Business Incubation and Skill Enhancement Program

Immigrants, elders and adult students come to Canada with skills and knowledge that needs to be harnessed and effectively optimized as they settle and study in a new environment. Unfortunately, due to language and cultural barriers, such individuals are often pushed through a need-based settlement process that does not build on already acquired skills, knowledge and abilities.

In order to find a job or do new business, everyone is expected to learn the language of the new environment in addition to other related skills. Moreover, the process of business development, registration and management in Nova Scotia is very overwhelming for immigrants, elders, adult students and new comers.

ACICC decided to solve this problem by exploring ideas around using already acquired skills to help adult students to consider the possibilities of becoming entrepreneours while studying-instead of simply looking for a job. ACICC uses an Asser-based approach using past knowledge, skills and abilities as a building block for integrating into a new environment in the process of resettlement.

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Eligibility for Incubation


  • Entrepreneurs who wish to enter a business incubation program must apply for registration and admission.
  • Those with feasible business ideas are encouraged to apply 
  • Affiliate clients may also be home-based

Benefits of Incubation programs

Incubation helps meet various economic and social needs such as:

  • Nurturing community's entrepreneurial spirit
  • Diversifying local economies 
  • Facilitating growth of local businesses
  • Enabling business creation and retention 
  • Encouraging women or minority groups to become entrepreneurs 
  • Identifying potential business opportunities 
  • Promoting community revitalization.
  • Help reduce the risk of small business failures
  • Creating employment opportunities in the community

Businesses Supported Through Incubation

ACICC supports a diverse range of individuals with different skill-sets and experiences.  This allow us to incubate a variety of business with individuals from all around the globe.  The following are some of the categories in which these businesses fall:

Food:
The goal is to support those interested in catering and food service businesses with space and equipment needed at the start-up stage; to help develop and standardize non-traditional recipes in order to supply local stores.

Farming:
The goal is to enable potential entrepreneurs grow non-traditional fruits and vegetables.

Fashion:
The goal is to provide space and equipment for those interested in sewing and fashion merchandizing at the start-up stage; to support those interested in sewing and fashion business through various licensing and certification processes.

Arts and Crafts
The goal is to provide a space for display of art works, pictures and crafts and to strength skills in arts and crafts.

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Starting with a minimal investment

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Mayor Mike Savage visits ACICC