We want your new business in the Western Region…
and we’ll help pay for it!
Business Idea Application
The Western REN is looking for entrepreneurs that wish to kickstart an exciting career as a small business owner – and we want to help them get started. We realize that doing business in our new COVID impacted economy is challenging so we are looking for businesses which will consider a “new” business model to ensure that they survive and thrive in the current and post-COVID market conditions.
This fall the Western Regional Enterprise Network (REN) will choose up to 25 candidates to take part in its WIN THIS SPACE initiative. The Grand Prize winner will win $1,000 a month for an entire year to cover rent/lease payments after setting up a business within the Western Region.
The Grand Prize winner will choose their business location from one of the available/approved participating rental spaces. The winner will also receive a one year Ignite Labs’ Resident membership as well as a professional website with integrated e-commerce platform for their new business.
The 2nd place winner will receive one year Ignite Labs’ Resident membership and a professional website for their new business.
We realize starting a business is difficult work. It’s a risk, and involves plenty of blood, sweat and tears to turn a great idea into a profitable enterprise. That’s why we have partnered with the Yarmouth CBDC to offer classes that will arm our finalists with knowledge on how to build a business plan, market their business and navigate the complicated path of establishing a new business.
And the best part is – it’s all free.
The candidates will be pared down to five finalists who will present their business ideas to a panel of local judges representing the Western Region who will choose the winners. Creativity, passion about your business, how your business can thrive in a COVID environment and ultimately some great ideas mixed with some business savvy could land you the grand prize.
The Western Regional Enterprise Network will assume no control, nor authority to execute any lease agreements between the winner and potential landlords. All negotiations to that end, as well as final agreements, will be the sole responsibility of the business and property owners. Monthly payments will be issued directly to the landlord to cover lease payments for an entire year and if the business ceases operation before 12 months are complete the balance of the payments will be cancelled.
View the Official Rules
WIN THIS SPACE is open to all legal residents of Atlantic Canada (NS, NB, PEI and NFLD), who are 19 years of age or older. No franchises will be considered.
If the candidate is a current business owner, an application must be with the intent to introduce, open and operate a concept, which will offer a new element not promoted in the existing location, or expand upon and highlight an element that would be removed from the existing location.
Candidates must be willing to commit to signing a minimum one-year lease from one of the participating spaces, which are available for lease at the end of the competition.
Candidates must have submitted an entry into the competition by 6 p.m. on November 22nd, 2020 to have their idea considered as part of the competition.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
When considering a potential location for your new business, take into account being close to your market traffic patterns, both pedestrian and vehicular, and also ensure that there is enough space available for things like parking and garbage pickup.
The Western Region includes the Counties of Digby and Yarmouth as well as the Municipality of Barrington. In order to qualify for WIN THIS SPACE your new business must fill an already vacant space within these boundaries and be permitted according to each of the municipality’s/town’s land use bylaw.
November 3rd, 2020 at 7pm
Have an idea but think you might need a little help before applying? We recommend that you participate in the virtual “Plan Before you Plan” event hosted by MashUp Lab. It is not a mandatory session, but pre-registration is required. REGISTER HERE.
November 22nd, 2020 by 6pm
Deadline for all candidates to submit their business idea entry into the competition. Entries can be made by filling in the application form and can be in essay or video format. APPLY HERE
December 1st, 8th, 15th 2020- evening sessions
From all entries, a maximum of 25 finalists will then be selected, who will undergo mandatory training delivered by the Yarmouth CBDC. Additional training and mentoring is allowed, and even encouraged – but this will come at the expense of the finalist.
January 4th, 2021 by 4pm
Applicants who have completed the mandatory training must submit draft business plans and supporting documents to the Western REN for consideration as a finalist.
January 15th, 2021
Five finalists will be chosen by the judges.
January 28th, 2021
The five finalists will present their business plans to the judges followed by a question period.
February 8th, 2021
Winners will be announced
March 1st, 2021
Grand Prize winner’s business moves into space
April 5th, 2021
New Business opens to the public
NOTE: All dates are subject to minor variances at the discretion of the Western Regional Enterprise Network and/or the judging panel.
See Frequently Asked Questions
Opening a new business is a big step – but the Western REN and our partners are here to help. If you have any questions concerning the WIN THIS SPACE initiative you are encouraged to contact Brenda LaGrandeur, Win This Space Coordinator, who can help navigate you through the entry process. She can be reached at 902-653-0369 or email@example.com
This map shows the commercial spaces for rent within the Western Region and will be continuously updated.