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A Parent's Guide to Frequently Asked QuestionsStep 1: The Guidelines

Students In Business (SIB) Application Guidelines

SIB is an initiative of the Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations, designed to support students who want to start businesses.

Who can participate?

You must:

  • be a full-time student who has passed your 15th birthday
  • attend, or plan to attend, high school or a recognized post-secondary educational institution in the next year
  • be a resident of Nova Scotia for six consecutive months prior to applying

What kinds of businesses qualify?

  • All types of businesses that are considered to be desirable and essential to your local community will be considered. These include sole proprietorships, student cooperatives, partnerships and corporations.
  • If you have business partners, each of you must apply separately for SIB assistance, which will be divided equally among you to a maximum of $5,000.
  • You cannot register more than one business under SIB.
  • Your business activities must be carried on within rural Nova Scotia. Businesses located in metro Halifax, Bedford and Dartmouth are not eligible to apply.

Can any eligible student who submits an application receive assistance?

Assistance will be considered on the basis of demonstrated effort and performance, including various assessments and/or participation in training which may be required. There is no guarantee students applying for assistance will be approved. Your effort in planning, running your business, working with your mentor, learning skills and reporting effectively are all factors that will be considered.


Why participate in this initiative?

You will:

  • learn more about your entrepreneurial interests
  • benefit from practical ‘real life’ experiences
  • access excellent information resources to prepare yourself for running a business
  • get advice to help address the challenges of operating a business
  • have the opportunity to be your boss!

Students In Business helps you in two ways:

  • you get access to sources of start-up information and advice, and mentoring by interested experienced entrepreneurs
  • SIB can provide up to $5,000 per business in the form of an interest bearing loan, which must be repaid based on terms negotiated with the Delivery Agent.

What will SIB help you pay for?

Assistance can be applied against start-up capital, lease hold improvements, equipment, inventory and working capital associated with the running of your business, which could include owners drawing and other wage costs. There are few restrictions on what the loan can be used for which will be discussed with you at the time of your application.

What is the process?

  • Apply - forward your completed application and business plan to SIB Delivery Partners. An outline is provided in this package for your use.
  • Get a Mentor - There are many organizations that can help you connect with a volunteer mentor such as the Community Business Development Corporations, Nova Scotia Coop Council, Chambers of Commerce, Junior Achievement, University Business Development Centres, the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development, etc. Mentors can offer business and support advice as you conduct your business. At the time of application, you will be required to provide the name of the experienced entrepreneur or business educator who has agreed to help you as a volunteer mentor. Show your business plan to potential mentors or coaches to help them better understand how you see your business operating.

Start your business

  • Confer with your mentor or coach (ie. Delivery Agent)—connect periodically with your mentor or coach via meetings, telephone or correspondence to discuss the progress and challenges of your business.

What are the other key guidelines in this initiative?

  1. Every applicant should have:
    • a Social Insurance Number and card
    • been a resident of Nova Scotia for six consecutive months preceding the date of application
  2. Every applicant (including each member of a partnership and every member of a student co-operative) must complete and submit a separate application form.
  3. An applicant may be part of only one application per year.
  4. The proposed business may be in the form of:
    • sole proprietorship or student co-operative, or partnership, or corporation
  5. Every proposed co-operative must submit the following to the Inspector of Co-operatives, Suite 101, 35 Commercial Street, Truro, NS B2N 3H9; Phone: (902) 893-6190. For full information respecting the registration of a cooperative in Nova Scotia, see the cooperatives’ website at
  6. Every business must carry on its activity within the province of Nova Scotia.
  7. Agricultural businesses must show significant independence from the farm where the business is operating (as outlined in the application).
  8. Every applicant who borrows funds to operate their business must ensure that they either repay their loan by a prescribed date, or confirm that they have made satisfactory repayment agreements with the lender.

How do I take part?

Complete the Registration/Application Package, which includes:

  • an application form
  • a basic business plan

What is the registration/application deadline?

There is no deadline. Applications are reviewed on an on-going basis.

Where do I send in my application and attached business plan?

Please send your completed application and business plan to the Delivery Agent in your area.


You can also contact:
Erinn Smith - Executive Director
Nova Scotia Association of Community Business Development Corporations
139 Park Road, Unit 1B
Elmsdale, Nova Scotia
B2S 2L3
Phone: (902) 883-4798
Fax: (902) 883-3024

Proceed to Step 2: The Application Form


Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)