Saint Mary's University Entrepreneurship Centre

SMUEC helps Canada’s first airport honesty shop open in Halifax


In an effort to promote Nova Scotia’s locally grown products and the cultural values of honesty and trust in the region, Mabata – Glocal Eatery, supported by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre’s program The Runway, launched Canada’s first airport honesty shop, located at the arrivals foyer of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Introduced by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre in April of 2018, The Runway is an incubator that provides local businesses the opportunity to promote and grow their enterprises through product sales and new product testing activities at the airport. The Runway has since worked with 14 local businesses, providing business support and a rent-free space to set up their shop at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Each month, The Runway airport kiosk features a new local business, with past companies ranging from apparel brands to plant-based nutrition bars.

The new honesty food pop-up shop, launched on July 10th, is a world pioneering concept that entrusts customers to pick the food, snack and drink items they wish to purchase, punch in their order using a touch screen and pay via a self-service checkout that accepts credit/debit cards, cash and mobile payments, with no one serving or watching customers during their purchase experience.

Mabata’s new Honesty pop-up shop will operate during the summer months of 2019 as a 24/7 un-manned shop and offers a 24/7 remote support helpline to assist any customer that requires further help to make their purchase.

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Local entrepreneurs explore new opportunities east with help from SMUEC


Two Halifax-based entrepreneurs are headed to China later this month with the hopes of growing their businesses by entering the Chinese market. Trevor Silver, CEO of tREv Clothing, and Tracy Brown, COO of ValuedOption Inc. will spend 15 days building new relationships with import and export partners and participating in lectures led by world-leaders in the technology industry.

Earlier this year, Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) put out a call for local entrepreneurs looking to build business connections within China and to explore new import and export opportunities.

“In an ever-increasing ‘global marketplace’, China is front and centre as a developed country with huge market potential and cutting-edge technologies; as Nova Scotia-based business’ seek exporting potential and expansion opportunities, China has become a destination of choice for founders,” says Jason Turner, Senior Project Manager, the Spark Zone.

Over the years, Nova Scotia has emphasized the importance of building new relationships with China in order to advance businesses within the province.  Nova Scotia’s business dealings with China led to $719 million in exports in 2018, up from $114 million in 2011. This shows the immense opportunities available to businesses who import and export with China. It is important that Nova Scotia businesses continue to be innovative and gain access to new resources, helping them build connections with businesses in China in order and enter the Chinese market.

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Entrepreneurship for everyone: SMUEC annual report released

The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) released it’s 2018-19 annual report, aptly named Entrepreneurship for Everyone.


Since re-launching last year under a new name, SMUEC has been working toward its mandate of intergrating and supporting entrepreneurship across all faculties within the university.

The report covers the impressive array of entrepreneurial programming undertaken over the past year, all with a focus to ignite entrepreneurial mindsets and help student entrepreneurs and local businesses thrive.

Some highlights:

  • The new ENbassadors Program saw a team of 13 students working across faculties to encourage student involvement in entrepreneurial activities, reaching 3198 students!.

  • The Runway kiosk allowed selected entrepreneurs to showcase products, conduct market research and engage with consumers at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport

  • The New Product Competition awarded $10,000 in prize money to student teams who developed products to solve a specific retail pain point and presents an opportunity for commercialization.

See an interactive version of the report online: