Rustum Southwell – Doing Business with the Black Community & the BLM effect
February 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Dr. Rustum Southwell is a visionary, an innovator, a mentor and an astute business leader. As founding CEO of The Black Business Initiative (BBI) his passion was to have a Black presence in all business and cultural sectors not only in Nova Scotia, but also across Canada, the US and the Caribbean. February is African Heritage month. We are honoured to have Dr. Southwell speak to us about doing business with the Black community and the effects of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dr. Rustum Southwell came to Halifax 47 years ago from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. He went to Mount St. Vincent and Dalhousie Universities. He started breaking barriers by becoming the first Black franchisee owner in the restaurant industry. From there, he was became the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Black Business Initiative (BBI). In that role he has shepherded the creation and expansion of hundreds of Black-owned and operated businesses and the creation of 800 jobs. One of those is Hope Blooms, the successful youth business venture in healthy eating. Dr Southwell holds honorary degrees in law from Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie Universities, and an honorary diploma from the School of Business at the Nova Scotia Community College. He and his wife, Gracey, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for their contributions to Nova Scotia and to Canada.