BBI Expanding Your Reach Summit 2017

The BBI has been empowering black adults and youth throughout the province to create ownership in business.   2017 Signature Business event had noted that many hands were involved from staff, community, board of directors, and sponsorships.  All did an amazing job.

BBI EVENT- Bridget with Eleanor Beaton

This was a phenomenal robust influential platform which had a diverse group of businesses, governments, individuals, presenters, facilitators, globally and internationally.  The day for me was (WOW) Wordly Overflowing and Winning the magnitude of the talents and entrepreneurship throughout the province was an amazing spectrum  of sufficiency, self-starters, fulfilling a need, trailblazers, confident and competent,  and impacting change in the Province of Nova Scotia and internationally.

Open remarks:  Cynthia Dorrington Conference Chair

She was inspired by Les Brown which included expanding your horizons. She stated that BBI is the platform for developing diversified markets, new investments, globally, and international businesses. It takes a leap of faith to push outside of your comfort zone.  How can you expand your reach?

BBI Talk Presenter – Peter Spurway – He is the Corporate Communications & Airport at the Halifax International Airport Authority.  He was named the Canadian Public Relations Society Nova Scotia “Communicator of the Year” for 2017.

Expanding your reach and why?   Are you comfortable, doing well, constantly asked why you apply everything you do?   This is where the fun is discovered by expanding and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.  No one becomes by staying at home.  Each and every day will be different.  Look at the changes in the world this means the whole world is open to you.   Don’t be afraid of success or being wrong.

Think by Doing! Doing! Doing!  Sometimes you have to slow down because we are irrational emotional beings.  Values live in us.  Culture is the way we do things. Brand your products to consumers of what you are offering.   Reading is the key to your growth.

Peter Spurway


WORKSHOP 1 Using technology to change behaviours

Facilitator: Councillor Lindell Smith

Presenters: Eleanor Beaton, Mel Hattie, and Shequille Smith

WORKSHOP 2 Connecting with Decision Makers

Facilitator: Paul Water, Q.C

Presenters: Saeed El-Darahali, and Cassandra Dorrington

WORKSHOP 3 Secrets of Expansion

Facilitator: Ann Divine

Presenters: Melissa MacMaster, Mo Handahu, Cathy Akinkumi

KEY NOTE SPEAKER Facilitator: Candace Thomas, Q. C.

Valerie Jarret– former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls

For more information regarding the facilitators and presenters go to BBI website. For more information regarding the workshops check out:




Councillor Lindell Smith – Facilitator – Winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Education and Community Services. He is the youngest person ever to become a Councillor (HRM) his seat is for the District 8 Halifax Peninsula North.

Using Technology

Shaquille Smith – Start to look at the reporting or measurements before you pay the industry through Google Analytics, Impression from people who see your advertisements, Numbers of checks that are viewed.  Try using 3 Ad variance and decided which one is cost effective in the long run.    Create your webpage, Facebook, or other digital spaces.   His quote was “spray and pray”.  Affordable technologies for example are google analytics, scrub social, Facebook insights, hootsuite, social, uber, Yost-plugins.  Create 2 passwords authentication for security.

BBI EVENT Shaqueel smith

Building Community

Mel Hattie– We do not always think of on-line.  This sets a tone for getting clients.  People will eventually know your story. Consumers become more aware of it.  Your story can bring you customers.  You want people who are going to be users of your information.   Technology allows you to build a greater customer experience. Look at highly targeted traffic areas.  Use Hemmingway, grammarily, google console, SEO search engines to optimize your platform. Constantly change your passwords.

How have you used Technology?

Eleanor Beaton– She created her business based on what she like to do.  She focuses on LinkedIn which is a prime technological engine.    LinkedIn – Teaches you how to build a platform. Our biggest enemy is obscurity (unknown).  We cannot be lazy our economy needs it.  Start looking towards traction for growth.   We have platforms that can leverage power.  Continually post blogs, newsletters, podcast, build trust, and create a great customer experience.  Power is in association. Share your blogs over and over not just one time.  Use numbers in your headline attracks traffic.   You have to know what you want.  Except the different processes.   She is also offering a Leadership Development Program for women at Yale October 2017.


Eleanor Beaton - Bridget C. Williams


Paul Walter, Q.C.  – Facilitator – He has practice law in several areas of litigation, criminal defense, family law, personal injury/insurance, and administration law.  He received prestigious Queens Counsel designation.    He’s also appeared before the supreme court of Canada.

Connecting and Big Decision Making

Casandra Dorrington– Be sure to read reports and what the plans are to build your business relationship growth. Networking is a prime tool to utilize.  Create a capability statement which is the key area of your strength. It is better to understand the connectors program.  Relationship & Research this will help when networking.  Become a critical decision maker and seek out organizations that can help you.   Become much targeted – be one of good will.   Connect with the key players that can get you in.  Be sure to have things in order.   Contact those you want to connect with and ask the right questions and use it to build your platform in moving towards your proposition. Avoid stocking because it could cause a dominion affect for companies to avoid you (word of mouth travels fast).

We have not taken advantage of the resources that are available to us.   You must get out there and prove to be a risk taker.   People you are connected to have lots of connections.

It generally takes 18 month to 2 years to have a negotiation completed. You must have at least $500,000 to be classified as a small business.   They will not look at or negotiate unless you have an extensive amount of cash.  This is when you want to reach the big markets for support.

BBI EVENT Cassandra dorington

Saeed El-Darahali–   Be memorable- give a reason why not to remember you.  Ask the question of how they want to be contacted.   Persistence is key if you are not you will be overlooked. Prepare to make continual follow-ups which will close the deal. 80% of people are unique so focus on 5-10 people no more than that.  Let them know what is happening in your business. Remember why you are doing this… it’s for your family and for other families.   When you start to think like this it is a win-win situation.

Value proposition – Value of the individual.

How you get value, your services, advice, and move past the 1st level, always think of the end user.  Your value should be long-term and for a life time.  Obtain a return on your investment.  Don’t share your ideas.  Look at areas of value, proposition, and return.

Question you must ask yourself what does that mean? what is different? How do you close?

Remember all deals are different there are 10 steps (not all are provided).

  1. Research – Potential Interest
  2. Permission – Follow-up
  3. Educate- Our product is good
  4. Variable- Your variables
  5. Demonstration – show case products
  6. Believe- You must believe in your product


Saeed El-Darahali



Ann Divine – Facilitator – She is an expert in motivation and employee engagement, career guidance in leadership.  Pubic speaker national and internationally.  She visited an exchange program at Yale University, School of Management.  Ann is all about diversity and inclusion.  The first black women only feature of the Atlantic Business Magazine, January 2017. She has been recognized as a trailblazer by the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly.

BBI EVENT Ann Divine

Secrets of Expansion

Melissa Macmaster– Teaching young black hip hop artist in the province of Nova Scotia.  There was no market for hip hop in Nova Scotia.  She had to learn the culture in order to help them.  He back ground more towards folk music and another genre.   She notice that most people in RAP where moving out of the province to get recognized.   She is now an advocate to hip hop in the province of Nova Scotia.   She is opening doors for many in this province.   She realize there was gap in Halifax that was not recognized internationally.    She had to reinvent new artist exporting them to US, Europe, Sweden, London, and Atlanta just to name some of the countries.

She had to become innovated in who she selected as stakeholders and key holders to creating platforms for HIP HOP.   She is taking them to the next level.


Mo Handahu-She believes in being transparent.  She doesn’t hide anything.   Being cool with failure allows you to do things better.  Allowing growth in building herself, and helping others.  Giving people kindness always, this is how she wanted to be treated.  Listening to what others have to say and not afraid to try new things.   She is bold and tenacious in what she is doing.   She keeps up by dialoguing with followers through emails and will make time for each person.

She has written for Essence Magazine and Huffington Post.  She was at the South African Fashion week representing her business.   She was contacted by the South Africa Consulate personal which navigated her to do other things while in South Africa.  She is an advocate for Musemo body positivity and is increasing the image of women in color in Canada’s Fashion industry.

She travels internationally and is fearless when encourage young women not be afraid of who they are no matter what size, shape, or ethnicity.  She has also created an outfit for Ann Divine.


Cathy Akinkumi – She has created over 500 multicultural wedding spaces.   She was chosen to be Halifax Wedding “Best of” Bronze, Gold, and Sliver wedding decorator 3 years in a row.   Her distance business in china she filled the Gap.   She trained in New York, Toronto, and other international.   The Gap was her main stream.  She used technology to go further.  She said do what you love it’s rewarding.

Her niche was more ethnic weddings 200-300 or 300-500 wedding parties. She has created many relationships through this.  This is a continual journey of creating beautiful days for weddings.  She has gained economic sustainability.



BBI EVENT - Keynote Speaker - Valerie B. Jarrett

Candace Thomas Q.C. -Facilitator – Is a partner in the law firm of Stewart McKelvey.   Member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society.   She is on a number of boards.  She recently received the Queen’s Counsel designation in February 2017.

Valerie B. Jarrett– She was the longest serving senior advisor to President Barack Obama.   She has received numerous awards for 100 of the most influential People.  Candace Thomas did an exceptional interview with Valerie B. Jarrett.    There was a phenomenal aspiring engagement in the dialogue between Valerie and the audience.   Her story was an amazing journey of what happened in her personal life and in the White house.   The challenges and the overcoming of those challenges was a true testament of courageous.   Basically not to take it personal it, and comes with the Job.

She stated how president Obama would have treasures in his pocket from people.   Each of those trinkets had a story and was precious to him.   It’s part of what kept him going.   How inspiring and transparent/real of her.   There was a particular story that stood out a man who worked in the white house gave the president his award for being in the service… the president didn’t want it at 1st.  He told the president that it was what got him through the wars.   The president kindly accepted it after hearing his story.

People travelled nationally to come and hear Valerie’s story.    The interview between her and Michelle Obama was hilarious yet empowering.  She said the Obama’s are amazing people to work for and she continues to work with them on other projects.   She is a true advocate of empowering women and young girls.

She talks about the politics in the United States and request that we pray for them and the countries that are being affected by it.   What is basically happening is what was build up in the Obama cabinet is currently being deteriorated or destroyed which is affecting the United States of America people.    The Obama care was created to help everyone in United States.   Some people were unconscious during the votes and are now realizing that there vote is going to affect them in the longrun.  For instance, Health Care.

A lot of young people didn’t vote.  We must teach them how to vote and the importance of it because they will be the future leaders.

She dialogued about her family life and being a parent.  She spoke about the adversities and the joys of working as a Senior Advisor.


The interview is on Shaw cable perhaps BBI webpage.

BBI EVENT - Eleanor with me and my mom

BBI EVENT 2017 winnerBBI EVENT Bin DoctorBBI EVENT- CEOBBI EVENT Minister InceBBI EVENT - Senator Wanda Thomas BernardBBI EVENT participants


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