(CAPE BRETON, NS) – Do you dream of starting your own business? Of working for yourself? Of turning your creativity and ingenuity into your job? A new program will help scores of Cape Bretoners do just that.

As part of the Creative Island initiative, the Cape Breton Partnership is teaming up with Mashup Lab—a Bridgewater-based organization that supports rural entrepreneurs—to bring the Dream Business Program to Cape Breton, for free, for the first time.

Mashup Lab’s Dream Business Program takes ten people and their new business ideas through all the stages of turning their business dreams into a reality. The six-month program combines live online group sessions—which participants can access from anywhere they can get online—with 1-on-1 coaching and mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs. The half-way mark of the program is highlighted by a Celebration Night where participants present their fledgling businesses to a group of entrepreneurs and business experts. Upon completing the program, receive a “startup kit” of more than $5,000 worth of services—like accounting, sales, branding, and marketing—and as well as help navigating various support and funding opportunities beyond the program.

“There is one thing we know to be true: great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere” declares Andrew Button, Founder and CEO of Mashup Lab. “The Dream Business program is designed to match Cape Bretoners with the knowledge, tools, and expert advice they need to figure out if there is a great business to be built around their great idea.”

Thanks to the Creative Island initiative, Mashup Lab’s Dream Business Program will be run eight times over the next two years free for participants from Cape Breton communities. That means as many as 80 new businesses could be started around the island.

“Cape Breton has a lot of creative people with great ideas,” says Carla Arsenault, President and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “With the support through a program like Mashup Lab’s Dream Business Program, we’re confident more of that creativity can be turned into prosperity for communities around the island.”

The first free cohort of the program kicks off on September 11, and applications are open now. The program is open to anyone in Cape Breton with any kind of business idea at any stage of development, all they need is a business dream and a willingness to work on it. To apply or learn more about the Dream Business collaboration with Mashup Lab, visit www.thecreativeisland.com/dreambusiness.

Media Contact:

Stephanie MacLean
Innovation Officer
Cape Breton Partnership

Nicole Knickle-Hatt
Mashup Lab


About the Creative Island:
Creative Island is an initiative of the Cape Breton Partnership, with support from Cape Breton University and the Province of Nova Scotia, to transform Cape Breton into one of the most creative places on earth, and to use creativity and innovation as a means to enhance prosperity for the Island. Creative Island will help build a culture that values and supports creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Cape Breton, celebrates our rich creative heritage, and develops or supports programs, services, and spaces to help increase the innovative capacity of Cape Bretoners and Cape Breton companies.

About the Cape Breton Partnership:
The Cape Breton Partnership is Cape Breton’s private-sector led organization formed in 2004 to unite business, municipalities and communities across Cape Breton with the common goals of forging partnerships, capitalizing on opportunities, and building a stronger Cape Breton. The Cape Breton Partnership has close to 150 private sector investors representing a broad range of sector leaders in the Nova Scotian economy. The Cape Breton Partnership works closely with its investors, and community partners to offer economic projects and programs for all of Cape Breton Island.

About Mashup Lab:
Mashup Lab is a for-more-than-profit company focused on activating new businesses in rural communities. Every program and event we do is designed to give people the inspiration, courage, and knowledge needed to take action on their business ideas.