Nearly 600 small business practitioners, policy makers, researchers and educators from around the globe are in Halifax for the International Council for Small Business until Wednesday, June 25. The 53rd annual conference opened today, June 22, with Celtic pomp and circumstance at the World Trade and Convention Centre. Opening remarks were offered by Senator Donald Oliver and Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “Small businesses are the economic drivers that create new jobs and support innovation and, ultimately, economic prosperity for our region,” said Mr. Oliver, on behalf of Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “The government of Canada is committed to developing and delivering programs which promote small businesses.” Delegates will spend the next three days attending lectures and workshops on successful small-business development and growth. “The government’s commitment to sustainable prosperity for Nova Scotia means helping small and medium-sized businesses grow and prosper,” said Mr. Muir. “We are proud of the successes of our business leaders and our entrepreneurs, and pleased that this educational conference will further help them to thrive.” The conference will include a Tuesday evening gala Atlantic lobster dinner. The keynote address will be delivered by Canadian entrepreneur Ben Barry of the modeling agency Ben Barry Inc. The 2008 conference, Advancing Small Business and Entrepreneurship: From Research to Results, is at the World Trade and Convention Centre. It is co-hosted by the International Conference for Small Business affiliate Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and is organized by the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University Faculty of Management and Saint Mary’s University Business Development Centre. For conference details, visit www.icsb2008.org .