What We Do

We are leaders and drivers of Annapolis Valley economic development opportunities

Our strategic foundation


A thriving, regional economy, delivering the highest quality of life in Canada.

We support a thriving regional economy that, when combined with our geographic location, natural environment and diverse population, makes the Valley one of the best places to live in rural Canada.


The Valley REN is the catalyst for a thriving, sustainable and inclusive regional economy in the Annapolis Valley. 

We are proactive in evidence-based action planning and the coordinator of local and provincial resources to maximize our collective impact.

STRATEGic priorities

Our strategic priorities are a link between the strategic foundation of the organization and the daily work and activities of the Valley REN

Our goal is to provide support, tools and programs for new, emerging and existing businesses while working with partners to enhance the region’s entrepreneurial culture. 



Our goal is to attract and retain employees/workers while identifying and helping to fill current and future needs and gaps for local employers.


Our goal is to support the strengthening, diversification and interconnectedness of the economic sectors.


Our goal is to enhance our collective and collaborative environment for great efficiency and effectiveness, strengthen relationships and leverage regional opportunities. 


  • Innovation
    We value and encourage new ideas that challenge the status quo.
  • Professionalism
    We apply the best practices in our work and relationships.
  • Diversity
    In people, cultures, strengths, sectors, industries and capitals (human, financial, social, organizational, natural and cultural).
  • Adaptability
    We are prepared to adjust our strategies as circumstances require.
  • This Place
    We are proud to call the Annapolis Valley our home and are committed to seeing it grow and flourish.


  • Collaboration
    We believe that economic development is a team effort.
  • Evidence-based Decision Making
    We make decisions based on data and evidence along with input from our businesses and community.
  • Fiscal Stewardship
    Our trusting relationships with our partners and funders are founded on fiscal responsibility, transparency and accountability.


    We believe that economic development and community well-being should be mutually supporting. 


2018-2019 Priorities

Broadband Internet and Valley Manufacturing Taskforces 

Cooperative Valley Brand and Marketing Program, including retention and settlement services
Municipal Readiness and Modernization Workshops
Rural Entrepreneurship, Youth and Community Enterprise Support 

Strategic initiatives supporting Innovation and Economic Health

2017-2018 Achievements


Succession Planning Pilot Program

Valley-based businesses took part in a Succession Planning Pilot Program offered in October and November 2017 through a partnership between the Valley REN, Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre and the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Upon completion of the program, 90% of participants noted they had acquired relevant skills to help with the survival, growth and/or succession of their business. All participants indicated they would recommend the program.



On behalf of municipalities in our region, the Valley Regional Enterprise Network has partnered with the i-Valley Intelligent Community Association to pursue an international Smart Region designation for the Annapolis Valley.

The formal designation would be issued under the ISO 37120 standard managed by the World Council on City Data (ISO 37120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life).

As part of this project, the existing ISO 37120 standard – which includes 100 social, economic and service indicators across 17 themes – will be applied to rural communities.


Business Networking and Charity Expo

A partnership between Nova Scotia Works, Community Inc., PeopleWorx, and Fusion Annapolis Valley, the Business Expo was held on January 19, 2018, at the Cornwallis Inn in Kentville. The event was developed to engage the business community and young professionals for networking, resource building and exposure to area talent, talent seekers and community resources available to assist both groups to achieve greater success. The event had approximately 250 attendees and 43 exhibitors attended.

Kitpu (Eagle Watch Kick-OFF Party)

A partnership between the Sheffield Mills Community Association and Glooscap First Nation, the Kitpu Eagle Watch Kick-Off Party was held on January 26, 2018, at the Sheffield Mills Community Hall. The event was developed to provide an opportunity for youth from Glooscap First Nation and Kings County 4H to learn about First Nation conservation projects. The event was sold out, with 50 attendees.

Michelin Workplace Skills Inventory

The Valley REN worked with Michelin to create new draft versions of their Workplace Skills Inventory (entrance tests), using Universal Design Learning to make them easier to understand. The draft versions were tested on more than 80 students at NSCC, AVRSB, PeopleWorx and VCLA.

Upper Clements Parks Strategic Planning

The Valley REN continues to work with Upper Clements Parks as they prepare to undergo the following planning processes: strategic plan, business plan, capital plan and communications plan. The Valley REN is also assisting them with marketing and communications for the 2018 season.

Collective Impact Project

Our Collective Impact Project supported four collaborative initiatives run by nine agencies.

Connector Program

Received funding to create a rural Connector Program, designed to support residential retention by networking job seekers with community leaders, mentors and potential employers.

Business Acceleration AND RETENTION (BAR)

With the goal adding value to the business community without sacrificing the capture of important local business statistics for the provincial government, the Valley REN developed a new business service program called “Business Acceleration and Retention” (BAR).

The Valley REN has shared this approach with other provincial RENs (Regional Enterprise Networks). This program focuses on ensuring value is being delivered to clients, helping to navigate public and private sector resources and capturing key business insights that lead to effective strategic and business planning for the REN and our partners.


“Seed”: Hacking Entrepreneurship in the Annapolis Valley

A partnership between Refresh Annapolis Valley and the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre.

A documentary screening and expo held on November 21, 2017, at the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville. The documentary was co-organized by 14 organizations with the aim of beating the startup ecosystem drum for Global Entrepreneurship Week. More than 80 people attended the screening and expo.


Growing Entrepreneurs

The Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Young Business Leaders partnered with Fusion Annapolis Valley to create a promotional video for an ongoing project that encourages young people (students and recent graduates) to stay in the area by showcasing unique opportunities in entrepreneurship and businesses in the Valley. The video is still in development.

Wildcats Workshop

The Valley REN assisted the Valley Wildcats junior ice hockey organization by facilitating a stakeholder workshop to gather valuable feedback. More than 30 individuals attended (volunteers, coaches, players, board members). Based on the results of the session, the Valley REN presented a report that provided next steps for organizational and business planning.

Kings Transit

The Valley REN is working with Kings Transit by facilitating a number of stakeholder sessions (employers, council, university/college students and the general public) to assist and help inform Kings Transit’s strategic planning process.

Youth Entrepreneurship

The Valley REN supported youth entrepreneurship through being a part of the Junior Achievement Company Program. This program supported eight youth in the community to develop entrepreneurial skills and interest.

Collaborative Medical Practice

The Valley REN began to work with a Collaborative Medical Practice to help them achieve operational efficiencies. We will continue to work with them in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
Valley Regional Enterprise Network Helping You Grow In the Valley