Thursday March 8, 2018

CEED will be open as scheduled today. Join us for our Social Media 2.0 workshop from 9am to 12pm and SEB Interviews starting at 9am. Please exercise caution when travelling in any inclement weather and make your own personal decision regarding attendance. Be safe everyone!


MSVU SE4D Turns Out huge Success


A big congratulations to our partners at Mount Saint Vincent University and all participants of the 2018 Social Enterprise for a Day (SE4D), finishing as a huge success this year with over $2200 raised towards Cystic Fibrosis Canada Atlantic Region. Here at CEED, Small Business Advisor RJ DeCoste and Education Facilitator Manus Farmer were proud to have been given the chance to work with three teams, supporting their hard work throughout their ventures.

RJ had worked with his two teams: the self-named “A-Team” and “MSVU Cupid’s”. A-Team had created gift boxes full of chocolates and candies which they sold at each end of the Halifax Ferry Terminals. Their team found many people interested in donating to the cause, without even purchasing their product, and were able to raise $195.

“MSVU Cupid’s” capitalized on the upcoming Valentine’s Day by selling Roses with Chocolates and Bracelets around the Mount Saint Vincent University campus. Not only did they come in first place, but they also set a new record for funds raised by a single team at SE4D earning $673!

Manus worked with a team that capitalized on the upcoming Superbowl by encouraging people to make predictions on the winning team and encourage these sports enthusiasts to donate to CF Canada at the same time. The group kept track of the prediction stats and were able to raise up $170.

Congratulations and thanks to all the entrepreneurs who were able to come together and raise so much for such a great cause!

Dragon’s Den is Coming to Halifax!

Dragon’s Den is calling all aspiring entrepreneurs to present their business pitches for a chance to be featured next season on CBC.  Beginning in Toronto on February 10, the audition tour will be open to the public, as producers hit the road visiting Canadian cities coast-to-coast in search of the country’s best business ideas in need of a Dragon investment.

The audition tour welcomes participants of all ages, with businesses at any stage of development. Hopeful entrepreneurs should prepare to pitch their concept to the Dragon’s den producers in five minutes or less.  If they show the producers they have what it takes to pitch in the Den, they could be invited to Toronto to face the Dragons.

CEED will be providing free, pre-pitch practice for participants between the hours of 10:00am – 12:00 noon & 12:30 – 2:30pm.

Both auditions and pre-pitch practice are on a first come, first serve basis and volunteers will be on site to coordinate.

Participants are responsible for any props throughout the day.

If you wish to register online rather than in person, please click here.

Good Luck!


CEED will delay opening until noon today! We will reassess at 10am and post an update! This morning’s Tax Smart workshop has been rescheduled for Friday March 2, 2018. If you were scheduled to attend today’s session you have automatically been rescheduled to attend the one in March instead.

Update: CEED will remain closed for the day. Stay safe and stay cozy if you can. See you tomorrow!


Congratulations to all the 2018 Halifax Business Awards Nominees!

This year, CEED has more reason than ever to celebrate at the Halifax Business Awards.

Thirty businesses have been nominated for awards this year, across six separate categories, and CEED is proud to support three graduates from our SEB (Self-Employed Benefits) program, who’ve received nominations for reputable awards; Sattva Boutique, Twirp Communications and Afishionado Fishmongers.

Twirp Communications joined CEED in 2011, they specialize in helping businesses set up their social media presence, and develop strategies to help grow an online image. Twirp is a finalist for the Small Business of the year award.

Afishionado Fishmongers joined CEED in 2015. They specialize in fresh fish, and bringing Nova Scotian traditions to light, supporting small businesses along their way. Afishionado Fishmongers have been chosen as a finalist for Innovative Business of  the year.

Sattva Boutique joined CEED in 2016 and most recently celebrated the one year anniversary of their downtown Halifax boutique. The store specializes in high quality, socially aware products for women. They have been chosen as a finalist for New Business of the year.

CEED is thrilled to have more involvement with the respected event this year as sponsors because of a shared passion for progressing and supporting entrepreneurs. Look for CEED’s presence at the post reception, where we’ll be personally there to support our CEEDlings.

The prestigious awards ceremony takes place annually to highlight and give recognition to some of Halifax’s brightest business leaders and entrepreneurs. This year’s ceremony is on Jan 25, and it will be the first Gala held in the newly opened Nova Centre, 1800 Argyle Street, Halifax.

How did CEED help prepare you for where you are today?

Sattva Boutique 

The three resources that were found most useful, were having someone who had more experience believe in the business, and then slowing things down to form a plan. The money was also great, having the funding there, especially with a one-year-old in daycare. – Sarah Bannerman Andrews

Twirp Communications

“Being in the SEB program at CEED helped me to gain confidence in my abilities to run a business. And some of my biggest supporters and business friends I met in that program. CEED also helped me get my feet wet in training small businesses in social media, which is now such a large part of my business.” –  Anita Kirkbride

CEED will delay opening until 9:30 am this morning.

The “Dynamic Networking” workshop will start at 10am instead of 9am.

Take care travelling this morning!

100 Entrepreneurs: Planting Seed$


If you ask almost any adult, there won’t be any hesitation on whether they’d like to be their own boss.

But if you were to ask that same question to someone much younger, you might get different results.

Allyson England and Stephanie MacDonald co-founded the non-profit organization, 100 Seed$ Atlantic. They analyzed responses from the Ray Ivany Now or Never Report and found a shocking statistic from the youth who were polled…only 12 per cent held an interest in starting their own business.

100 Seed$ Atlantic has made it their goal to try and change this mindset for youth. They have begun by encouraging youth to explore the world of entrepreneurship with an enticing reward of $10,000 to assist with the costs of building their business.

Youth are invited to participate in the organization’s main event, 100 Entrepreneurs Planting Seed$, a pitch competition that brings business leaders and youth together. Participants create a business pitch for their service or product, elaborating on their market, competitors and budget. The contestants are then limited down, and three finalists are chosen to present at the main event.

The process of voting is simple. 100 business leaders are given the opportunity to purchase a $100 ticket, which allows them to cast a vote at the pitch competition. After the three finalists have delivered their pitches, each of the business leaders cast a vote and the winner collects the $10,000 raised.

CEED is proud to be participating in the event again this year, and not only as a business leader. CEED is offering a special prize that’s not exclusive to just the first place winner. All three finalists will be awarded gift certificates for three complimentary CEED workshops, as well as a one-on-one meeting with CEED’s CEO & President, Craig MacMullin.

This year’s event takes place on January 16, 2018 at The Halifax Central Library, 5440 Spring Garden Rd, where the three finalists will be presenting their final pitches to the judges.

England and MacDonald are just two of the faces running the show. Their dedicated efforts have so far, led to over $20,000 being raised for young Nova Scotian entrepreneurs. A number that will likely continue to rise.

How to Find Business Success in the First Two Years

One of the most surprising business-related statistics is the fact that 80% of entrepreneurs fail within the first two years. As somebody who has been part of a company from its conception, I have been through a tumultuous journey, and on this journey I have become wiser and more receptive to the challenges that have been thrown at me. Here are some of the pearls of wisdom I can offer to ensure that your business has a greater chance of success within the first two most difficult years…

Keep track of everything:

Every single payment, measurement, conversation and email sent needs to be kept track of and well documented. Organization within a workplace can be the key to its success. If you create written systems for everything, then you will most certainly see the benefit. A great way to maintain a level of consistency and organization is to make sure that you ingrain these systems into every fibre of your business and train your employees accordingly. Be sure to make your daily decisions and set your targets and expectations based on the data you collect, whether that is based on figures, inquiries or anything else related to your industry. Although this may seem like a really obvious thing to do, as a business owner there are a million tasks that can easily shift your focus and making decisions based on advice or hunches can often be tempting.

Hire smart and don’t micromanage:

A great business owner will tell you that your employees make your business. Their success is your company’s success, and their failures are your company’s failures. Only welcome people through the door if they share the same passion as yourself. The hiring process is an excellent time to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of a person, so be sure to really get a feel for how the person thinks and feels before bringing them on board – however tempting it may be, never ever fall into the trap of making quick hires!

If you recognize the strengths of your employees and delegate effectively, then then success will follow. Don’t fall into the trap of micromanagement as this can demotivate your employees and distract you from other tasks within the business. Use incentive-based reward systems to motivate and inspire your employees and ensure that you have proper training procedures in place to get maximum results.

Don’t be stubborn:

A successful business owner is versatile and receptive to change. Never marry yourself to your business plan, as markets change, industries change and in order to stay relevant, you must change with them. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your businesses success, if your plan isn’t working then take a step back and explore other avenues to take. Remember, that every day is an opportunity to learn more about your industry and about how the world works, so be receptive to change and open to advice.

Alice Porter is a business writer for Roger Hannah, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with like-minded professionals and new business owners.

CEED Welcomes New President and CEO: Craig MacMullin

CEED will be kicking off 2017 with an exciting change of faces as Craig MacMullin makes his debut as President and CEO. Along with an infectious attitude, Craig brings many years of widespread experience and looks forward to making the most out of the his time with CEED.

As a native Cape Bretoner, Craig is always making an effort in getting to know the people around him. This outgoing attitude was reflected as he sought out to form a relationship with each and every employee. In the short span of time he has been here, Craig has displayed his strong leadership skills remarkably well.

Leading his first staff meeting, Craig encouraged everyone to participate in finding and suggesting solutions for various challenges that the organization faces. By welcoming this collaboration, employees feel their opinion is valued and that each person plays a vital role in the organization’s overall success. Craig is effectively working toward a good-humored work environment structured upon a foundation of teamwork.

Craig believes in having his team share their perspectives on issues. He believes this is the best way for him to see a situation from every angle thereby allowing him to make the best decision and thus the right strategic move.

A system based on accountability is another aspect Craig wishes to bring to the table and put forward into CEED’s work environment. By helping facilitate an individual’s ability to hold himself accountable, Craig encourages said individual to learn from their mistakes. Craig believes that failure isn’t viewed as the end, but rather an opportunity to learn from your mistake to go forward. Viewing failure as a learning mechanism to re-evaluate what and how you are doing something and devise a new strategy to reach your goals is what the entrepreneurial spirit is all about.

CEED is enthusiastic to welcome Craig MacMullin as our new President and CEO. We are eager to be a part of his vision for CEED and excited to continue encouraging members of our community to have the courage to chase after their entrepreneurial aspirations!

Larger Than Life

Although many small business owners strive to keep the “little guy” in mind, Large Lad Clothing creator, James Weir, is trying to do just the opposite.

As a bigger guy, James Weir has had his share of challenges trying to find stylish clothes that fit. He recalls experiencing a shopping trip in late 2014 when he yet again failed to find decent wardrobe options, as the moment when decided to create Large Lad Clothing. With the encouragement of his wife, and the Self Employment Benefits Program at CEED, he went on to establish a quality clothing company, tailored exclusively to larger men.