Rural Nova Scotia is home to a thriving community of innovative startups and creative ventures. Among them, there are extraordinary female entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges and made significant contributions to their communities. In this blog post, we celebrate four inspiring women who are making waves in rural Nova Scotia, showcasing their resilience, vision, and commitment to driving positive change.

1. Lydia Sayeau – Co-founder of New Brooklyn Media and BRAEVR

Lydia is the co-founder, president and CEO of New Brooklyn Media and co-founder of BRAEVR Media. New Brooklyn Media is a full-service production company offering video, photo and design services based in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. BRAEVR Media is a virtual reality video production company that creates amazing and immersive video content by combining cutting-edge tech and tools with fresh vision, boundless enthusiasm, and an adventurous spirit. 

Lydia Sayeau is a bit of a jack of all trades, with professional degrees in both Photography and Graphic Design. Before returning to her native Nova Scotia, Lydia worked for a first-class marketing agency in downtown Toronto. Community engagement is in her blood and helping Nova Scotia businesses develop their brand is her passion. She has a knack for organization and planning, making her the perfect point person to ensure your project runs smoothly, efficiently and on budget.

2. Mani Chakrabarty – Founder of ASBB Consulting

ASBB Consulting is a social and economic advisory that aims to contribute to the important socio-economic discussions within public policy by empowering decision makers such as governments and not-for-profit and social advocators to co-create and implement socially innovative solutions.

With over a decade of experience in the public sector, and private industry, Mani Chakrabarty, an trailblazing economist, and social entrepreneur, decided to start ASBB consulting after leaving her job as Senior Consultant with Deloitte in hopes of creating an agency that advocates for a positive social change for all civil society, with a focus upon remote and rural communities. Mani holds a Political Science MA from the London School of Economics and an MA and Bcomm from the University of Alberta. Mani is a vivid traveler who has traveled to 32 countries to take inspiration and learn from the vast differences that make our world beautiful yet surprisingly similar.

3. Katie McNeill – Founder of Mycaro

Katie McNeill is the founder of Mycaro, an environmentally-friendly, upcycled protein product. Mycaro is a high protein, upcycled mycelium ground that is produced through the fermentation of agricultural by-products. This mycelium ground allows consumers to enjoy versatile, sustainable protein with a neutral taste and desirable texture.

4. Michelle Hurlburt – Founder of 3D Life Inc.

3DLife Inc. is an education and coaching company focused on transforming professional and personal leadership for women in business and in organizations. Through training, mentoring, and coaching services and programs, 3DLife Inc. aims to partner with women who want to gain greater clarity on what they want and need in their leadership (and in life) so that they can get the best results for their business or organization, be a role model leader for their team and their clients, and be well while doing it.

With over 25 years of experience in education and in business, Michelle Hurlburt, M.Ed. is the Director-Founder, Mentor, and Certified Coach at 3DLife Inc. At the core of 3DLife™’s vision, mission, and work is the acknowledgement that leaders are human too, and personal development is professional/business development.

How we support

In conclusion, these four remarkable women embody the spirit of possibility in rural Nova Scotia. Lydia, Mani, Katie, and Michelle have each forged their own paths, leaving a lasting impact on their communities. They inspire us to ignite our passions, overcome challenges, and make a difference wherever we are. These entrepreneurs are shining examples of the possibilities that exist in rural areas and a reminder to others to chase their own dreams.

IGNITE is proud to support women entrepreneurs in rural Nova Scotia through our IGNITING Women in Business program. The program is designed to provide rural women entrepreneurs with valuable opportunities to connect, learn, and expand their networks. Through a series of initiatives, including a speaker series, a young women in business gala, and a retreat, we aim to inspire and empower rural women in business across Nova Scotia. We are thrilled to announce that our retreat, marking the first year of the program, recently concluded last month. It was an incredible experience filled with impactful sessions, networking opportunities, and a supportive community.

As we reflect on the success of the first year, we are excited to share that the next year of the IGNITING Women in Business program will begin in the fall. We will continue to provide a platform for rural women entrepreneurs to thrive, offering them the tools, resources, and connections they need to succeed. IGNITE remains dedicated to fostering a supportive ecosystem that celebrates and empowers women in business, enabling them to achieve their dreams and contribute to the vibrant entrepreneurial landscape of rural Nova Scotia.

If you’re thinking of taking the leap and starting your own company in rural Nova Scotia, there are resources available to help you get started. Check out IGNITE’s residency program to learn more.

Want to read more articles on entrepreneurship and innovation? Check out the IGNITE blog.