Our Mission

The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre creates opportunities to connect students with businesses through training, mentorship, coaching and consulting activities. With a focus on growth, innovation and cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset, the Centre is committed to helping the Atlantic Canadian economy grow and prosper. 

Our History

The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) is a leading provider of university-based business support services in Atlantic Canada. Over the past 25 years, the SMUEC has worked to enhance our community’s prosperity by helping business and student leaders reach their entrepreneurial potential. Recognized regionally, nationally and globally for their programs, the SMUEC supports leaders through consulting, training, promoting entrepreneurship and cultivating community connections.

As a division of Saint Mary’s University, the SMUEC works to connect students and faculty to businesses. The SMUEC provides clients with access to students’ fresh ideas and faculty’s expert opinions and leading research. Using this approach, the SMUEC offers clients innovative and cost-effective solutions to a wide range of business problems.

Since its creation in 1989 by founder, Dr. Colin Dodds, former President of Saint Mary’s University (then Dean of Commerce), the SMUEC has helped develop solutions for thousands of organizations through our training and consulting services. The SMUEC was modeled on American-based University Business Development Centres (UBDCs) that use business students to help local entrepreneurs. Today, the SMUEC is part of a Canada-wide network of UBDCs that includes five Nova Scotia-based centres.

In the last five years, the SMUEC has engaged more than 4,000 students and 3,000 businesses in entrepreneurial support and promotion activities. The SMUEC continues to build on past success by increasing support to students and business owners alike through enhancing our services and support to meet the needs of our growing business community.


In the numbers

In Funding Provided

Student Engagements

Student Entrepreneurs Supported

Jobs Created



We believe that building entrepreneurial skills will serve all students well, either through entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship as they enter the workforce. The goal of this phase is to ignite and inspire an entrepreneurial mindset in students from all faculties by offering various training sessions, guest speakers, and competitions. 


We recognize that in order for our students and entrepreneurs to successfully develop their entrepreneurial ideas, small financial investments and incentives are essential. Our strong community partnerships and support from the University allow us to help both student and local entrepreneurs grow by providing access to financial programming and services such as wage subsidies and microgrants.


This phase of our programming focuses on design thinking, iterating, prototyping, etc. SMUEC provides training and a safe environment for students and community businesses to develop, test, and pivot new ideas.


We provide specialized services and programming to help students and businesses overcome challenges and reach their full potential. We provide training to help businesses increase capacity, improve processes, and scale. 

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