New programs aim to boost rural Nova Scotia businesses & support new business ideas

New programs aim to boost rural Nova Scotia businesses & support new business ideas

Partners in the Be Your Own Boss Program L-R Sheri Williams (NSCC) Mary Thompson (NSCC) Angelique LeBlanc (Western REN) Alison Anderson (Founder/President, Succession Matching Inc.) Allister Surette (President, Universite St. Anne)

“Our investments in these programs will help entrepreneurs and innovators get started and keep going. And it will provide long-term benefits to Nova Scotians through more jobs and a stronger economy.” - Geoff MacLellan, Nova Scotia Minister of Business

Supportive start-up resources, access to business services and commercialization match-making with investors and funders are all part of two new programs aimed at supporting and boosting rural Nova Scotia businesses and entrepreneurs. For rural businesses and entrepreneurs, this will offer opportunities and resources to grow, innovate and be competitive within the region and on a global scale.

The Mashup Lab Dream Business Program and Succession Planning Program are funded by the Rural Innovation District – part of a provincial initiative involving Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), Dalhousie University, Halifax Partnership, Cape Breton Partnership, Cape Breton University and the Province of Nova Scotia. The Rural Innovation District provides funding to help businesses and community groups develop innovative products and services.

Janet Specht, Project Director for the Rural Innovation District, says, “Rural businesses and entrepreneurs need to be working in an innovative ecosystem where collaboration between people, place, and firms is the norm.” She adds, “Through the Rural Innovation District, we provide funding to facilitate the ecosystem where ideas are generated, and commercialization is advanced.”

Mentoring and support

The Mashup Lab Dream Business program, developed by Mashup Lab, is for anyone in a rural community hoping to launch their own business. The program combines a six-week virtual bootcamp, bi-weekly group mentoring sessions and one-on-one coaching from world-class entrepreneurs to offer advice and guidance on starting a business. Included in this program are a series of tutorial webinars and mashup weekends which provide a crash course in starting a business. The many features of this program hope to inspire and support entrepreneurs to take their creative business ideas from the concept stage to completion.

Resources and access to potential funders

The Succession Planning program was developed by the Western Region Enterprise Network.  It is comprised of two main components to help support those hoping to either buy an existing business or find a buyer for their current business.

The first component is a partnership with SuccessionMatching.com, an online platform that lists and potentially sells businesses. SuccessionMatching.com provides business transition and succession planning workshops, a webinar series and support from seasoned entrepreneurs.

This program also includes the Be Your Own Boss component. The services include partnerships with financial institutions, free coupons from NSCC and Université Sainte-Anne current students and alumni interested in buying existing businesses, marketing materials, program launch and national activities.

“Nova Scotia boasts a wealth of innovative entrepreneurs and business people,” says Pam Mood, Chair of Rural Innovation Advisory Committee and Mayor, Town of Yarmouth. “As industry leaders, we have an obligation to provide opportunities for these businesses and individuals to thrive. It’s only through opening doors to possibilities that we will see changes, not just at a provincial level, but on a global one as well.”

Both these programs will provide resources, knowledge and access to greater connections, so that new business ideas and eager entrepreneurs in rural areas throughout the province will have the support needed to launch successful businesses, become active participants in fueling Nova Scotia’s economy and inspire further businesses to thrive.

“We recognize the value of entrepreneurs and their ability to generate wealth and employment,” says Geoff MacLellan, Nova Scotia Minister of Business. “Our investments in these programs will help entrepreneurs and innovators get started and keep going. And it will provide long-term benefits to Nova Scotians through more jobs and a stronger economy.”

24/04/19

“Our investments in these programs will help entrepreneurs and innovators get started and keep going. And it will provide long-term benefits to Nova Scotians through more jobs and a stronger economy.” - Geoff MacLellan, Nova Scotia Minister of Business

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