Community Economic Development Projects and Stories

Hants-Kings Business Development Centre undertakes a number of special projects and assists community groups with their projects throughout the year. The following is a summary of some of these community economic development projects and stories:

In March 1999 the CBDC signed a contract with HRDC in cooperation with Annapolis Ventures to deliver a Canada Job Fund Program in Kings and Annapolis Counties. The CBDC's responsibility was for Kings County, where seven people were funded. Individuals receive $200 a week for 34 weeks while starting their business.

Over the Summer of 1999 the CBDC participated in successful negotiations with the other partners of the Enterprise Centre of Hants County and HRDC to deliver the youth entrepreneurial program Future Quest. The program consisted of six months of financial support, counseling, and training; followed by six months follow-up. The BDC managed this project, which allowed three youth interns to gain invaluable training.

The CBDC assisted with the development of a business plan and funding proposal for the Hockey Heritage Centre. A commitment was received from Howard Johnson's to work with the group to build a hotel in Windsor as part of the project. The project group found a franchisee for the hotel and sports complex and submitted a Millennium proposal for developing physical and electronic displays for the museum.

The CBDC assisted the completion of a business plan and funding proposal for the East Hants Museum Society and the Municipality of East Hants to operate a Tinsmith economuseum in Shubenacadie. A proposal was submitted to the Millenium Fund and the Municipality of East Hants has reviewed the business plan and committed up to $60,000 over two years to the project that has many community economic spin-offs.

The CBDC assisted with the organization of the Hants County Crafters and Artisans Association and its first annual training conference that was held in Milford in January 2000. High quality, professional development sessions were held, and a commitment was made by 67 crafters in attendance to start an association.

The CBDC assisted with the development of a business plan for a high tech multimedia school in Windsor. The school would be similar to the famous Vancouver Film School and operated by one of its founders. A Community Economic Development Investment Fund application was completed and submitted to the province.

The CBDC arranged for a retail and wholesale craft marketing plan to be developed for Hants County craft and cottage industry producers. A trade name of "Handmade in Hants" was established and the development of a website started. The Craft Association will monitor and implement the plan. A proposal to the NS Department of Culture & Tourism to develop a Cultural Strategy for Hants County was a spin-off of this project.

The CBDC assisted in the establishment of a Hants County Micro Loan Fund for Social Assistance recipients, first of its kind in Nova Scotia. Initially tested on the youth participants of Future Quest Program, it was anticipated the fund could continue to be utilized by community residents in need.

The CBDC provided assistance to a Windsor Forks resident to develop a Community Economic Development Investment Fund application and business plan to produce an IMAX movie in conjunction with LEGO and Doug Trumbull, who won an Oscar for doing the special effects for 2001, A Space Odessey.

The CBDC assisted in the development of a retail coop in Windsor for community residents with significant barriers to employment.. The coop was to assist youth and Social Assistance recipients to create permanent jobs for themselves. The idea has been put on hold to allow for the development of a eco-tourism coop structure that would bring visitors to the area, create employment, and promote the Fundy shore.

In April 2001 the CBDC discussed "The Changing World of Work" with two entrepreneurship classes at Hants East Rural High School. This is only one example of the CBDC's contribution to the development of the entrepreneurial spirit in youth of all ages. This effort is reinforced annually through the CBDC's volunteer efforts through the multitude of Junior Achievement Programs available at a variety of education levels, including the Economics of Staying in School, Business Basics, and the Business Game.

In April 2001 the CBDC partnered with the Department of Community Services in Hants and Kings Counties on a pilot project to provide financing to Social Assistance Recipient clients to start their own business.

In October 2002 the CBDC participated in a "Go Venture" presentation on an interactive entrepreneurship tool for youth. It was then launched in partnership with the Kentville Career Resource Centre, Elmsdale Job Search Centre, and Open For Business in Windsor. Another high tech tool for youth entrepreneurs, "Spotting the Entrepreneur and Business Survival Guide CD-ROM's", was launched in partnership with a number of community stakeholders and funding partners in 2003.

Spring 2003 the CBDC developed and facilitated the workshop "The Nuts & Bolts of Becoming and Entrepreneur". This workshop continues to be offered through a new partnership with Futureworx Job Search Centre developed in June 2004 to assist their clients with their entrepreneurial aspirations.

In June 2004 the CBDC assisted the Hants Regional Development Authority and the communities members involved in the Burncoat Park Project with their proposal to secure funding.

The CBDC over a span of two and a half years, June 2007 to December 2009, worked with CBDC Restigouche and the National HR Pilot Project. In particular staff worked with two small local businesses in East Hants to test and implement a series of HR tools / practices, including the development of a comprehensive HR Practices Manual for each of the participating businesses.

As these short stories demonstrate, Hants-Kings Business Development Centre is an active community partner that assists both its counties in their community economic development. Using a grassroots approach community projects are brought to light.

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