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 AGM – Wine & Cheese

On Thursday June 14th, the Board Directors for the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) and the Society for Enterprise Education and Development (SEED) met alongside CEED’s Executive Staff for a full day of meetings. In the morning, SEED held its AGM, followed by an Executive Committee Meeting. This was followed shortly by CEED’s AGM and Board of Director’s Meeting. These meetings were the last for outgoing board members Rebecca King and Dr .Robert Berard, who have come to the end of their terms.

“CEED has benefited enormously from Rebecca’s and Robert’s expertise and professionalism over the past several years,” says Craig MacMullan, CEO.

“And while both these individuals pack several decades of profound financial and education acumen [respectively], they’re also both excellent examples of what it takes to be successful as entrepreneurs: their openness to change, ability to pivot, and determination to succeed has really bode well for the organization over the years. I would classify them as having genuinely born entrepreneurial spirits.”

The purpose of these meetings was to have the Senior Staff and Board of Directors collaborate and discuss the successes and challenges of the past year, as well as future opportunities. One major initiative of the Executive Team discussed and supported by the Board at these meetings are their plans to reboot the Self Employment Benefit (SEB) Program and revamp our overall educational curriculum. Following the meetings, the Board of Directors and the entire CEED team — including our new Loans and Development Officer Ryan Robicheau– came together for a Wine and Cheese social to unwind and celebrate everyone’s hard work.

CEEDling Spotlight: Freak Lunchbox

A special blog post contribution by Freak Lunchbox Co-Owner Jeremy Smith.

“Freak Lunchbox is a candy and novelty store founded in early 2001 on Barrington Street in Halifax by Erin Schwanz and Jeremy Smith. Freak Lunchbox searches the world to find the weirdest, newest and hippest candy and pop culture items on the market. For eighteen years Freak Lunchbox has been embraced and loved by locals and visitors alike. The company has focused on consistent and slow but passionate growth. The company now holds five retail locations.”

When did you start with CEED and what services did you avail of?

“We began with CEED late 2000 / early 2001 in need of a small business loan. Fresh out of school (Ontario College of Art / University of Toronto) we had little equity but a lot of passion. I was working as a commercial sign and mural painter in Toronto before re-locating to Halifax and there was a lack of need for the specialized services in this area. So opening a shop was the way to go – out of pure necessity.”

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

“The original location especially was a labour of love. We were and are very hands on. The design and interior of the shop is all by hand and still is in our new locations. All of the signs are hand-painted and the design reflects the passion behind the type of product mix and environment that our 24-year-old selves love to work in. We still strive to keep that youthful attitude and inspiration towards the business and everything we do.”

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

“Having worked as an entrepreneur in the sign and mural contracting business, I had a few tough lessons before stepping into Freak Lunchbox. I think it was good training ground for keeping everything extremely tight and knowing how to prepare for the unexpected. In hindsight, the surprise was the instant recognition from the public that we were doing something different from the get-go and how extremely passionate we were about making that work… despite being financially quite trim in those early days.”

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

“I would say trust your gut: you’ll know if it is the right move. As the slogan goes… ‘Just do it’.”

(Pictured is Jeremy Smith getting hands-on creative with the store’s decal.)

CEED & CCSBE Conference

The Canadian Council for SMEs and Entrepreneurship (CCSBE) conference, hosted by Dalhousie University (LaunchDal), commences today and CEED could not be more excited.

CCSBE is the leading organization, within Canada, in fostering entrepreneurs and small businesses. They continuously work to build a network of academics, practitioners and policy makers inclined to examine, explore and share best practices and research in the field. With this conference, CCSBE has given their members and the public an advantageous opportunity to listen to world class speakers, such as Saras D. Sarasvathy, Alex Bruton and Bill Ault, to name a few, and learn from their experiences and their successes. We at CEED are thoroughly looking forward to attending and learning more ourselves, as Woody Allen says, “Eighty percent of life is showing up.”

Along with the keynote speakers, three of our very own CEED staff– Craig MacMullin, CEO, Ed Leach, Director of Education, and Robin Grant, Education & Communications Coordinator– will be presenting their papers and speaking about two leading edge programs. Collectively, they will be presenting their paper “Above the Median: An Entrepreneurship Pilot for Older Adults,” advocating for seniors to engage in entrepreneurship. As well, Robin will be presenting a paper concerning “Vanguard Entrepreneurs: Engaging a Critical Pedagogy of Place,” advocating for the empowering the next wave of entrepreneurs through awareness of self and local in our present day entrepreneurship ecosystem.

This will be a tremendously educational couple of days and we hope to see some familiar faces!

Our CEEDlings and alumni have the opportunity to attend at a discounted rate, obtain the promo code by emailing: info@ceed.ca

March Break Juniorpreneur Camp 2018

Juniorpreneur Camp was a lot of fun, and we’re so impressed by the remarkable talent that walked through our doors for this year’s Juniorpreneur March Break, March 12-16.

We had a full house– 20 young budding entrepreneurs ages 8-14 years. These bright young campers grouped together as teams and worked hard to develop business ideas over the week. Finally, on Thursday, March 15 they all got to cash-in on their product development and customer-savvy skills and bring their products to market at the Bayers Road Business Centre’s “Juniorpreneur Marketplace.”

Candy Bombs

The two girls behind Candy Bombs thought it would be a unique idea to sell homemade bath bombs and elaborate, colourful candy kabobs. Their products may have been higher priced than other team’s, but their profits made their work worthwhile!

The Wam Parlor

The team behind The Wam Parlor packed a *wam* with a wonderful variety of products to sell, including used books, baked goods, and delicious homemade bubble tea.

Mr. Candy

The four juniorpreneurs from Mr. Candy chose to invest in a popcorn machine– and they chose wisely! Their purchasing costs were  covered by popcorn sales  alone! And while the popcorn kinda stole the show, they also sold assorted candy  bags and popsicles.

Sophie’s Sweets

Our one solo ‘preneur sold out of all her brownies, cupcakes and adorably sweet homemade earrings! The items and her fun-filled dance routine were a huge hit among staff working in Bayers Road Centre.

Piggly’s Pastries & Fun

Four active campers set up the ball toss and magnetic dart games with prizes to attract passers-by, and while they had these new customer’s attention, they managed to sell them delicious homemade treats as well.

The Green Café

The group of three boys took a different approach from all the others by deciding to sell healthy “green” snacks such as apple cider drinks and homemade sandwiches and salads. (It was great to have the healthy alternative!)

A&L Sweet Treats

Cashing in on a need for more drink items (other than the Wam Parlors’ bubble teas, of course). A&L sold fruit smoothies along with other delicious homemade snacks such as brownies and crackers.

Our March Break marketplace made a combined total of over $1,400 in gross profits, while two of our seven teams donated a percentage to the IWK and the SPCA charities.

Thank you to all of CEED staff, parents, campers and volunteers who came together to make this Juniorpreneur Camp such a success! A special thank you to our co-op students who were here for the semester: Douglas Wetmore who organized plenty of the camp’s logistics, and Laura Hines who organized the camp’s public relations.

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!

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 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.

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.

Men who share Weir’s struggle of finding stylish clothes need to look no further. Large Lad’s Clothing is a high quality, breathable and vented clothing line aimed at helping the larger man feel his best every day. His wide selection of apparel has amassed many followers which he refers to as a brotherhood called: “The Tribe”. Weir’s concept for the brotherhood aims to help create his brand power contribute to the growing movement of men’s’ body positivity.

Having only opened his business in January 2016, Weir has been very pleased with the response thus far. Although found primarily online, his clothing is available for purchase in-store from Truro, NS all the way to Austin, TX.

Large Lad Clothing has received many major endorsements from ambassadors who proudly promote Weir’s line. Affiliations with DJ IV, Plus Model Mag, DJ Sneak, and The Chubstr Blog as well as many other influencers, magazines and blogs have been incredible additions to Weir’s success story.

In spite of having faced many hardships along his journey, James Weir has overcome plenty of adversity and he continues to “keep pushing forward”. He plans take to advantage of every opportunity he is given to share his business’ passion and to keep learning from his mistakes. Weir truly exhibits what it means to be an ambitious entrepreneur, and he embodies the resilience it takes to be successful. As he puts it, he plans to “Go hard to the end, bitter or sweet” but with his great spirit, it will surely be sweet.

(Pictured is James Weir, left, with Interviewer & Co-op Student, Gabe Roy, right.)

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