Juniorpreneur 2019 Spotlight

If I were to say that, we are now in a new era of entrepreneurism, with highly proficient self-employers who are making more new businesses than ever to compete with the massive monopolies and a stagnant economy, would you believe it?

The fact of the matter is, as time goes on there are less and less entrepreneurs and self-starters creating innovative businesses than we have seen in the past 50 years. In actuality, the entrepreneurs who do decide to venture into the self-owned business world have an average age of 40 years old, leaving a question mark as to and why there are less young entrepreneurs than ever. Simply put, this is attributed to the low net worth owned by young aspiring entrepreneurs, paired with the high startup costs and risks involved in starting a business. Moreover, in a time where debts, housing and other costs are rising exponentially, why would younger generations take on one of the riskiest career paths in entrepreneurship?

While this may sound bleak, there are some, who are actively trying to change the status quo and help new entrepreneurs get a footing. The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) helps not only adults get their business off the ground, but aids in introducing entrepreneurship to younger generations. CEED hopes that one day these future executives will use their self-employment to create new jobs, and a faster more fluid economy. This is all made possible through Juniorpreneur Camp 2019.



Juniorpreneur Camp is a five-day ‘create your own business camp’ where campers will pair into groups of 3 – 4 and let their imaginations run loose in creating their own functioning enterprises. Read below for a week of Juniorpreneur activities!




Come into camp and meet everyone! They will find like-minded campers and separate into groups to start brainstorming ideas for their business. The day is not without its fun, games and informational activities. The day is spent blueprinting, planning products/services and the early stages of sculpting potential market and customers.


Campers begin to nail down their business ideas, as they will have to have everything up and running in two days for sale day! CEED facilitators and leaders give guidance, and help to shape ideas into real, physical businesses. Aside from creating products, services and advertisements, the aspiring entrepreneurs will be learning what keeps a business afloat and how to keep working on their businesses, even after camp ends.


Today is a day of hands on learning, as we leave CEED headquarters and head for Downtown Halifax in search of entrepreneurs and other fun business related activities. All activities today will be both entertaining and informative, with a goal of teaching campers how a real entrepreneurial venture is operated. Last year we visited the Discovery Centre and the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, where CEED alumni explained their business and how it came to where it is today.


Sale day! Be prepared to broadcast your advertisements and set up shop in the mall just outside of CEED. In years past, campers have sold cookies and other baked goods, homemade valuables such as earrings or other jewelry and even services like shoe cleaners! As any real business would operate, campers will sell their product/service and keep their profits! Last year campers went home with an average of $150, while one group made an astounding $1,200 each! Campers will have the choice to donate a portion of their earnings to a charity of their choosing, with help from CEED.


Today is the day campers present their businesses to the world, including a podium of judges who will give them feedback on their businesses and recommendations on how to improve it. In a quick elevator pitch style presentation, campers put their businesses to the final test in determining how viable their business is. Awards are presented to wrap the day up, with new companies winning awards in sales, customer service, marketing and more.

To find an example of a successful Juniorpreneur Camp business, look no further than Beach Coast Earrings. This luxury homemade earring seller came together in CEED’s hallways, and now operates as a full time business! With multiple different products on the market, this group of girls have a serious future in entrepreneurship. They were deemed so successful that they were nominated and awarded the Youth Business Award by the Family Business Association.

“CEED has taught us that creating a business is not just about having a business. It’s about working together as a team to generate ideas and come up with solutions to problems and make the product even better! And we did!”

– Beach Coast Earrings executives and Juniorpreneur Alumni


CEED is incredibly proud of this young group of self -starters, and the many more who have created successful, sustaining businesses from Juniorpreneur camp!

Want to learn more about Juniorpreneur Camp 2019? Need to know how to enroll? Check out the link below for a detailed summary of camp, and more!

Juniorpreneur Camp


With more and more information released every day about the harm done to the Earth by industrial animal agriculture, questioning and re-evaluating options for a nutritious but also eco-friendly and sustainable diet has become increasingly commonplace. If not meat, then what? When it comes to replacing meat with more eco-friendly choices in your diet, some may turn to traditional plant-based proteins, some may rely upon dietary supplements, but these options are not everything the world has to offer.

Point being; if you live in Atlantic Canada, one protein-packed, vitamin and mineral-rich food capable of being brought to market with a low carbon footprint is found literally all around us. This is the point CEO Taylor Widrig made clear with her creation of the sea-cuisine company: Mermaid Fare.

In business since 2013, Mermaid Fare produces high-value, nutrient-dense, edible sea vegetables and sea vegetable-based products. In North America, an appreciation for sea vegetables as a food source is young but growing. Mermaid Fare is tapping into the potential of this emerging market sector and provides healthy and environmentally friendly options for the savvy, ecological consumer.

Healthy and environmentally friendly are theme words here, as these are the two principles with which Taylor Widrig focused on when starting her company. After graduating culinary school in Northern California, she started her journey with Mermaid Fare by educating, teaching classes and catering to soon-to-be sea vegetable lovers. After realizing the potential that sea vegetables carry, Widrig decided to make a pivotal change to her business idea and cultivate, harvest, process and package her own product line, so she could sell her super-foods directly to her customer base.

In 2018, Widrig came to CEED with the hopes of expanding her already up and running business.  She found help in CEED’s Impact Loan Program where, paired with a seasoned advisor, Widrig was provided guidance with her business plan and financial projections.

Two of Taylor Widrig’s main aspirations with her company were to promote human health and a healthy, sustainable environment. These ambitions have grown to include a commitment to adding value to the health of local communities. In doing so, Mermaid Fare has teamed with DASC (Dartmouth Adult Services Centre) to handle product packaging.

Earlier this year, Widrig was nominated and attended the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference on behalf of the United Nations Development Program representing Canada. This opportunity afforded Widrig the knowledge and experience of other sustainable business owners and public figures across the globe, while they work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals call to action. At the conference, Widrig spoke about the value of social enterprise.

“It was the most unexpected happening and felt like the greatest honour beyond words to describe.”

With all products sourced within Atlantic Canada, and the cultivated Sugar Kelp and Alaria species overseen by two experts in the aquaculture industry – Dr. Thierry Chopin, Professor of Marine Biology at the University of New Brunswick and a world-renowned seaweed expert specializing in Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture, and Dr. Steven Backman, owner of Magellan Aqua Farms and a pioneer in fish veterinarian medicine – Widrig is leagues ahead of competitors in the ecological movement, and is well on her way to accomplishing UN set goals.

The potential for the success of Mermaid Fare to develop a novel product with a new, sustainable model is one that resonates just as audibly as the blooming sea vegetable market. CEED stands firmly behind new industry leaders by helping them to SucCEED, and aspires to shape more CEED alumni with the same ambition and innovation as Mermaid Fare CEO Taylor Widrig.

What’s new with Mermaid Fare?

One of Widrig’s latest feats has been in the world of literature. With her writing and release of Mermaid Seaweed Colouring & Recipe book she has reached out to youth in hopes of creating a healthier and more sustainable tomorrow. With the help of Nimbus Publishing, she is hoping to add further to the book with more recipes, ocean conservation, mermaid folklore, and the way of the mermaid.

To learn more and stay up to date on Mermaid Fare and any events visit their website: https://mermaidfare.com/









CEEDling Spotlight: Pick Empowerment

A special blog post contribution by Charlene Pickrem, owner of Pick Empowerment.

Pick Empowerment assists individuals, teams, and families grow to succeed! Offering the most valid and reliable personality assessment on the market today. Charlene Pickrem, CYC-P, (MA)CYS, SEIC©, radio host of Mental Health – Let’s Talk About it! and president of Pick Empowerment can provide a variety of engaging, context specific needs awareness strategies to address twenty six social and emotional intelligence skills. Enhancing your or another’s self-awareness, awareness of other, self regulation and management of other is a win-win for everyone playing in the sandbox of life.

Charlene started with CEED in April 2016 by attending recommended classes and meetings with mentor support and free membership to the Centre for Women in Business.

“I had NO business education and worked for a not for profit society when I became a facilitator at a private college. I had a lot to learn and that is what I liked most about the CEED program. There were a variety of foundational classes to get your toes wet and see if the business you were proposing was even plausible. Learning about the coaching market, competitors in Nova Scotia, importance of networking, the legal ramifications of owning your own business, the responsibilities and costs. I still remember being told that 85% of small business owners don’t make it past year three. I am here!”

Charlene tells the story of how she came to create what became Pick Empowerment:

“The idea of facilitating and conducting workshops to assist an [individual and/or] teams mental health well-being was not a new idea as a long term goal. What did change was becoming certified as a Social + Emotional Intelligence Profiler and Coach©. After working twenty years as a Residential Child and Youth Care Practitioner (RCYC-P) struggling with my own mental health/illness, facilitating at the college and university level I started Pick Empowerment to assist others to grow.”

“Pick Empowerment is unique because we are local, Nova Scotia is [my] target market and it is where [I want] to work with others. I try my best to meet my clients face-to-face to discuss challenges and to see if we would work well together. A connection needs to be genuine, growth can be uncomfortable, relational practice is best practice.”

Charlene reflects on what she’s learned in the past 3 years, explaining her process on how she came to recently re-brand Pick Empowerment:

“The past three years has allowed me the opportunity to try, fail, learn, try again and again. The entrepreneurial journey has provided me many learning opportunities and I don’t see that changing. What I have realized is the journey may change, but my purpose/brand will not- it will be my foundation. I wanted my own logo and I wanted it to tell the story. Why do I do what I do? I want to see your gardens grow. Go to my blog to read about Pick Empowerments logo.”

Visit Charlene’s new Pick Empowerment website at pickempowerment.ca
Or follow her social media:

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.)

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