RURAL INNOVATION CENTRE HIGHLIGHT

Gillian Mainguy from The Atlantic Wine Institute

“Young people need to know how to go up to someone in person and chat. They need to understand the importance of that.”

TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND WHAT ROLE YOU PLAY IN ITS OPERATIONS.

I am the Acting Director; it’s kind of in transition. We have a number of large funding applications in for specific projects because the wine institute is made up of six different universities and colleges throughout Atlantic Canada. Our members are Acadia, Dalhousie Agriculture, CCNB, Holland College, NSCC, and Saint Mary’s University.

I try and get the research expertise of the different faculty members at those institutions that would be dealing with wine projects. If there’s an industry member who has a question, I work on bringing the right research contact to them. So Acting Director for the Atlantic Wine Institute, and I’m also the Manager for the Wineries Association.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE RURAL INNOVATION CENTRE?

Certainly on days when I work from that office, I like the collegiality, I like how there’s people around. It’s nice to be able to chat it up with the other people who are around. I think that’s something students would really like as well, that energy.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS WHO ARE LOOKING TO GET INTO ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

Not to give up, to be persistent. I think that’s even truer in Nova Scotia where it’s perceived that the opportunities aren’t as great. I personally think there is tremendous opportunity. So don’t give up, be persistent.

Also the importance of Networking, and not just social networking! Young people need to know how to go up to someone in person and chat. They need to understand the importance of that.

WHAT’S AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS OR SOMETHING COOL YOU ARE WORKING ON?

People always assume I arrive to meetings with wine in hand!