AMHERST, N.S. – How can Nova Scotia attract and support high-growth businesses in Nova Scotia?
That was the gist of the question Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil and NSCC president Don Bureaux recently posed, via the internet, to students throughout the Nova Scotia Community College network.
The question was recently asked at 10 a.m., and the 93 teams, comprised of more than 400 students had until 10 p.m. to create a 90-second video outlining their solution.
Two three-person teams from NSCC Cumberland Campus, from both Springhill and Amherst, spent 12 hours at the Amherst Learning Centre developing their video.
Team 21, Breanna MacKinnon, Ariane Caissie and Dana Harrison, focused on making it easier for entrepreneurs to navigate programs already in place.
“Agencies like the CBDC and the Northern Connector Program already bring valuable employees and funding but many potential entrepreneurs have no idea these resources are actually available,” Harrison said. “Everything they want already exists but they need an umbrella to show them the way. It’s a matter of marketing and advertising.”
A long-term strategy includes marketing to young children to help to create entrepreneurs.
“We would like to go into the schools and educational facilities, including elementary schools,” Harrison said. “You can plant the seed of ideas when they’re young and it can grow from there.”
Team 22, Ben Kendrick, Lillian Sanderson and Klancy Beal, focused on holding a business fair.
“You throw an event where entrepreneurs can present their ideas,” Beal said. “They go to one location and set up their business models and during that time investors walk through the event and determine what businesses they’d like to invest in.”
Team 22 focused on five different categories; agriculture, technology, environment, retail, and trades.
“It would be like a national business fair where businesses could look at your idea and help you evolve it,” said Sanderson.
Both teams said the challenge was a fun process.
“Brainstorming and learning what we’re best at and what we can work on has helped us get to know each other,” Beal said.
Team submissions will be reviewed by external judges and the top three teams will receive cash prizes of $2,000, $1500 and $1,000.
The top three teams will also have their videos presented to premier McNeil.