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Expansion of Kinney Place Incubator Spaces to Boost Black-Led Businesses

Expansion of Kinney Place Incubator Spaces to Boost Black-Led Businesses

Kinney Place, nestled in Westphal, Nova Scotia, is poised to undergo a transformative expansion aimed at fostering the growth of Black-led businesses within the community. The success of the existing business incubator spaces has spurred a surge in demand, prompting plans for additional facilities tailored specifically to support Black entrepreneurs.

Managed by Akoma Holdings, Kinney Place occupies the historic grounds of the former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. Veronica Marsman, property manager for Akoma Holdings, underscores the pressing need for increased office space to accommodate the burgeoning demand from African Nova Scotian businesses and non-profit organizations. She emphasizes the community’s eagerness to access spaces that resonate with their cultural identity and proximity to their community.

Acknowledging the significance of this initiative, the McConnell Foundation has pledged $750,000 over three years to bolster the project. Naolo Charles, spokesman for the McConnell Foundation, highlights the organization’s commitment to supporting Black-led initiatives, noting the alignment of their partnership with Akoma’s mission to empower the African Nova Scotian community through economic development.

The envisioned spaces at Kinney Place are envisioned as inclusive, Africentric environments, designed to provide affordable access to resources and opportunities for Black and African Nova Scotian entrepreneurs. Marsman emphasizes the potential for these expansions to enhance economic prospects and foster community resilience.

Michelle Hill-Johnson, owner and operator of The Studio Hair & Esthetics, attests to the transformative impact of the incubator spaces, citing the support provided by Akoma as instrumental in realizing her entrepreneurial aspirations within the Black community.

Akoma Holdings, a registered charity, stewards approximately 320 acres of land in Westphal, a testament to their longstanding commitment to fostering economic empowerment and community development. Since assuming ownership in 2014, Akoma has been dedicated to leveraging its resources to uplift and empower the African Nova Scotian community.

As plans for expansion unfold, Kinney Place stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity, poised to catalyze the growth of Black-led businesses and nurture a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurship within Nova Scotia’s vibrant landscape.



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