By Shawn Cunningham
For 20 years the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development (CEED) has been providing support to local entrepreneurs. As Manager of CEED’s Financing Programs I am proud to say that about 150 entrepreneurs start their businesses via loan programs, entrepreneurial training and the Self Employment Benefit program at CEED each year.
Many successful local businesses got started with CEED’s help, including; Atlantic Cirque Ltd, Halifax Backpackers, Fiddleheads Kids Shop Inc, Adventurers Child Care Centre, The Hubspace People Innovation, iHeart Bikes, Grape Escapes Nova Scotia Wine Tours and Atlantic Montessori School.
Popular food establishments are also supported by CEED, these include; Liquid Gold Olive Oils & Vinegars, Highland Drive Storehouse, Talay Thai & Cha Baa Thai restaurants, Two If By Sea Café Inc, Brooklyn Warehouse, EDNA Restaurant Limited, Wild Leek Food & Juice Bar Inc, Ratinaud French Cuisine, Indochine Banh Mi, Que Tal Mexican Food and food trucks operators Nomad Gourmet, The Food Wolf & The Battered Fish. Also, opening soon on Gottingen Street is Field Guide Limited.
The ACOA Seed Capital Program delivered by CEED provides low interest loans up to $20,000 for business start-ups in Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford by entrepreneurs age 18 & up. The program also offers business growth loans for those ages 18-34. Each loan client has access to a $2,000 grant for business management training and consulting support.
Over 575 Seed Capital Program loans have been disbursed by CEED totaling $6,343,000. In addition CEED has leveraged almost $15,000,000 in funding from other sources for Seed Capital Program clients. It’s notable that 80% of the businesses funded during the last five years are still in business.
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) offers young entrepreneurs ages 18-39 a packaged product that includes mentorship and up to $15,000 in financing. The funds can be applied to starting a business, or buying a vehicle for business use. Clients may also qualify for a match or double match of financing up to $30,000 via CYBF’s partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
The Self Employment Benefits Program (SEB) assists aspiring entrepreneurs to become self-sufficient through self-employment. This 40 week Employment Nova Scotia program is available to those who are unemployed and who are Employment Insurance (EI) eligible or have had a previous EI claim in the last three years (five years for parental leave). It provides them with income and entrepreneurial support as they start a business. The program is comprised of mandatory business training workshops and ongoing support from SEB Business Advisors.
We offer a wide variety of free and low cost entrepreneurial skills workshops and training programs that are open to the public. Popular topics are Bookkeeping & Tax Requirements, HR Fundamentals, Social Media, The Legalities of It All and Intellectual Property. Quickbooks & Simply Accounting training is also offered.
How do you get started? It’s easy. Attend one of our free 1 ½ hour Start Smart workshops that are held every two weeks.
For more information contact me at 407-7403 or visit our workshop calendar.
Shawn Cunningham is Manager of CEED Financing Programs.He leads CEED staff in delivery of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and ACOA Seed Capital Program loans. Shawn has over 34 years experience in supporting entrepreneurs throughout the Maritimes by delivering small business financing, training and counselling. Shawn operated his own business and has had extensive careers at BDC and CEED.