The CEED Program

The CEED Self-Employment Benefits (SEB) Program helps unemployed individuals start a business from idea to launch with financial and entrepreneurial assistance.

Our intensive 40-week program, pairs participants with a dedicated Business Advisor who provides individualized support and one-on-one coaching. Each of CEED’s Advisors has owned and operated their own business. Together, they work to help participants build capacity and maximize resources in order to succeed.

Participants also benefit from CEED’s comprehensive business skills training. Our highly-effective approach to learning combines peer learning and experimentation. We offer our entrepreneurs innovative opportunities to build and grow their businesses through:

  • Collaboration with peers
  • Experiential learning
  • Hands-on workshops
  • Technology to spark innovation
  • Positive risk-taking

This unique combination of training and support provides clients with the practical experience they need to be successful.

If you are interested in the CEED Program, we have two program streams for you to consider:

EI Stream

Our Employment Insurance (EI) stream is for unemployed and underemployed individuals who are EI eligible or have had an EI claim in the last five years.

To apply, the first step is visit the Nova Scotia Works Centre in your area. They will advise you on your options, and help you with your self-employment application process by reviewing eligibility requirements, assisting you with completing CEED’s application forms, and referring you to our next Orientation Session.

The application process takes approximately five weeks to complete. To remain eligible, you cannot start to actively operate your business until the completion of this process.

Non-EI Stream

Not eligible for assistance from Employment Nova Scotia? Still interested in having a dedicated CEED Business Advisor and benefiting from our essential business skills training? Contact us directly to discuss our options and pricing.

Still have questions? Download our Frequently Asked Questions, call us at (902) 421-2333, email us at, or visit Employment Nova Scotia.

Our financing supports more than 40 new businesses each year