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Build a better business at the NSCC Cumberland Connects Conference Wednesday morning

Business Administration students at the NSCC Amherst Learning Centre worked since September to roll out the inaugural the Cumberland Connects Conference that is happening April 10. Joining the students in the photo is their instructor, (front, third from left) Lisa Gower.
Business Administration students at the NSCC Amherst Learning Centre worked since September to roll out the inaugural the Cumberland Connects Conference that is happening April 10. Joining the students in the photo is their instructor, (front, third from left) Lisa Gower. - Dave Mathieson

AMHERST, N.S. – NSCC business students hope a $25 investment will pay huge dividends for entrepreneurs and business people attending the Cumberland Connects Conference Wednesday, April 10 at the NSCC Amherst Learning Centre.

“The class did a survey where we asked small businesses in Cumberland County what they’re needs are and what the community can do to help support businesses more,” said Lisa Gower, instructor at the School of Business at NSCC in Amherst.

“They said they need to learn more about marketing, branding, promotion, and human resource planning to help with the recruitment and retention of employees,” added Gower. “So those are the topics we’ve shaped our conference around.”

The conference recruited keynote speakers from throughout Nova Scotia.

“Danny Graham of Engage Nova Scotia is our main speaker,” said Gower.

Besides Graham, the chief engagement officer at Engage Nova Scotia, other speakers are: branding expert Brittany Pickrem; NSCC HR planning manager Lindsay Oram; HR Pros Inc. managing partner Tanya Sieliakus; and Clark Hanna, director of human resources at Oxford Frozen Group.

Alongside the speakers, the conference will also feature 14 organizations that help entrepreneurs and businesses network, collaborate, and learn what it takes to make a business flourish.

“They will set up booths and they’re going to be here to say, ‘here’s how we can help you with funding, here’s how we can help you with grants, and here’s all the other things you can do to help your business,’” said Gower.

The Cumberland Connects Conference is a project started in September by first and second year NSCC business students.

“It transpired over three different courses taught throughout the year to build on their skill levels,” said Gower. “The students did this in addition to their course load and their lives. It’s a heavy work load but it’s a great learning experience.”

The conference runs April 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and includes breakfast catered by Duncan’s Pub.

Conference registration is $25 per person and can be paid in advance at the NSCC Learning Centre in Amherst, or online at the Amherst & Area Chamber of Commerce by going to their event calendar page, and then clicking on the April 10 ‘NSCC Business Event.’

All proceeds from registration will support student bursaries and scholarships.

The agenda is as follows:

7:30 to 8:00 a.m. – Registration, breakfast & networking sponsored by the BDC

8 to 8:15 a.m. – Opening remarks & welcome

8:15 to 9 a.m. ­– Keynote 1: Danny Graham, Engage Nova Scotia

9 to 9:45 a.m. – Keynote 2: Brittany Pickrem, Branding Expert sponsored by CBDC

9:45 to 10 a.m. – Networking Break

10 to 11 a.m. – Interactive HR Panel sponsored by Cumberland Business Connector:

• Clark Hanna, HR Director, Oxford Food Group

• Tanya Sieliakus, HR Pros Inc. Managing Partner

• Lindsey Oram, NSCC HR Planning Manager

11 a.m. to Noon – Cumberland Business Connector Showcase Organizations include: ISANS, CBDC, BDC, NS Works, Municipality of Cumberland, Town of Amherst, Nova Social, NSCC, Cormier Weatherbee CPAs, and Office of Small and Medium Enterprises.

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