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Halifax-based entrepreneurship centres propel inclusive business growth

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by pmnationtalk on March 6, 2023162 Views

The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development and the Centre for Women in Business help companies led by women, newcomers, rural entrepreneurs flourish

March 6, 2023 · Halifax, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Fostering inclusive business growth is key to building a strong, resilient economy. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting organizations that empower inclusion by helping entrepreneurs access the resources, mentorship and capital they need to grow successful businesses.

Federal government helps strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystem

Today, the Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, announced non-repayable contributions totalling $1,006,223 to the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development (CEED) and the Centre for Women in Business (CWB). The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

CEED received $500,000 to support its programming for the fiscal year 2022-2023. This funding has enabled more than 850 startups and 200 existing business in Nova Scotia to access capital, take advantage of social-economic programming, professional development and training, and small business development resources provided by the organization.

CWB received contributions totalling $506,233 for two projects. A $338,473 investment over a two-year period is supporting the Atlantic Canada Mentorship Program, a training program to help Atlantic Canadian women-owned businesses gain a foothold in the national supply chain.

An investment of $167,750 allowed CWB to launch the Growth Incentive Funding Solution, a pilot micro-contribution program for 20 women business owners from different industries. The program provided business owners and founders at the start-up and mid-growth level with one-on-one advisory services and a contribution of $5,000 or $10,000 to grow their business.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to boost regional prosperity by supporting inclusive programming for entrepreneurs throughout Atlantic Canada.


“Inclusion and diversity are the building blocks of strong, resilient communities. By supporting businesses owned by under-represented groups, organizations like the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development and the Centre for Women in Business are helping to create jobs and grow a thriving economy that benefits all Canadians.”
– Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The federal government has committed to doubling the number of women entrepreneurs and founders by 2025. Programs offered by CEED and the Centre for Women in Business are tackling barriers faced by women when starting, growing and scaling their companies, and helping to ensure they are part of the supply chain.”
– The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West

“For the last 30 years, CEED has been working toward our goal of a more prosperous and entrepreneurial Nova Scotia. Entrepreneurs break barriers and when they succeed, it benefits us all, so there should not be any barriers to entrepreneurship. The funding announced today has enabled us to extend our services throughout Nova Scotia, and build inclusive programming, in conjunction with our entrepreneurship ecosystem partners, that turn the dreams of entrepreneurs into benefits for all Nova Scotians.”
– Craig MacMullin, President and CEO, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Education & Development (CEED)

“Through these contributions, the Centre for Women in Business has been able to directly connect with more female entrepreneurs, and in turn connect them with access to capital, supplier diversity chains, and advisory services to support the growth of their businesses.”
– Nora Perry, Business Advisor, Growth, Centre for Women in Business (CWB)

“People often think about the core concept or idea of a new business as being key to success or failure. But the skills required to navigate the business world as a whole are equally important. The experts at CEED and Ignite selflessly helped me enter entrepreneurship with confidence and success.”
– Ashley Hickey, Chief Technical Officer, Enzebra

Quick facts

  • The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development began in 1993 as a division of the Nova Scotia Department of Education. In 2002, CEED became a not-for-profit organization. Sixty-seven per cent of its clients are women. CEED provides advisory services, startup financing and venture development programming to assist entrepreneurs in building their businesses.
  • CWB’s Atlantic Mentorship Program is a training program with Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada). Since the beginning of the program, the number of certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has doubled.
  • The Mentorship Program has three virtual cohorts with 10 participants each. The first cohort, which is in its final month, has participants from Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Participants have signed meaningful contracts, hired staff and begun to offer new products and service lines. Cohort number two began in February and cohort number three, which begins in September 2023, is now recruiting.
  • Twenty women business owners in Nova Scotia were selected for the Growth Incentive Funding Solution (GIFS), a pilot non-repayable microloan program. Participants include business owners working in tourism, agri-food, creative industries, retail, and consulting services. They are a diverse group of entrepreneurs including Black, Indigenous, newcomers, rural residents, women in trades and women with a disability.
  • The funding announced today is provided through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lauren Sinclair
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Priyanka Kakkar
Senior Manager, Communications & Engagement CEED
902-536-3597 (cell)

Jennifer Robeson
Communications Officer

Ashley Hickey
Chief Technical Officer


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