About Us

The Sobey School Business Development Centre is part of the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We offer programming ranging from skill development and entrepreneurship training with at-risk youth to social entreprise development in association with Enactus Saint Mary’s. We have created research documents that have been used to create economic development policy at the provincial and federal levels of government. We also provide a full suite of services to start-ups and mature companies to help them create strategies for growth. 

The consulting, training and coaching staff at the Sobey School Business Development Centre have decades of combined experience helping businesses grow. Our expertise in strategy, research, marketing and organizational development can help your business take on new opportunities or solve nagging problems. We have experience with coaching and consulting, policy research, customer discovery, business planning, lean start-up methodologies and much more.

Our Team

Eric Crowel, CA, MBA


Eric has worked with over 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses working as SSBDC Director since 1997. Along with his work consulting with businesses in the local community, Eric has participated on consulting projects all around the world, especially in Eastern Europe and Asia, specifically in the field of economic development and business growth. Eric has owned and operated a number of business interests. He has co-authored a book on managing high growth businesses in Nova Scotia and has specific insight on the role of innovation in business growth. Eric has an MBA from the University of Toronto and is a Chartered Accountant.

Michael Sanderson, MBA

Manager, Skills Development & Training

Michael has over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship, economic development and professional training. He has extensive leadership and project management experience and has been responsible for the development and delivery of varied projects including multi-year employability training programs for recent graduates, employability training programs for priority youth, conference planning and coordination, a variety of research and consulting projects, and professional development training. In addition, he has gained significant entrepreneurial experience. Michael is a Faculty Advisor for the award winning Enactus team at Saint Mary’s University. Michael is also an award winning faculty member of the management and marketing departments in the Saint Mary’s School of Business.

Matt MacPhee, MSc

Senior Project Manager

Matt is a Senior Project Manager at the Sobey School Business Development Center and part-time faculty member in the Management Department at Saint Mary’s University. He has a Masters degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and several international coaching and consulting certifications. Matt has trained and coached hundreds of businesses across Atlantic Canada over the last five years and is interested in working with growth-oriented companies.

Jason Turner

Senior Project Manager

Jason is a graduate of the Institute for Human Services Educations’ Youth Worker Diploma program, and is currently working toward a B.A. at Saint Mary’s University. Prior to working with the SSBDC, Jason was employed within the public school system as a substitute teacher and an Educational Assistant, as well as a personal care worker in small-options homes. Jason has been working with the Skills Development and Training Division of SSBDC since October of 2004 as a Senior Project Manager, focusing on administering employability programs for Halifax youth, as well as promoting entrepreneurship at Saint Mary’s. Jason is also a Faculty Advisor for the award winning Enactus team at Saint Mary’s University.

Monique Boudreau, MBA


Monique obtained a Masters of Business Administration from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cape Breton University. She has worked with the Sobey School Business Development Center in both project management and consulting roles. Over the last two years, Monique has trained and coached individuals across Atlantic Canada in professional development and entrepreneurial skills. From her work with minority groups, Monique brings an inclusive perspective to the team, ensuring all parties’ views are considered in the process.

Beth Decoste, MSc


Beth has worked with the Centre since 2015 as a project coordinator and junior consultant, and is now a lead consultant with the SSBDC. She earned her Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Saint Mary’s University in 2016 and also holds a Bachelor of Arts Psychology Honours. Through her education, Beth has training in Personnel Selection, Psychological Measurement, Organizational Psychology, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation, as well as extensive experience and training in research and data analysis. During her time at the Centre, she has worked with clients from small businesses, government, first nations, and non-profit organizations. She brings to the team strong research and analytical skills based in organizational theory.

Book a meeting with a coach today

The Sobey School Business Development Centre (SSBDC) wants to see Atlantic Canadian businesses grow. We are now offering a growth coaching program where qualified businesses can receive one-on-one coaching, training and support from the SSBDC’s experienced team of business coaches. If your business is struggling with growth, or just looking to create a strategy for taking the next step towards a better company, contact us to learn how you can take part.