CEEDling Spotlight: Tranquility Spa

A special blog post contribution by Monique Gracie, Owner/Master Esthetician of Tranquility Spa.

Monique has been a master esthetician for over 16 years now. Having been in the industry since she was 18, she was ready to take the next step in her career and become her own boss. With the intent of owning her own spa, Monique decided to go back to school. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship, Monique didn’t feel quite prepared enough and didn’t know exactly how to go about opening her own business.

“If it wasn’t for CEED, I wouldn’t be here.” She says that CEED gave her the clear process that she needed to open her own spa. She was given the steps to take along with a deadline, which helped her to get things done and make decisions. She says that CEED gave her the extra skills that she needed in order to get her spa up and running.

Monique started with CEED by taking our Blast Off course in May 2018, and then entered into the Plan to SucCEED Program (via the Self-Employment Stream) in June 2018. Even though she won’t be graduating until July 2019, her business is well on its way. Tranquility Spa had its soft opening this past Tuesday, December 4th. The spa will have its Grand Opening this Saturday, Decemeber 8th!

Monique has run into many obstacles and challenges along the way, including finding her location, unexpected expenses, and lots of little things that you don’t realize could pop up. Her advice to new entrepreneurs is, “Don’t give up on your dream. There will be stressful and overwhelming days, but you’ll get through it. Stick to your passion!”

Monique is continuously upgrading her education when it comes to products and services. She is always taking courses so she is able to offer her clients new services. Monique is passionate about the services she offers, she loves making people look and feel great!

Tranquility spa offers many different services from manicures and pedicures, to facials, tints, waxing, and eyelash extensions. Click here for a full list of services. Tranquility Spa carries Dermalogica products, a tried-and-true favourite of Monique, which may also be purchased in shop.

Keep a close eye on Tranquility Spa’s social media pages for special deals and/or offers!

252 Waverly Rd., Dartmouth

Sunday – Closed
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 9-7
Wednesday – 9-8
Thursday – 9-8
Friday – 9-7
Saturday – 9-5

Plan to SucCEED Graduation

Plan to SucCEED is CEED’s intensive 40-week program that is designed to help you successfully launch your business. The program gives each participant the chance to start and grow their business by offering them one-on-one advising with a business advisor, 20+ hands-on workshops, the chance to collaborate with peers, and much more!

On Monday, November 26th, CEED held a ceremonial graduation celebrating the 40 weeks of hard work and dedication that our 48 Plan to SucCEED participants showed in creating their new startup companies.

The event featured a graduation presentation to celebrate the highlights of the 40-week program, a speech from our valedictorian, and a Small Business Showcase demonstration where graduates had the chance to put their business on display.

Showcases: Eye Deal Auto – Robert Billings, Lake William Films – Bill Chernin, Podcast Atlantic – Michael Boyd, & shiftED Academy – Tisha Paker Kemp. (Left to right.)

This year’s valedictorian, chosen by CEED’s Plan to SucCEED team, was Tisha Parker Kemp and her company shiftED Academy. ShiftED Academy offers different business development workshops to businesses and professionals including Training and Coaching, Keynote and Conferences, and Curriculum and Course Development.

*To learn more about our Plan to SucCEED program, click here.

CEEDling Spotlight: Podcast Atlantic

A special blog post contribution by Michael Boyd, Owner/Operator of Podcast Atlantic.

“Podcast Atlantic is a Podcast Directory for Atlantic Canadian Podcasts and a Production Company for those who want to dip their toes into the podcasting world but don’t want the hassle of dealing with equipment, editing and everything else that comes with the production of a great podcast. We are a professional podcasting company dedicated to professional service, quality storytelling, and trustworthy results.”

Michael Boyd began his journey with CEED, in November 2017, with the goal of telling Atlantic Canada’s Stories.

“With [his] background in television [he] wanted to get back into a creative business. While employed as a delivery driver [he] was able to listen to many podcasts”, but he had trouble finding any locally produced podcasts. “[He] also knew, with [his] storytelling ability, [he] could help others spread their story.”

He is graduating from CEED’s Plan to SucCEED program via the Self Employment Benefits (SEB) stream this Monday, November 26th,2018.

What makes Podcast Atlantic unique is that, “[a]fter only eight months, the directory has grown to over 100 podcasts and is the only regional directory in Canada and possibly the world.”

Michael was awarded the Wise 50 over 50 Award with Podcast Atlantic for senior entrepreneurs who are giving back to the community. He is also very excited that Podcast Atlantic will be included in Dalhousie University’s Collide 2018-2019.


(Pictured is Michael Boyd.)

CEED Celebrates STEM Fest 2018

Last week, CEED celebrated Halifax STEM Fest 2018 by having its education department deliver daily Out-of-the-Box workshops to grade 7 and 8 students across the province. From November 6th-9th, students came to the Halifax Convention Centre to participate in hands-on, inquiry-based STEAM workshops – with the goal of sparking curiosity and awareness in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) related careers.

The team adapted the workshop to concentrate on ocean problems to meet with this year’s theme of STEM Fest. Students were divided into groups in which they had to collaborate, using entrepreneurial and STEM related thinking, to come up with a product or service that might solve one of the many problems that our ocean and its ecosystem faces. The groups made prototypes of their products, and were given the chance to pitch their ideas to the group.

Throughout the week the team engaged with approximately 200 students and 15 different schools, including schools from the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE), South Shore Regional Centre for Education (SSRCE), Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education (CBVRCE), and Tri-Country Regional Centre for Education (TCRCE).

*If you are interested in learning more about our workshops or booking one for your classroom, click here.

CEEDling Spotlight: Dinah’s sourdough Bakery

A special blog post contribution by Dan Corbett.

Dan Corbett is graduating from CEED’s Plan to SucCEED program (via Self-Employment Benefits – SEB), this November.

Dan took great interest in owning his own small business; it excited him to have a project. Something he could really take control of. He played around with the idea of a carpentry-based business. Given his own skill set, he ultimately decided to open up his own bakery. Dinah’s Sourdough Bakery, located at 3540 Novalea drive.

Dan chose this location because he believes it to be the prime area for a bakery. There are approximately 10 000 residents in the area, new homeowners and young families, and there are not any other bakeries nearby.

Dan says what makes his bakery unique is the type of bread that he makes. He specialized in sourdough bread, which is very hearty and dense.
Dinah’s Sourdough opened its doors on Saturday, October 20th. Selling out in only three hours! Upon visiting the bakery, the door was constantly being opened by customers coming in for a coffee, cookie, or picking up a fresh loaf of bread.

CEED was a “bank of knowledge” for Dan when is came to starting his own venture. He really appreciates the amount of support he has gotten from his business advisor, Beate Gunderlach.

(Pictured is Dinah’s Sourdough fresh products and business entrance.)

CEED Celebrates Small Business Week 2018 (Oct 14th – Oct 20th)

With Small Business Week 2018 upon us, we wanted to share with you what CEED has planned.

Honoring Our Plan To SucCEED Graduates

As a kick off to the week, CEED mounted a wall display next to our entrance showcasing our 88 Plan To SucCEED Program graduates from the last 12 months. The 40 week program assists aspiring entrepreneurs with a business idea, turn their vision into reality. CEED’s training, financing, coaching and advising is available to any and all looking to start or grow a business. If you’re thinking about starting your own venture, this could be the program for you!

Spotlighting CEEDlings

Each day, from Sunday October 14th to Saturday October 20th, we will be featuring one of our CEEDlings across our social media platforms. Keep an eye out to see which businesses we will be highlighting! This is a chance to get a glimpse of a CEEDling and their busines, hear about how CEED assisted them, and discover an important tidbit each business owner wants you to know about being your own boss!

Ryan Robicheau and Alissa Comeau will be representing CEED at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce’s Exploring Entrepreneurship: Networking Tradeshow being held at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront on Monday October 15th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. A panel of business owners from all different stages of business will talk about their lessons learned, ups and downs and offer expert advice. One of the panelists is Colin Duggan of Tidal Salt, a recent graduate of CEED’s Plan To SucCEED program. This is a great opportunity to network with lots of members of Halifax’s business community and it’s free to attend. Please stop by and say hello, we’d love to see you!

For more info, click here.

Hosting Our Start Smart Workshop

On Thursday, October 18th, Ryan Robicheau will help you kick start your business ideas with CEED. He will be hosting our Start Smart Workshop for free at the Tantallon Library form 6:30pm – 8:00pm. The workshop will explore local resources, introduce CEED’s programs and services including: loans, training and the Plan To SucCEED Program (which includes the Self Employment Benefits (SEB) option). Learn the basics of business planning while gaining the tools and resources you need to make your business idea a reality.

You will:

  • Explore Financing Options
  • Discover a simple approach to business planning
  • Gain knowledge around community resources for entrepreneurs
  • Receive a business plan guide (upon request)
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions about your business

To register, click here.

Presenting At The Sydney & Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Excellence in Business Awards

Also on Thursday, October 18th, our CEO Craig MacMullin, will be presenting the Best Effort To Improve The Cape Breton Regional Municipality award at the Sydney & Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Excellence in Business Awards being held at the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre in Sydney, NS. CEED prides itself on supporting entrepreneurship and small business across all of Nova Scotia and beyond!

For other events happening over small business week, click here!

Don’t miss the the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Shop Local contest! (Details below)

CEEDling Spotlight: Andrea Janzen Professional Coaching

A special blog post contribution by Andrea Janzen.

“I’m a leadership coach and I help professionals to recognize their ambition and strive for more in their careers. I help my clients to see opportunities, feel ready to take action and make things happen. I offer my clients a balanced perspective by linking the human side of the business to the bottom line. My newest program Re-ignite your Ambition helps companies to get more women into leadership positions by helping women to see their own potential and take the next step to play bigger.”

Andrea Janzen is a professional leadership coach. She is a Certified Executive Coach through Royal Roads University and an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. She has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University and a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. Andrea started with CEED in 2016, and graduated in November 2017.
We communicated with Andrea who has provided us with some insights on how CEED helped her on her entrepreneurial journey, and where this journey has taken her since starting her own business venture.

What services did you avail of? /How has CEED helped you as an entrepreneur/helped your business?

“Having a community of entrepreneurs was so important to me. Most of my friends and family were employees, so I didn’t really know a lot of people who owned their own businesses. CEED also helped me with some structure and systems to get everything up and running. The legal advice I received from McInnes Cooper was really helpful as well. It was also great to have someone believe in me and tell me that it was possible for me to be successful. Entrepreneurship is like an emotional roller coaster so having someone there to help you through the low points is crucial.”

What made you want to enter this market? /What spurred your business idea?

“Seeing untapped potential has always been frustrating for me. I became a leadership coach to help people tap into that potential and make things happen for themselves and also for the organization where they work. When I worked in the corporate world (I worked in marketing for 15 years), figuring out how the people all fit together was my favourite part of the job. My Re-ignite your Ambition program was inspired by an article I read in Chatelaine Magazine last year. It said that 83% of women in Canada were somewhat or not really ambitious, and 2/3 of them would not take their bosses job even if it was offered to them. These statistics shocked me a bit at first, but then they inspired me to do something about this. Everybody is talking about the gender gap these days, but if 2/3 of us are not even open to the idea of stepping up into a leadership role, this gap will never close. This program is my contribution to closing the gender gap and making organizations and our culture better for everybody. It’s taking an elephant sized problem and helping people see that as an individual they can contribute to the solution.”

What has surprised you thus far regarding your experience as an entrepreneur?

“The thing that surprised me the most is how open large organizations are to working with me. The world of executive coaching and leadership training is dominated by large established consulting firms, and most large organizations already have a relationship with one of the big ones. I didn’t think I’d be able to compete against these large consulting firms and get a big company as my client. I have to remember that all businesses are run by people and if you can connect with the right people, things will happen and bigger does not always mean better. This surprise was pretty amazing, and it’s given me the opportunity to think even bigger about what else I can create.”

How has your business adapted/changed since first starting?

“When I first started out, I was pretty general in the type of work I did. Once I started focusing on women’s leadership coaching, I realized that it was a niche I could focus on and really have an impact. The market was looking for opportunities like this, and to be honest women are just tired of waiting for things to change. I still have clients that are men, but most of my marketing these days is geared towards my women’s programs. Being more ambitious is appealing to everyone, and it is great for organizations to be able to tap into the potential of the people they have.”

What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business to date?

“The stories I hear from my clients. When people tell me that they’re getting promotions, when one of my clients bosses tells me they like the new confidence and risk taking that they’re seeing, when someone who hasn’t spoken in front of a big group stands up in my workshop and presents, when a client goes from being completely overwhelmed to feeling happy at work, when my clients boss goes out of their way to get them a raise. When people start to believe in themselves and step into their potential amazing things really happen, and the most rewarding part of my work is that I get to witness this all the time.”

Andrea Janzen MBA, CEC
Professional Coaching

(Pictured is Andrea Janzen.)

Juniorpreneur Summer Camp 2018 Highlights

Over the summer, CEED held 5 Juniorpreneur Camps across the province. We’re still in awe at both the success and determination of our campers and the support our campers received from their respective communities!

July 9-13: Kentville

CEED’s summer started out at the NSCC Kingstec Campus in Kentville. Sandra Snow, the mayor of Kentville expressed how impressed she was after our campers set up for business at the Kentville Farmer’s Market. She mentioned that the market was livelier than ever that Thursday, and surprised both our campers and staff with an invitation to set up their businesses once more that weekend!

July 16-20: Halifax

Next up was back at CEED’s office in Halifax. During the week CEED’s very own CEEDlings and representatives from our Summer Camp Sponsor, McInnes Cooper visited the camp to provide their knowledge and experience to our campers. Our campers this week must have learned a lot as over $2000 was raised across our 24 campers! A new record for our Juniorpreneur Camps!

July 30-August 3: New Glasgow

After that was CEED’s first ever Juniorpreneur Camp to be held in New Glasgow. The support from local entrepreneurs was very generous, and the camp was a huge success! Velsoft’s very own Jim Fitt stepped up to support our camp, bringing connections with the Big 8 plant and many local entrepreneurs. Needless to say, the youth of New Glasgow left camp with plenty of new skills gained from all the amazing experiences from over the week.

August 13-17: Truro

CEED then traveled to Truro, where local Juniorpreneur Success Zolen Perry offered to support the camp as CEED’s first ever Junior Camp Facilitator. Our campers took their ideas to the Truro’s Farmers Market and had a very successful sale day. Local entrepreneurs such as Dylan Langille from Broke Apparel, Brennan Gillis from the Truro & Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity and Jolene MacEarchern from the Industry Liaison & Innovation, were all blown away by the pitches our Truro campers put together!

August 20-24: Halifax

Finally, CEED ended our summer back for a second round in Halifax. This camp held the most returning Juniorpreneur Campers than ever before, bringing friends and business ideas along with them! The competition was fierce in this camp, with everyone group working hard to outperform each other. In the end, it was one of our most competitive pitch competitions and an excellent end to CEED’s summer.

All our highlight videos from each camp can be found on CEED’s Juniorpreneur camp page here. There you can also find more information about the camp, and how to register for our upcoming camps! We’re always surprised at what each camp brings, and we’re looking forward to what the youth of Nova Scotia will come up with next!

CEEDling Spotlight: Panache Luxury Linens

A special blog post contribution by Panache Luxury Linen founder Heather Whitman.

Panache began with a visit to CEED in fall of 2015 and we opened our beautiful shop the summer of 2016.” Heather Whitman, a “mother, entrepreneur, [and] empowerer of women”, started her journey with CEED through the SEB program.

Heather describes Panache Luxury Linens as “a boutique shop of the highest quality bed linens, down pillows, duvets, blankets, throws, loungewear, [and] bath and body products.

A specialist in residential interiors, corporate image design and design trend forecasting. Heather now combines her personal presentation skills and 26 years of related industry experience to educate on the importance of rest, inviting clients to embrace the sleep revolution by creating a sleep environment that will help to promote passion and productivity on a nightly basis.

What makes your venture special/unique? [and/or] What is a new exciting development?

Panache luxury linens has entered a niche luxury market in Halifax in bringing luxury linens previously available in Montreal or Toronto to the Hydrostone area of Halifax. The shop offers the opportunity to experience European quality and style with first hand interaction with these luxurious products. It is a visceral shopping experience at Panache. Both information and memories are shared while guiding our clients to the correct elements of rest for their individual sleep environment.

What has surprised you most so far regarding your experience as an entrepreneur?

Our greatest joy and surprise is how Halifax was ready and wanting to embrace a store of this quality. Entrepreneurship has its highs and lows but with continued focus on our clients and quality products we are growing.

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur just starting out?

Be flexible, listen and learn but stay true to your vision and brand. If you want others to believe in you and your brand, you have to believe in yourself and your brand first. At Panache the luxury is the quality of product and service you receive.

You can check out Panache Luxury Linens at:

3132 Isleville Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3K 2Y2

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday – 10am to 5pm
Thursday & Friday – 10am to 6pm

Or, visit their website here.

(Pictured is Heather Whitman.)

CEEDling Spotlight: B-Line Analytics

A special blog post contribution by B-Line Analytics Founder Aaron Short.

“As an entrepreneur, you often have to make decisions without discussing your options with others. CEED was extremely valuable in terms of giving us the framework to talk to customers, helping us realize the questions that should be asked and enhancing our marketing. It provided us with an extensive support network through other CEEDlings and the promotional campaigns through their networks and social media platforms. As well, CEED Business Advisors were fantastic to bounce ideas off of, sift through the ideas and helped us to focus our energy.”

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur just starting out?

“This choice of career demands a certain personality type. Being an entrepreneur means working more hours and having your life revolve around your business It is not easy and at times, it can feel as though you are alone, so it is important to surround yourself with people who are as passionate about the business as you are.

Entrepreneurship is about communication, preparation and opportunity meeting at the right time. Take the time to talk to customers and investors, know your audience, understand your value proposition and know how to tell your story in a way that resonates with people. The best pitch allows those not in your industry to understand your business.

Anybody can start a business but an entrepreneur takes the time to develop a business and has that tenacity to push through the hard times.”

In your opinion, what excelled B-Line Analytics to be the first international company to be accepted into the New Venture Challenge accelerator?

“Our team is strong and the progress/traction we had made with very little financial support was impressive. They noticed our passion and tenacity for B-Line Analytics, as well as liked the problem our business was solving. The Director of the New Venture Challenge had worked with an architecture firm for 25 years and when we pitched, he immediately understood our value proposition, knew a number of contacts he could put us in touch with and wanted to accelerate our growth based on that network. As well, I had experience, through pitch competitions and customer interviews, to be able to craft my pitch and tell our story well and concisely. Being able to do that spoke volumes to the accelerator team, whom later told me were very impressed with the pitch.”

How has your experience, thus far, been with the New Venture Challenge accelerator?

“This experience has been intense, but so great. A work-life balance has been almost impossible because we have been doing everything from financials to customer discovery all at the same time. They really are accelerating our growth and putting pressure on our company to see where it is strong and where it needs work and then helping us to fill those gaps to make it stronger.”

What are your future aspirations for B-Line Analytics?

“We’ve been asked to apply to two different accelerators, the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto and Eco-Fuel in Montreal, which will be lining up for the fall. As well, we are hoping to open a sales office in the US because we have made so many great contacts in the US; however, we plan to keep our research and development in Canada.”

(Pictured is B-Line Analytics involvement and collaboration with Halifax Bike Week.)

CEED Programs are delivered in partnership with ACOA and the Province of Nova Scotia