Chief Executive Officer (Interim)
Rustum Southwell has a true entrepreneurial mind, business acumen, passion and spirit to drive a successful business. Having successfully owned and managed various franchises in the food industry for a number of years, Rustum switched gears and took his years of experience and acquired competencies to oversee an organization whose main purpose is to develop and enhance Black-owned businesses in Nova Scotia. As the first and founding CEO of the Black Business Initiative (BBI) for 17 years, Rustum’s vision, tireless efforts, dogged determination and persistence has made the BBI a well-respected organization and a leader in developing an entrepreneurial culture that is helping to drive the economic vibrancy in Nova Scotia. He is an able and innovative administrator with significant expertise in strategic planning, business and entrepreneurial development and corporate governance. Rustum understands and champions the importance of employing entrepreneurial participation in community economic development strategies. He is back as Interim CEO.