The Eastern-Strait Regional Enterprise Network (ESREN) will be hosting a series of public workshops delivering the necessary tools and resources needed to get a new business off the ground. The workshops are provided as part of the Startup Port Hawkesbury contest which will see at least one new business open in Port Hawkesbury. The first workshop will take place on August 3rd, 2017, 6:30 pm at the Shannon Studio in Port Hawkesbury.

Start-up Port Hawkesbury aims to increase the conditions for business growth by creating an entrepreneurial spirit within the town and support businesses before and after it opens. The contest is open to all Canadian residents willing to set up their business in the Town of Port Hawkesbury.

Project Lead for the contest, Misty MacDonald, says that “The Town of Port Hawkesbury and ESREN are taking steps to create the economic conditions needed to encourage people to live, work and play in our region. We want to demonstrate to the world that success can be achieved through entrepreneurial endeavors by providing support to new businesses during the critical first few years.”

The Start-up Port Hawkesbury contest is a “Dragon’s Den style” contest that will provide one new business two years of rent free space in Port Hawkesbury courtesy of the Town of Port Hawkesbury and the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce (SACOC), pre-qualify for a $20,000 business loan from InRich CBDC, receive pro-bono legal services from EMM Law, graphic design services from Sara Rankin Design, a one year paid SACOC membership, and ongoing support and training from ESREN, SACOC, and other partners.

The first workshop focuses on generating business ideas and developing pitch presentations, aligning with the requirements of the contest’s first round of submissions. The workshop is open to the public and participants are under no obligation to enter the contest. Future workshops will also be open to the public providing an excellent opportunity to learn about starting a business. Register for the first workshop by sending an email to or by phoning 902-623-2780.

If you have an exciting business idea that you would like to submit to the Start-up Port Hawkesbury judging panel, please visit: Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network is accountable to five Municipal Councils (Municipality of the County of Antigonish, Municipality of the District of Guysborough, Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, Town of Port Hawkesbury, and Town of Antigonish) and the Province of Nova Scotia.