

This story originaly appeard in the Winter 2011 issue of B2B. esthetic services – manicures, pedicures, facials, mudwraps, and more. Darla Johnston SLIC Laser Also in this Issue • The Arrow’s Club • Certified Accountants

Winter 2011 u Number 49

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

A

charming Cape Cod sits quietly behind a brick building, away from the noise of Lower Sackville’s main drag. The earthtoned colour scheme lends itself to comfort and relaxation. Beautifully framed paintings and awards compliment the décor. Add to that a fireplace, furniture accents, infrared sauna, luxurious spa shower with multiple water jets… Clearly if Darla Johnston’s vision of owning her own laser hair removal clinic did not pan out, she could have made a successful go as an interior designer. Thankfully though for her clients, business at SLICLASER is booming as usual. “For this quarter already I’m up $10,000,” beams Johnston. “I prayed for a job in Sackville. And God gave me a successful business.”

Esthetician Katy Scott – a new employee of SLIC LASER – says it’s Johnston’s long-lasting result that sets SLIC LASER apart from its competition. “(As well as) Darla’s personality,” she adds. “She really draws people in with her professionalism and friendliness.” Johnston prides herself in offering permanent solutions and peace of mind to her clients. “This is the end of the line,” she says. “They’re anxious to get rid of something that bothers them. If you have excess hair, spider veins, or sun spots, these are permanent conditions until you have laser treatments to remove them. And this is where I come in.” “They’ve already tried everything else,” she adds. Which can be costly, considering the hundreds of dollars that women in particular spend annually on razors, waxing, cremes and other products whose results often last just days. “Now they want to make a $500 investment or more because they’ve already spent that year after year,” says Johnston. “It might seem like a big investment up front, but in the long run you’re saving money, and you’re saving time.”

Since opening her 500-square-foot clinic nine years ago in Lower Sackville, Johnston has experienced steady sales growth – 20 percent from last year alone. In 2008 she purchased her current location which boasts seven rooms, two floors, and 2,400 square feet of comfort, quality care, and top notch customer service. And in addition to her signature services – which include laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, veins and sun spots – Johnston is now offering spa services, teeth whitening, and infrared sauna therapy.

While most of Johnston’s clients are women, she has a 30 percent male clientele. In particular, she’s assisted many men affected by a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae. “Just a fancy word for ingrown hair,” says Johnston. A common problem among black men in particular, Johnston says she has helped a lot of men with this condition.

“I found myself sending (my clients) to other places to get treatments done,” says the Lasertrologist and Certified Laser Technician (C.L.T.). So in an effort to make SLIC LASER a one-stop shop, Johnston now offers a full line of

A 2007 recipient of BBI’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and a proud mother of two, Johnston prides herself on teaching her daughters that “they can

47 ...

do whatever they desire” – they even help out with the business, assisting Johnston with trade shows and working reception over the summer months. Johnston says owning her own business has been a blessing for her as a single mother. “The beauty of owning this business is that I can choose my own hours, and everything is done by appointment,” she says. “I don’t work weekends. And when Friday rolls around, it’s time for me to be home with my family.”

UPDATE 2016 by: Angela Johnson SLICLASER Inc. has been operating for 14 years at one location in Sackville and a second location in Bridgewater, which was established in 2013. Darla Johnson says her greatest business accomplishment is her longevity and for her, that means continuing to explore new treatments and services to ensure her business continues to grow. “I am in a growth curve and plan to hire three employees over the next six months and get both locations opened five days a week,” says Johnson. “I am in the process of expanding services with a new treatment Body Contouring not yet available in Nova Scotia.” She says you also have to love what you do. “You have to love and believe in your product or service. Create, build, own, and be true to your Brand. Evolve with the needs of your customers. Deliver what you promised! Offer your best and success will chase you down.” She also attributes her success to strong alliances. “The BBI has been very instrumental in assisting me in continued growth and visibility of my business. I am certain that the partnership with Global TV and the opportunity to have two commercials (2002 and in 2001) on prime time TV for over a year directly impacted the visibility and credibility of SLICLASER.” n


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by: S.I. Rustum Southwell, BBI

t was a chance meeting at a networking event in the late 1990s, that sealed a friendship and business partnership between Neville Gilfoy and the Black Business Initiative. He was with Dr. Michael MacDonald, the first CEO of the Greater Halifax Partnership (as it was then known), when I invited them both to visit us at the Business Service Centre on Brunswick Street, the BBI’s first main office location. They obliged and our partnership began. Later, Neville would tell me he did not recall agreeing to the meeting or to help us launch the Business Summits, which were modeled off his own ‘Face 2 Face’ conferences. He said it was a letter that Idy Fashoranti, BBI’s Controller at that time, sent him that was so convincing that he needed to find out more about what he had agreed to do. I looked forward to attending the Face 2 Face conferences every year and encouraged business owners from our community to attend as well, to learn and use the information from it to grow their businesses. Our friendship and partnership grew, when in 2009, the BBI became a subtenant in the Progress Media Group’s 1660 Hollis Street location. We benefited from his wisdom and extensive database of contacts. He even assisted in our successful Global Television marketing strategy but what I remember most about Neville, is that I could depend on him for a smile, an honest answer and good advice. Neville, we love and miss you.

Champion of Entrepreneurs, Neville Gilfoy, Progress Media Group, died of cancer July 19, 2016 at the age of 63. He was involved in the publishing industry for more than 30 years. n 48 ...


Training & Development Partnerships

by: Abena Amoako-Tuffour

Ann Divine

Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Services a vision of what Ann Divine’s business would look like. “They said “Look, you need to be charging for the work you have been doing.” That, she says, was the beginning of her confidence and of her work to coax out that same confidence in other women. Divine speaks with pride and respect for her winter 2014 Business Cohort group. “The women were on time at 8:30 in the morning climbing over high snow banks to get into the BBI offices. The staff members were also there every Saturday to open the doors for us. They weren’t being paid for that. They were there because it has to be done.“

T

hrough Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Services, Ann Divine offers trainings on leadership, empowerment, diversity and human rights. Citing a lack of women of color in government and in executive positions, Divine found her passion in the area of leadership development for women. Combining her experience as a senior level executive in the UK and in Canada, she developed a program where women could “begin to define their own destiny and have fulfillment in their career.” The 2014 Business Cohort for Women’s Leadership was Divine’s first offering through the BBI. It has also been her most popular course; however, Divine’s newest training, Unconscious Bias, is taking over in popularity, particularly among large organizations. Her clients vary from corporate organizations to small groups; groups of predominately women, predominantly men, mixed gender groups, women of color and multi-generational groups. Divine says discussion is rich with such a variety of people and that she herself grows with each training session she does. Leadership in the Workplace is another offering available through Ashanti Leadership in partnership with the Spryfield Community Business District. Divine credits the BBI for launching her platform. “I had been mentoring women for a long time but I wasn’t charging”. She describes walking into the office one day and being “hijacked” by some of the staff there who had

49 ...

As a service provider and participant in BBI’s trainings, Divine would like BBI to continue to prosper. “We all need to give more support to BBI so that the organization can continue to grow from strength to strength.” n

Ann Divine 902.441.3999

ashantileadership.com ann@ashantileadership.com

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Ross Simmonds

Digital Strategist, Marketing Specialist, Author

Ross Simmonds Hustle and Grind hustleandgrind.co rosssimmonds.com

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R

oss Simmonds is the founder of the following businesses, ‘Foundation’, offering content consulting and creation; ‘Hustle and Grind’, which offers services and products to “hustling” entrepreneurs; and ‘Crate’, content marketing software. In high school Simmonds participated in BBI’s Business is Jammin program. Today, he is a BBI board member and works as a consultant and speaker on all things, technology, marketing, storytelling, and entrepreneurship.

years but are just starting to pop up on the East Coast. “Your idea doesn’t necessarily have to be original, you can take something that exists elsewhere and put a new twist on it or introduce it into this market.” Ultimately he says, aspiring entrepreneurs should keep their eye on technology as this is where he sees the biggest growth and opportunity for new ideas. n

Simmonds’ aim is simple: to assist people in realizing their goals of being successful entrepreneurs. The Hustle and Grind website reads, “We want to see a world of creators, dreamers, hustlers, and doers. And if we can help arm the world with the tools and fuel to stay on top of the grind, we’ve done our job.” Simmonds took the leap to become an entrepreneur himself after realizing that he could “create for a living”. Through his online offerings and in person consulting, Simmonds is doing just that. Many aspiring entreprenuers are concerned about whether their ideas are strong enough and about being able to keep up with the technology. Simmonds is fuelled by teaching clients to use technology to their advantage and by learning about their successes. “Clients message me all the time letting me know that they got sales after they began marketing their services on social media.” One of his own fears as a budding entrepreneur was that he wouldn’t achieve the goals he had within him to run his own business. At this same time that this was his fear, it was also his motivation to keep learning and taking a risk by acting on his ideas. In terms of business ideas, Simmonds says that there is opportunity in the fact that Nova Scotia is “a bit behind on certain trends.” He gives the example of trap rooms which have been in existence in places like Toronto for

Ross speaks at conferences, provides seminars and a handful of other types of events on a weekly basis.

continued u

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u Training & Development Partnership continued

Jessica Bowden M.S.M

Founder and CEO, Teens Now Talk

Jessica Bowden, M.S.M 902.492.2474 ext. 1 teensnowtalk@eastlink.ca teensnowtalk.com

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F

ounder of Teens Now Talk Magazine, Jessica Bowden M.S.M. has collaborated with the BBI in the last 15 years as a key facilitator, consultant, and speaker for programs such as Business is Jammin’, Constructing the Future, Renovations 101, Role Models on the Road, Youth in Production and Women’s Development in Business. She draws from her journey as a single mother, professional model, and entrepreneur to show her audience what it takes to succeed. She tells youth not to let their past or labels define them. She says that what won’t help in terms of success, is a sense of entitlement and bad attitude; what will is a positive attitude, emotional intelligence and education. Bowden works with many youth and adults who don’t have much education and strives to give them the tools to get ahead. “It’s about building them up from the inside using their language and putting them in a setting that is non-threatening”. Bowden gives the example of people giving youth pamphlets on schools or bursary options and feeling like they’ve done their job. Often however, the youth have trouble understanding the information and, fearing ‘looking stupid’ or not knowing who to ask for help, they don’t pursue the opportunity. It is such gaps in confidence and comprehension that Bowden seeks to fill. Through the BBI’s Role Models on the Road, Bowden has taught students about marketing and business development. Through Teens Now Talk Magazine, the CEO provides a platform for teens ages 13 to 19, to write to other teens about their interests, challenges, and aspirations. They conduct interviews, write, research, take photographs and are models. “What we do at Teens Now Talk is facilitating youth everyday on paper. We take the knowledge that we give the youth and give them a way to use it,” Bowden says.

51 ...

For adults, Bowden offers personal development and image consulting through her company Visual Wardrobe. “It allows the individual to understand and grow themselves from the inside out. That could be on a business, personal, social, career or educational level.” Essentially Bowden is passionate about “put[ing] people in the position to make the right choice. Give them the tools to do so.” In Dec. 2015 Bowden was presented the Meritorious Service Medal by the Right Honorable David Johnston Governor General of Canada. The Medal recognizes outstanding work that brings honor to Canada. At the end of the day Bowden feels content knowing that she can lay down knowing that she has empowered someone else. n


Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education (LAE)

T

he provincial government is a key ally of the BBI. Over the years, Renovator 101 it has partnered with the BBI on various projects through Reprint of full story featured in Issue 59, Winter 2014. Originally published in various departments, one being Labour and Advanced the New Homes & Renovations • NH&R Fall 2014. Reprinted with permission. Education. These are a few of the signature collaborations, captured in a series of articles featured in Black to Business.

Constructing the Future (CTF) Full stories featured in Issue 53, spring 2012 and Issue 57, fall 2013

From 2008 - 2013, the BBI with support from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and in partnership with Nova Scotia Community College delivered a 32-week construction training and job readiness program called Constructing the Future (CTF). In 2013, of the 45 graduates 19 gained admission to the Community college and 7 were indentured as apprentices in different construction trades namely: carpentry, electrical and plumbing. “With continuing partnership with the Department of Labour and NSCC, and the growing support from industry stakeholders like employers who accept students for work placement and ultimately hire them, we see this program positively impacting the Black construction sector for the long term,.” BBI Staff member.

JobsHere Strategy Full story featured in Issue 56, Summer 2013

In 2012, the Black Business Initiative partnered with the former Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education to successfully deliver training in a variety of business-related areas. These courses run the gamut from writing for business, finance for business and the foundations for success in business. These are programs that are offered at various times throughout the year by a roster of trainers.

Renovator 101 was a program organized by the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association (NSHBA) and the Black Business Initiative (BBI) the 12-week program, trained students in all aspects of residential construction through classroom lessons and on-site instruction. Each student also completed a co-op placement with a local renovation firm. In 2014, 26-year-old student Gavin Crawford was paired up with Conrad Mullins of Skymark Renovations. “It’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun when it’s something you enjoy,” said Crawford. “With carpentry, your work is the first thing people see. It’s right there, front and centre.” Mullins said the program is an ideal way to connect the youth of the community with the renovation industry. Sherry Donovan, Communications Director of the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association, said the program has proved to be “invaluable” in training, mentoring, and introducing young people to the renovation industry. “We recognized a need in the renovation market, so we began working with the Black Business Initiative to create an opportunity to train students.” Former BBI CEO Mike Wyse said, “construction is the core of the Black business community, and this program is an excellent opportunity to make the sector even stronger”. He also said the program wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, as well the BBI and the NSHBA.n

One of the partners in the training program is Margo Hampden of the provincial government’s JobsHere Strategy. “Our partnership offers BBI clients a proven method to identify and enhance essential skills in a way that is customized and works for them,” Hampden said. “The Workplace Initiative partnership offers training in a wide variety of programs such as Essential Skills of Business, Project Management, Communications for Supervisors, Social Media, Human Resources, GED preparation, and even Construction Math, just to name a few. If we can develop and grow the essential skills of Nova Scotians, this will make us a stronger, more competitive Nova Scotia.”

Government of Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education novascotia.ca/lae/

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52 ...


Connecting to Success Overview of Loan Portfolio

2015-16

Portfolio Authorization 1996-2016

The Black Business Initiative administers a diverse portfolio of accounts that includes loans, equity and community development funds to support entrepreneurship opportunities for Black Nova Scotians and their communities.

Loan Overview 2015-2016

Activty

Amount

Financial Assistance

Loan Approvals

262

$3,363,703

Loans Issued

227

$2,918,153

Community Development Fund Approvals

79

$363,995

Dollars 41% Leveraged Loan 59% Approvals

Loans by Geographic Region

Centreal North

7%

7% 76%

Metro South

10%

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Location

Amount

Percentage

Metro

200

76%

North

17

7%

Centreal

17

7%

South

28

10%


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.

BIJ Across the 4 Regions Kentville

15

Yarmouth

70

Dartmouth

113

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

Total Participants

382

Halifax

125

New Glasgow

59

grosse.amber @bbi.ns.ca 902-476-9764

flix 54 ...


Prepare for your business and personal success. Every course offers the opportunity to increase your business knowledge, skills and capacity to compete. The only cost to you is your time and commitment.

Upcoming Training - Winter 2017 Business Cohort Women’s Leadership Pathways Exporting Workshop Business Financial Management

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Writing a Business Plan Project Management Professional Training (PMP) Please note we need a minimum of 10 participants to run a course. Contact BBI’s Training department for more information and training opportunities.


MTEI

MAKING AN IMPACT WITH PURPOSE MTEI program successes to date: • Graduated 41 students in 3 years • 17 students have launched 14 start ups • Matured 2 existing businesses • Placed the 1st Canadian team in the finals of the 2015 International Business Model Competition • Placed 2 teams in the top 20 of the 2016 International Business Model Competition

$115,000 SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS AVAILABLE

Turn your passion for technology into commercial success with a

Master of Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation degree This specialized Masters Program has been designed for emerging entrepreneurs and tech-industry leaders. Your deep knowledge of and passion for technology can translate into business success. The MTEI program will help you learn and apply effective business skills and techniques such as lean entrepreneurship principles. Benefit from our world-class faculty and innovation partnerships. You can complete the MTEI program in as little as 12 months.

APPLY NOW

sobey.smu.ca/mtei The Sobey School of Business offers a full suite of accredited business programs: Bachelor of Commerce | MBA | MBA (CPA Stream) | EMBA | Master of Finance | Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation | Master of Applied Economics | Co-operative Management Education | PhD (Management)


to the Black Business Initiative on their 20th Anniversary

Profile for Metro Guide Publishing

Black to Business – Issue 63 – Winter 2016  

Black to Business – Issue 63 – Winter 2016