Nova Scotia

a day in the life

of a Development Officer

Pictured: Jennifer O’Quinn Development Officer, CBDC Blue Water (left) with Kim and Blair Davis, Ataraxy Farm

Photography by Lyndsay Doyle
Article by Erinn Smith & Jennifer Nicholls

CBDCs are an integral part of the business fabric in our rural communities and development officers are the face of CBDCs in the community.

Development officers provide support and guidance to small businesses in their area, playing a large role in the economic development of their regions. Their day may start off with a telephone call from a client looking for advice on how to improve their marketing or they may be on the road visiting clients. There is always paperwork to do and emails to respond to, but the work is never monotonous. The next phone call or email may have them researching a unique business idea or connecting an entrepreneur with the right person to talk to about permits or zoning.

If you are looking for an interesting career and love to help others, then working for a CBDC as a development officer might be the job for you.

Jennifer O’Quinn knows firsthand how many unique business ideas are out there. In the 30 years she has worked in business and community development she has seen everything from a silkworm farm to a woodcarving business to an island-based glamping resort and everything in between.

Whether a business idea is conventional or unusual, all entrepreneurs need the same kinds of support, financing, training, and advice. Most importantly, they need someone in their corner who they can count on. Jennifer is passionate about her work assisting clients with their business development needs including business training, advisory services, and financing.

“The rewards I receive from seeing clients succeed keeps me doing (and loving!) business development; for clients, for the community, and for my personal satisfaction.”

Jennifer’s career has been focused on client engagement, business startup and growth, and partnership development. She has been a development officer for CBDC Blue Water since 2010 and has worked with countless clients in rural HRM to start, grow, and improve their businesses.

Recently Jennifer had the opportunity to learn about the benefits of goat therapy as she helped Ataraxy Farms fund a dairy operation to support their therapeutic farm. (Click here learn more about Ataraxy Farms.)

A development officer can walk down the Main Street of their town, or along a rural road in their county and see the many successful businesses that they have assisted over the years.

CBDCs in Nova Scotia provide financing to over 400 businesses each year and thousands more receive 
counselling and training on a variety of business management skills.

There are more than 25 development officers across Nova Scotia and each one is committed to making Nova Scotia a better place to live, helping the businesses that make rural communities thrive.

“The rewards I receive from seeing clients succeed keeps me doing (and loving!) business development; for clients, for the community, and for my personal satisfaction.” 

Jennifer O’Quinn 
Development Officer 
CBDC Blue Water 

Ambitions is a publication of the Atlantic Association of CBDCs intended to promote and celebrate small business and entrepreneurial success in the communities we serve.

We let our clients tell our story.

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