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Resources for Starting a Business in Nova Scotia

Expert: Michelle Collins

Jenna asked:

I am very interested in starting my own business in Halifax. It would be a type of entertainment establishment. I am unsure of where to begin, in terms of business plans and financial assistance. Are there programs out there for young entrepreneurs (23 years) or would I have to attempt a standard bank loan. What things would I need to make a proper business plan. If you could point me in a direction or provide me with any information on the financial matters I would really appreciate it.

Michelle Collins answered:

Starting a business, as you can well imagine, is a challenging but exciting adventure. As you have identified, the initial planning stage and locating the finances needed to get started are critical at the outset.

While we cannot outline in the space of an email everything you need to do, we have located some resources that should be of assistance.

First off, we would suggest that you drop by Open For Business. Located at 1521 Grafton Street in Halifax, centre staff are trained to help new businesses get off the ground. This should be particularly interesting to you, as they are currently delivering the Young Entrepreneurs ACOA ConneXion Program. Open to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 29, this program offers counselling and may be able to help you secure a loan of up to $15,000. Here is the contact information for Open for Business:
Phone: (902) 424-3707
Web site:

Another organization that will interest you is the Centre For Women in Business. This non-profit centre, based in Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, offers a variety of programs, including workshops and business counselling, to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Here is their contact information:
Phone: (902) 457-6449
Web site:

Once you are closer to actually registering your business, the Halifax Access Nova Scotia centre will help you manage your way through the provincial "red-tape", including licenses, permits, and business registration. The Halifax office is located at:
Phone: 1-800-225-8227
Web site:
West End Mall
6960 Mumford Road, Halifax

If you need Municipal information, this centre will be useful to you as well:
Municipal Contacts - To locate municipal contact information for your region, town municipality, rural municipality, or village visit

For further information contact:
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
Phone: (902) 424-5200
Toll-free: 1-800-670-4357

In addition to the above, as you move forward with the development of your business we hope that you will find useful information on CanadaOne. Here are some links that may help you right now:

Starting a Business Guide

Writing a Business Plan

Marketing & PR Checklist

Financing your business

About the author

Michelle Collins is a staff writer with®

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