News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB receives $1 million from ACOA for professional sales initiatives

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jun 10, 2021

Category: UNB Saint John , myUNB

The University of New Brunswick and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) have announced a new collaboration to develop proficiency in professional sales across the region.

A $1-million contribution from the Government of Canada, through ACOA, was announced on June 10 at an event at UNB’s Grand Hall in Saint John’s historic uptown.

The funding will support a number of professional sales initiatives that will be based within this building, which has been home to the Saint John campus’s master of business administration (MBA) program since last year and has become a hub of entrepreneurial excellence.

Currently Atlantic Canada is under-represented when it comes to professional sales. This funding will be used to benefit the region’s business community through a range of new initiatives, bringing sales expertise to the area and supporting sales research. It will also help produce more professional salespeople, which will stimulate New Brunswick’s economy.

ACOA is providing a non-repayable contribution to UNB Saint John through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, to support activities such as recruitment and marketing, as well as professional development and experiential learning activities over the next five years.

The initiative will also include funding for postdoctoral researchers, think tanks, research projects and pitch competitions, as well as regular round tables to bring together sales students and the business community.

“Today’s announcement is about creating skilled job opportunities that help us build back a stronger, more resilient economy,” said Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John – Rothesay. “The Government of Canada, through ACOA, continues to work hard to help businesses get ready for the future. I am proud of the impact that this investment will have on increasing the number of accredited salespersons available to New Brunswick businesses.”

MP Long spoke on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for ACOA.

UNB has been working to build sales talent within Atlantic Canada for several years, including launching its business development and professional sales graduate program in 2018 and, more recently, becoming an accredited partner of the Canadian Professional Sales Association, the national governing body for sales professionals.

The relocation of UNB’s MBA program last year created a hub of entrepreneurial excellence in the city’s historic uptown. This entrepreneurial gateway provides a shared, collaborative space for both innovation and learning.

“This funding will benefit Atlantic Canada’s business community, bringing expertise to the area and producing more professional salespeople, which will help boost New Brunswick’s economy,” said Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB president and vice-chancellor. “I want to thank ACOA for providing us with the necessary funds to allow for these opportunities to come to fruition.”

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Photo L-R: Dr. David MaGee, UNB vice-president (research); Dr. Shelley Rinehart, director of UNB Saint John’s MBA program; Gerry Pond (on screen), co-founder and chair of Mariner; Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John-Rothesay; Sandro Verrelli (on screen), president and CEO of Canadian Professional Sales Association; Dr. Petra Hauf, UNB vice-president Saint John; Dr. Paul Mazerolle, UNB president and vice-chancellor. Photo credit: Rob Blanchard/UNB.