Comfy Couch Conversation with C.B.D.C.
by Jessica Bowden ⋅ July 25, 2018
Today’s youth interview businesses, individuals, and organizations to explore opportunities while discovering and sharing with their viewers, WHAT youth should do TODAY to secure their Career path for TOMORROW
In this episode of Comfy Couch Conversations, the Teens Now Talk Teen Team interviews Erinn Smith, Executive Director of Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) and share with you some key information on entrepreneurship and money available to help start your own business.
Would you please explain your position? I look after the overall strategic goals of the organization, as well as manage the day-to-day operations.
How long have you been doing this work? I have been with the CBDC for 15 years. I was hired as an intern and then moved into the Project Manager position, and in 2010 moved into my current role.
What type of work do you do? I spend a lot of time talking to my members, providing support where they need it – some days that might mean graphic design work, finding forms for a particular government program, or organizing a training session.
How did you get involved in this career? I had graduated from university and was looking for work and I had applied for a job with an organization that was in the same building as the CBDC. I didn’t get the job I applied for but they recommended I submit my resume to the CBDC, so I did. It was completely unrelated to my field of study at university but it was only a one-year term, so I thought I’d give it a try.
What education did you need to get to where you are today? The internship program that I was hired under required a post-secondary degree, so my Bachelor of Science fit that requirement. It would have been helpful if I had more of a business and finance background but I have been able to learn on the job and have taken workshops along the way to teach me the skills I’ve needed.
What is CBDC? CBDC stands for Community Business Development Corporation and there are 13 of them located across rural Nova Scotia. We are part of a larger national network of over 260 organizations. CBDCs are a great resource for people in rural communities looking to start or expand businesses. They provide business loans, along with business counselling and training opportunities.
How old do you have to be to get a loan from the CBDC? Our youth loans are available for people as young as 18. We can also provide business counselling, talk through your business idea, and give you advice.
What kind of education should I focus on if I want to work for a CBDC? A business or finance degree is often preferred and any courses in entrepreneurship would be ideal. If you’ve owned your business (even if was just a summer business while you’re in school) that gives you a great perspective when helping other entrepreneurs.