The BBI is committed to growing a stronger Black presence in Nova Scotia’s business community; acting as a catalyst for job creation, equitable participation and advancing the economic prosperity of Nova Scotia. In 1996, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia set up the BBI to address the unique needs confronting the Black business community in Nova Scotia. For the first five years of its existence, BBI was funded under the COOPERATION Agreement for Economic Diversification, a joint agreement between the federal and provincial governments. The BBI and its broad scope of economic development activities is currently funded by the federally administered Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Provincial Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, project funding, corporate donations, fund-raising and comercial activities initiated across BBI’s composite group of companies.
Our Vision at the BBI is a dynamic and vibrant black presence within the Nova Scotia business community.
To positively influence the Nova Scotia business culture by promoting and assisting in the development of Nova Scotia Black-owned businesses. The BBI accomplishes this within a cohesive framework to achieve a number of overall goals including:
- Economic independence of individuals;
- Improved standards of living;
- Career options for youth;
- Pride in communities.
The BBI works toward these overall goals by concentrating its efforts in one specific area: business development. The BBI believes that helping individuals create and grow healthy businesses will provide economic self-sufficiency and a better future for Black youth looking for career options while creating jobs within a community that traditionally experiences extremely high unemployment (currently above the provincial average).
Our Guiding Principles are that:
- Every Black person who expresses an interest in starting a business is important to this Initiative;
- The Black community needs business know-how, information and skills development – not charity;
- The Black business community should be fully integrated with the larger business community in order to access the necessary resources;
- Direct financial assistance is only one component of the BBI;
- The merits of a project depend on the viability of the business case.