The Valley REN is part of a province-wide community of Regional Enterprise Networks (“RENs”). In September this year, this broader network – comprising REN staff and board members, municipal officials and staff, and provincial partners and other stakeholders – came together for the second annual REN conference in Digby.
The conference theme was “thinking and acting regionally” – across municipal boundaries and across different regions in Nova Scotia. The speakers portrayed the “big picture” of how RENs and their partners are working together to advance economic development in regions outside of Halifax. Valley REN board and staff who attended the conference were inspired by the passion and commitment in the room.
Read our report on the conference in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Municipal Voice. (Note: the article begins on page 34.)
Learn more: The Western REN, which was the 2018 conference host, has provided a detailed summary of the event, including a photo gallery and links to presentations.
Did you know? The REN model was launched in Nova Scotia in 2013 and the first RENs were established in 2014. Nova Scotia has six organizations operating under the banner of RENs, with some variations. The basic model brings municipalities and First Nations together through an inter-municipal services agreement under the Municipal Government Act. Their pooled financial contributions are matched by the Province of Nova Scotia up to a defined maximum. The collective purpose of the RENs is to work collaboratively to build strong regional economies by focusing on business development.
Why REGIONAL? By working across municipal boundaries, and collaborating with local governments and the business community, RENs can pursue shared goals, tackle common challenges, combine resources and create more sustainable regions.
Why ENTERPRISE? By concentrating on business retention, expansion and investment, and creating better conditions for business operations, RENs can support sustainable economic growth in regions across Nova Scotia.
Why NETWORKS? By building strong partnerships in local government and with business, academia, citizens and other levels of government, regions can experience transformative change on a local scale. Read more about Nova Scotia RENs.
Learn about the Valley REN’s 3-Year Strategic Framework: This year, the Valley REN has been engaging with funding partners, businesses and other stakeholders to validate and develop a three-year strategy to advance regional prosperity through collaborative action. Read the Valley REN’s Road Map for 2018-19 and beyond.
As research analyst for the Valley REN, Rachel Brighton brings 25 years’ experience as a journalist, editor, publisher, manager, consultant and not-for-profit director in Canada and Australia.