Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network

The Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network (CB REN) is a collaborative effort between the Province of Nova Scotia (through the Department of Economic Development) and the region’s partnering First Nation Communities and Municipalities.

CB REN activities are delivered by the Cape Breton Partnership with oversight from a private-sector board of directors. The CB REN’s areas of focus include regional economic development, championing business growth, leveraging local knowledge, and overseeing the management of the Land and Asset Database.

The partnering First Nation Communities and Municipalities are:

  • Eskasoni First Nation;
  • Membertou First Nation;
  • We’koqma’q First Nation;
  • Wagmatcook First Nation;
  • The Municipality of the County of Inverness;
  • The Municipality of the County of Richmond;
  • The Municipality of the County of Victoria; and
  • The Town of Port Hawkesbury.

The core activities of the CB REN include:

  • Develop, implement, and monitor a regional economic development strategy that is reflective of provincial and regional economic development priorities in consultation with the CB REN’s participating First Nations and Municipalities. The strategy is to be uniquely designed for Cape Breton’s assets, business community, strengths, and regional opportunities, aligned with provincial priorities, and designed to leverage complementary services offered through the Cape Breton Partnership.
  • Cultivate close working relationships with the business community and work with key partners to support the development and attraction of new businesses, and retain and expand existing businesses. The Cape Breton Partnership will support local businesses in navigating, and making referrals to, programs and services.
  • Inform partners and stakeholders about local business-climate conditions as well as regional challenges and opportunities. The Cape Breton Partnership will work with partners and stakeholders to provide investment-readiness and labour market information.

Governance and Oversight

CB REN Board

The CB REN is governed by a board of directors, which represents the regional business community, develops the strategic plan, and plays a pivotal governance role for the regular activities of the CB REN. The board normally meets four times per year. The 2022 CB REN Board Members include:

  • Osborne Burke, Victoria Co-op Fisheries
  • Vivek Saxena, NSCC Strait Area Campus
  • Alyssia Jeddore, Eskasoni Corporate Division
  • Adam Bateman, Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Jen Ryan, Quincy Street Market
  • Geoffrey Clarke, Port Hawkesbury Paper
  • Pearlene Cormier, East Coast Credit Union

CB REN Liaison and Oversight Committee

The CB REN Liaison and Oversight Committee (LOC), representing each participating First Nation Council and Municipal Council, as well as the Province of Nova Scotia, approves the CB REN strategic plan and provides oversight of Regional Enterprise Network program activities, accountability, and communication. It is mandated to meet 2 twice per year, in accordance with the Contribution Agreement and Inter-Municipal Agreement. The LOC includes:

  • One elected official, and their respective CAO, from each participating First Nation Council and Municipal Council, or their designate; and
  • Two members appointed by the Province pursuant to a Contribution Agreement between the Province and the participating First Nation Councils and Municipal Councils.

2023-2024 CB REN Business Plan

Click here to view the 2023-2024 CB REN Business Plan.

Key Delivery Areas of Nova Scotia’s Regional Enterprise Networks

The Province of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Economic Development, aligns government efforts behind a common agenda to support the conditions for a thriving economy where all Nova Scotians can participate and benefit.

Foundational to the delivery of the mandate is an action orientation for identifying and implementing programs, engaging with businesses, and outcomes focusing on: regional approaches, sustainable prosperity, connecting Nova Scotians, innovation driven approaches and effective business supports and investments.

The department works with the CB REN, and all Regional Enterprise Networks, to facilitate common understanding and alignment on these priorities, enhance relationships with the portfolio of Crown Corporations and leverage the comparative advantages in regions across the province.

2022 Key Delivery Areas

Nova Scotia Loyal Program

Leverage complementary activities (e.g., business development efforts, places for local businesses to be showcased, etc.) arising from the development and implementation of a new local consumption program.

Innovative Driven, Green, And Sustainable Businesses

Support partnerships with Municipalities, universities, community colleges and private sector and equity finance to encourage entrepreneurs to start or scale their businesses in all parts of the province based their comparative advantages and a focus on green objectives. 

Sustainable Prosperity

Facilitate engagement with small businesses in all sectors to gather feedback on ways to support emission reduction activities. 

Connecting Nova Scotians

Encourage and assist the adaptability of businesses, communities and citizens to fully participate in the digital economy through the development of new skills and adoption of technology made possible through increased infrastructure.