Build a strong network of social enterprises (help to connect the full ecosystem of players, host a bi-annual conference/workshop event, broad consultation on key issues in sector development, etc.)
|A to Z
CEED (Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development)
CEED's networking page meant for connecting their community of entrepreneurs to businesses at all stages of growth and development. Potential for Social Enterprise community engagement in the form of knowledge and resource-sharing, education, and training. (See the Skills section for specific information on access to training).
|Community, Education, Training, Business Development
The Canadian CED Network Membership Sign-Up
CCEDNet (The Canadian Community Economic Development Network)
The Canadian CED Network offers individuals or groups who share their values (inclusion, diversity and equity) the opportunity to become part of a nation-wide network that aims to grow, strengthen, and give democratic sovereignty to the sustainable and inclusive communities across Canada who wish to direct their own social, economic, and environmental futures. Individual and Group membership rates are offered, with different levels of membership and corresponding rates for each of those categories. A Student/Low Income rate of $40 is offered, with the option to request a further reduced rate as part of CED's barrier-free policy. A breakdown of all levels of membership fees can be found at the link provided. You can also sign up for CED's newsletter to receive information on the national movement without becoming a member.
|Community, Membership, Education, Training, Business Development
CED Nova Scotia Chapter
CCEDNet (The Canadian Community Economic Development Network)
Nova Scotia-specific resources, communities, and event links page on the CCEDNet website. Directory lookup for NS members (individual and groups) of the Community Economic Development Network, including local social enterprises that exist for the purpose of aiding fledgling businesses (Common Good Solutions).
|Community, Events, Membership, Social Enterprise, Business Development
CCRN Research Library
Canadian Co-operative Research Network (CCRN)
A Canadian-based network of "journal articles, trade publications, and archived document on co-operatives from around the world," with access to over 1800 files, including information on the social economy and social enterprises. Not specifically Atlantic Canada-centric (though linked to Halifax's Mount St. Vincent University), but nonetheless a great resource for those looking to carry out deeper research into co-operative communities and their economies.
|Research, Co-ops, Social Enterprise, Community, Directory
Start and Grow a Social Enterprise
Canada Business Network
The Canadian Government's Canada Business Network has a directory of information and resources specifically geared towards social entrepreneurs. The site seems to target persons or groups that currently own or operate not-for-profit organizations and who are thinking of beginning business operations to generate income in support of their mission and its sustainability. The information is nonetheless quite general and can be applied to any small-to-medium business or social enterprise. (See also: Skills)
|Social Enterprise, Research, SME, Training, Business Development, Directory, Not-for-Profit
Entrepeer Hub + Experience
Futurpreneur is a business incubator offering skills-training resources, potential start-up funding, and access to one-to-one mentorship.The Entrepeer Hub is their online network for new and upcoming entrepreneurs, accessed through a LinkedIn group that includes "experienced business owners, mentors and volunteer experts with specialized business skills." Not specifically for social entrepreneurs, emerging social enterprises may nevertheless find the resources and mentorship program useful. The Entrepeer Experience is a service (requiring registration) that offers to connect young entrepreneurs through community events to "local business leaders for support, collaboration and networking."
|Business Development, Mentorship, Advising Membership, Training, Community, Events
CESO - Aboriginal Services
Canadian Executive Service Organization
The Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) provides a portal specifically for Aboriginal business owners to connect with experts in different professions. Joining the organization's network provides access to individual and team mentoring, peer support, coaching, advisory services, workshops, and training. Cost: Maybe
|Diversity Initiatives, Business Development, Advising, Membership
Homepage - Black Business Initiative
Black Business Initiative (Nova Scotia)
Homepage for the Black Business Initiative, an organization for the strengthening of Black business in NS, offering business resources, training, and support for entreprenerial African Nova Scotians. An Events page shows key business events upcoming in Halifax and beyond, and a Community page collects articles and information on Black business success and activity in the province. (See also: Skills)
|Diversity Initiatives, Business Development, Advising, Membership, Community, Events
Membership - Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia
SENNS (Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia)
Being a member of SENNS will keep you connected to the wider project of building a better Nova Scotia. You have the option to be recognized as an individual or an organization "committed to making a difference in your community," and to "connect to communities of practice across Nova Scotia and Canada." Other pluses include being part of the democratic process towards making policy change in NS, and receving updates on Social Enterprise sector activities and opportunities. Cost: Yes, annual. Membership rates: $50 Individual; $100 Social Enterprises; $250 Corporation/Government/Other
|Membership, Community, Social Enterprise, Policy, Regulatory Frameworks
Launch - Greater Moncton Economic Development
Have an idea, and looking to start a business in the Greater Moncton Area? 3+ has resources to help launch new business or expand existing ones. They also offer "partnership" opportunities, which allow you to "take part in the dialogue and actions that directly contribute to creating the best possible climate for job growth and business success. As a 3+ Partner, you collaborate directy in investment attraction and sector development opportunities that will enhance the prosperity of [the Moncton] community." Cost: likely. No listed costs on the website but you can contact them toll-free for more info. English/Français
|Membership, Business Development, Community, French
A Supportive Network (Rural Opportunities Network)
Rural Opportunities Network
From the website: "The Rural Opportunities Network is an open network of people and knowledge, focused on raising awareness and creating opportunities for small business engaged in the sustainable use of natural resources." Social enterprises with an environmental mission will likely value greatly from joining this network, which involves "entrepreneurs, practitioners, researchers and other interested in sustaining rural communities. The network provides the opportunity to access and share innovative ideas and connect with advisors and other working on issues relevant to you." Find advisors and event listings on the website. Cost: Free! Register to access videos, articles, and useful links, and to share your own contributions. English/Français
|SME, Business Development, Agriculture, Sustainability, Membership, Community, French
Homepage - Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network
Enterpreneurs with Disabilities Network (EDN)
A Nova Scotia-focused, Halifax-based not-for-profit focused on providing entrepreneurs living with any kind of disability the opportunity to start, grow and develop their businesses. Their free membership affords access to networking sessions, one-to-one or group coaching sessions, information on funding sources, free access to most of their workshops and events, and more. Membership application forms may be found and filled out on their website. (See also: Skills) Cost: Free. English.
|Membership, Accessibility, Social Enterprise, Business Development, Not-for-Profit, Mentorship, Training, Disability
Corporate Membership Benefits
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Corporate Membership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce offers access to peer-to-peer networking events and professional development sessions for professional growth and prosperity. As well, "by participating on the Canadian Chamber's policy committees, corporate members help shape the focus of the Canadian Chamber's advocacy efforts by researching and developing policies on a cariety of issues that affect Canadian business." Cost: Yearly Investment (dependent on business revenue). English/Français.
|Membership, Business Development, Policy, French, Regulatory Frameworks
Nova Scotia Co-operative Council
This is the site for everything Co-operative-related in Nova Scotia. The Resource Library is packed with extensive .pdf files for learning about access to markets, small business loans, or even what a co-operative is. Cost: Free. English.
|Co-ops, Directory, Research, Loans, Social Enterprise
Directory of Canadian Social Enterprises
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada's directory of organizations self-identified as being social enterprises. The same page provides a how-to .pdf on registering your own social enterprise in the directory. Cost: Free. English/Français.
|Directory, Government, Social Enterprise, French
Complete Resource Library
A library of tourism-geared resources for keeping up-to-date with online marketing strategies, web accessibility, and marketing through mobile and online technologies. Cost: Free. English/Français.
|Directory, Research, Tourism, Marketing, Accessibility, French
Nova Scotia Resources
Grow a Farmer
A library of resources for a new Nova Scotia generation of organic growers and farmers. The Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network (ACORN)'s Grow a Farmer Initiative "promotes organic farming as a viable and empowering form of livelihood. With a focus on farmer-to-farmer training, the program intends to cultivate, renew and diversify the organic sector in Atlantic Canada, through the preservation, growth, and use of local knowledge, land and community." (from the website). Cost: Free, though there are resources that can be paid for. English.
|Directory, Training, Mentorship, Agriculture, Sustainability, CSA
ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network
ACORN is an Atlantic network with a diversity of members "(farmers, gardeners, eaters, retailers, processors, etc.)" working to promote local organics. Their network of sites and communities is extensive, accessible and user-friendly, and is a must for anyone interested in or entering the sustainable agriculture world in Atlantic Canada. An ACORN conference appears to happen every year. Though there are many free resources available online, membership to ACORN is $50 for individual, $100 for a farm or business, or $250 for a sustaining member--though they recognize that money can be a barrier and welcome involvement and support in exchange for membership benefits. For the full list of benefits, please see the website. English.
|Community, Sustainability, Agriculture, Membership, CSA
The Atlantic Farmshare Network
ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network
Part of ACORN, the Farmshare network serves to connect individuals or organizations with certified organic farmshare programs, or CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) in Atlantic Canada. The site provides an easy-to-use Directory for CSAs in Atlantic Canada, complete with an interactive map and pinned locations for product pickup sites and the farms themselves. English.
|Directory, Agriculture, Food Security, CSA
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
The BDC offers advisory services through their website, with the option to speak to an advisor/consultant over the phone, or purchase extra blocks of hours for further advising. The BDC is a national network but is based in Nova Scotia.
|Advising, Business Development
New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation
New Dawn Enterprises
Cape Breton, NS
From the website: "Education, innovation and technology are at the forefront of helping Cape Breton revitalize itself. In effort to support this, New Dawn has founded the New Dawn Center for Social Innovation (NDCSI). NDCSI is a mixed-use facility with sustainable working and gathering spaces that draw in and amplify Cape Breton’s creative, innovative and forward looking energies. It is a center for social innovation that supports individuals, businesses, not-for-profit and charitable organizations working in innovative new ways to change this community and change the world."
|Education, Community, Social Enterprise, Sustainability, Accessibility, Business Development, Training, Not-for-Profit
Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Developers' Network
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat
From the website: "The Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Developers' Network (AAEDN) is a network of Economic Development Officers (EDO's) in all of the Chiefs' communities across Atlantic Canada. The purpose of this network is to share information and to strategically align communities to provide the tools and resources needed to participate in Atlantic Canada's Economic prosperity."
|Diversity Initiatives, Aboriginal, Business Development, Policy, Regulatory Frameworks
ConnectNS Global Advisors Program
Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI)
As a small business owner in Nova Scotia looking to expand your business and exports internationally, NSBI offers a program to connect you with experienced "global advisors" in many different sectors. You have to apply through NSBI, but the application AND access to the global advisors is free, because they offer their skills and experience on a volunteer basis. Being reviewed and accepted to the ConnectNS network allows you to choose from a list of more than 100 global advisors and select the one whose experience in your sector will be most helpful to you. Cost: Free. English.
|Business Development, International, Directory, Membership
Centre Membership Program
Centre for Women in Business
From the website: "Atlantic Canada’s Leading Resource for Women Entrepreneurs Since 1992, located at the RBC Centre for Women in Business, MSVU. Become part of a community. Increase the visibility of your business. Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and business professionals. Polish your business skills." Membership rates differ for individuals, MSVU alumnae, and corporate. See page for rates. English.
|Diversity Initiatives, Business Development, Membership, Events, Community
From the website: "Across Canada, many villages, towns, boroughs, hamlets and outports need creative approaches to assist their transition from resource-based settlements to diversified, cultural economies. small is focused on leveraging cultural heritage values and assets, in order to support liveable communities first. small is an independent network of local and national affiliates, often promoting unconventional partnerships to reach new solutions for rural communities, all rooted in unique cultural heritage. small facilitates the adaptive reuse of landscapes, communities and buildings in order to re-envision the community planning process. small is focused on leveraging cultural heritage values and assets, in order to support liveable communities first. We profile some locally-developed initiatives that characterize these livable communities on this site." For social entrepreneurs considering building or growing businesses within smaller, rural communities in Nova Scotia, small seems to be an excellent organization to get in contact with. The way you contact them is through the "submit a story" page, which gives you the opportunity to tell the tale of your rural cultural economy, in your own words. Cost: Free. English.
|Community, Business Development, Agriculture, SME, Advising, Social Enterprise
Halifax, Canada Networking Events (ongoing)
Eventbrite's page for networking events in Halifax. While not specific to social enterprise events, entrepreneurs may find visiting the page occasionally yields events suiting their interests/sector. Events may offer free registration through Eventbrite or variable rates for registration. English/Francais
|Community, Networking, Events, French
Access the Best Nova Scotia
From the website: "We are a Nova Scotia online community of small business. A place you can find a variety of local businesses, customer service providers and expert help for your business. Our directory is making it more affordable for small business to market their products and services to consumers, other businesses and organizations." Memberships are $50/year, though registered charities or not-for-profits may be listed on the website for free by contacting ATBNS directly.
|Community, Networking, Marketing, Business Development, Membership, Directory, SME, Not-for-Profit
Immigrant Business Directory
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
From the website: "We are privileged to work with people from around the world who have come to settle in Nova Scotia. Many of these individuals choose to start a business and invest in Nova Scotia. We are extremely proud to be able to provide the Immigrant Business Directory which profiles hundreds of entrepreneurs and the products and services they contribute to our economy."
|Community, Business Development, Immigration, Directory
Valley Women's Business Network (VWBN)
Annapolis Valley, NS
From the website: "The Valley Women’s Business Network (VWBN) supports, educates and promotes women in the Annapolis Valley who are in business, professionals, or aspiring to start a business through the organization of networking meetings and events in the Annapolis Valley." They aim to "be the go-to business resource for women who are entrepreneurs, professionals, or those aspiring to go into business." Monthly networking events, support and promotion of business.
|Diversity Initiatives, Community, Networking, Business Development, Events, Education
Regional Enterprise Networks (RENs)
Government of Nova Scotia
From the website: "Regional Enterprise Networks (RENs) provide regional economic leadership and help develop regional economic strategies, while supporting small, local businesses. RENs bring together business communities, the province, municipalities and other groups involved in economic development. The province continues to work with municipalities to set up the new regional networks." Nova Scotia RENs accessed through this page are those for the South Shore, Western NS (Yarmouth and Digby Counties), Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, and the Eastern Strait. Businesses starting up in any of these regions should invest time in getting to know their region's specific enterprise network and economic strategies, directories for existing businesses, and more. (Cape Breton and Eastern Strait REN websites are currently (May 2017) both under construction.)
|Business Development, Community, Networking, Agriculture, Tourism, Advising
Valley REN BusinessNow
Valley Regional Enterprise Network
From the website: "The Valley REN can connect you with people and resources to grow your business and thrive in the Annapolis Valley. We provide one-on-one support, plus employer engagement services to deliver our Workforce Advantage to local businesses." Entrepreneurs starting a business in the Valley should definitely check out this resource for Valley-specific economic and business advising and connections. Getting started with BusinessNow involves contacting their Economic Development Officer, which is free, though there may be fees associated with their services. English.
|Community, Business Development, Advising, REN
South Shore Regional Enterprise Network
From the website: "The South Shore REN has compiled a comprehensive list of programs available to assist and support businesses with key details about the program and contact information. This searchable inventory of programs is provided as a courtesy to our network members. Membership in the network is currently free and in addition to business programs and services there will be business events, workshops, and economic information available."
|Community, Business Development, REN, Membership, Advising
Western REN BusinessNow
Western Regional Enterprise Network
Seems to be based on the Valley REN's model for the BusinessNow network. "BusinessNow is the Western REN’s business retention & expansion program, which includes all efforts to encourage the retention and growth of a community’s existing businesses." Contact the region's Economic Development Officer, found on the linked page.
|Community, Business Development, REN, Advising
Nova Scotia Connect
A page on Nova Scotia Connect's website that holds a directory of differing support programs in NS, categorized regionally. Social entrepreneurs looking for existing aid or support organizations to connect with may start here. English.
|Community, Networking, Accessibility, Directory
Social Enterprise Council of Canada (SECC)
From the website: "We envision vibrant community-based social enterprises successfully contributing to creating healthy communities. Our Mission is to convene, inform and influence community-based social enterprises and their key stakeholders." The SECC works on the six pillars of social enterprise: Skills; Capital and Financing; Access to Markets; Demonstrating Value; Regulatory Frameworks; and Networks and Community Engagement. Membership for anyone involved in a social enterprise is $50/year, for anyone else it is $100/year.
|Community, Social Enterprise, Membership, Networking
Future Roots Halifax (ongoing)
From the website: "Future Roots is a social enterprise - a revenue-generating business that has social goals and social impacts. Our business promotes inter-generational connections and neighbourhood-level resilience. The goal of Future Roots is to connect youth and their neighbors in the North End of Halifax, by recruiting, training and supervising youth who then provide quality service for their older neighbours and local businesses." Social entrepreneurs looking to work with youth in the North End should be aware of or connect with Future Roots/Veith House.
|Community, Employment, Youth, SROI
Women's Business Networks and Associations
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (Government of Canada)
A government directory of women's business networks and associations across Canada, with province-specific dropdown menus. English/Francais
|Business Development, Government, Directory, French
Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF)
From the website: "The Social Enterprise World Forum exists to support the growth and development of social enterprises throughout the world." Check in here for Global Social Enterprise Events, Resources, News, Histories, and more. The Annual Forum is typically held in September every year. English.
|Social Enterprise, Events, International
Dartmouth Learning Network
"Established in 1985, under the leadership of Dr. John Savage, The Dartmouth Learning Network Society provides opportunities for adults and their family members to improve reading, writing, math, communication, document use, computer use, teamwork and critical thinking skills, in addition to helping them gain a love of life-long learning."
|Education, Community, Accessibility
A directory of resources for those looking to start-up a business. While not specific to social enterprise, entrepreneurs may find this veritable host of resources and applications helpful.
|Directory, Business Development
London Benchmarking Group (LBG)
From the website: "LBG (London Benchmarking Group) Canada is a network of companies seeking to maximize the impact of community investment – for society and for the business. Together, LBG Canada companies set the highest standard in community investment management, performance measurement and reporting in Canada."
|Networking, Business Development, SROI
Shape Your City
City of Halifax
"Now you can easily find information and get engaged on a broad range of municipal initiatives. It’s a new way to connect more people on community issues that matter to everyone in HRM without needing to attend a meeting at a given time or place. Archived projects remain available for you to look at and can be found on the right side under "Current & Past Engagements". Please simply click on the one that you would like to look at and you will be redirected to the project page." Entrepreneurs may find this page helpful to find ongoing municipal projects in Halifax and the HRM.
Nova Scotia Works
Government of Nova Scotia
"Nova Scotia Works employment services centres help Nova Scotians understand, prepare for, and fill the needs of the province’s job market. Nova Scotia Works also helps businesses recruit, manage and develop the talent they need to be more productive here at home and around the world. There are employment programs and services available to help grow our workforce. Meeting with a Case Manager at a Nova Scotia Works centre is the first step. Case Managers understand our employment services and programs, and have in-depth knowledge of the Nova Scotia labour market. There is a network of Nova Scotia Works centres across the province."
|Business Development; Marketing; Human Resources, Networking, Employment, Training
Become a Member
"Since 1971, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been fighting to help small businesses succeed. With over 109,000 members, we’re the largest organization in Canada devoted exclusively to the interests of independent business owners. We are dedicated to increasing our members’ chances of success: We provide business resources specifically tailored to the needs of small business, with experts available in every province to answer our members’ toughest questions. We leverage the buying power of our membership base to negotiate exclusive savings and benefits for the services that business owners most need. Recognised as a top advocate, we work with all political parties to ensure that the voice of our members is heard at every level of government. CFIB’s priorities are driven by our members. They direct us via surveys, face to face meetings and calls with our business counselors. Our Board of Governors consists of CFIB members from every province, and we are funded entirely by independent business owners." Cost: Yes. Fees vary for membership depending on size of business.
|Membership, Business Development, Advising, Consulting, SME
Cape Breton Family Resource Center
Cape Breton, NS
A website providing access to resources and programs for children and families throughout Cape Breton.
Nova Scotia Environmental Network
"The Nova Scotia Environmental Network is comprised of non-governmental environmental and health groups whose common purpose is the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment and the pursuit of a sustainable future for Nova Scotia. There are approximately 60 environmental organizations in the Network. NSEN facilitates the forming of caucuses and working groups among its members, such as on Environmental & Sustainability Education, Water, and Climate Change."