The John Abbass Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in the memory of John Abbass Sr. by Family Business Atlantic. This annual $3,000 Scholarship is awarded to children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of Family Business Atlantic members, or family business owners in Nova Scotia and helps promote post-secondary business education pursuits. Applications are reviewed by the Scholarship Committee, with the award disbursed to the winning candidate’s post secondary educational institution.

2020 Recipient Bio: Elizabeth Wilson

My name is Elizabeth (Edie) Wilson, and I am 20 years old. I am currently a sophomore, studying computer science and engineering, and pursing a minor in environmental studies at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spent my summers from grade 10 onwards working at Wilson’s Security. My father, the president of the company, has always been a huge inspiration to me. He’s always treated me like an adult; I remember him pitching the idea and benefits of starting Wilson’s Security to me when I was 7 years old. He has since grown his company to be the leading provider of security in Atlantic Canada.

His entrepreneurial pursuits have inspired me in my own: I was the president of the Junior Achievement program at my high school, and am a member of the Entrepreneurship LLC at Dartmouth College. When I applied for this scholarship, it was because the family business and entrepreneurial aspects of it lined up with my own pursuits. Receiving this scholarship is hugely helpful to me in pursing my education. It allows me to continue my studies of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and software development in my computer science major, as well as develop an understanding of the environmental and economic impacts that a company can have in environmental studies. As a 9th generation Wilson, I am very excited to finish school and be able to contribute to the family business that has given me so much with the new knowledge and ideas that I’ve gained through my college education.

For my family business in particular, a key challenge is pushing boundaries. In a world where the climate is changing, and technologies are rapidly improving, my family is challenged to strive for greener energy sources, other than gas and oil, in Wilson’s Fuels, as well as keep up with state of the art systems in our security business. Although some family businesses can grow stagnant over generations, as a member of a family business I believe that it is an implicit challenge posed to me to help our company keep up with changing economies and societies. These are the things that will be especially important for me as I pursue work with the family business in the future.

The John Abbass Sr. Memorial Scholarship is an investment in the bright young minds that power our community, and will impact the educations of the many young entrepreneurs of our future. Please consider sponsoring this event to provide funds to students for post education support to be the future of family business.


Download the John Abbass Scholarship Application

Applications are now closed for 2021.

Applications typically open in January

Application deadline: March 31, 5pm ATL

Judges decision late April/early May

Email PDF Application to:

Mail printed application to:
Family Business Atlantic
65 Celtic Drive
Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 3G5

Note: Due to COVID-19, 1 PDF electronic application is preferred. However if some items (such as a transcript) are not available electronically, they may be dropped off at our office.


  • Candidates must be a resident of Nova Scotia (may be attending a post-secondary institution outside of Nova Scotia).
  • Candidates must be in the process of taking their first post-secondary educational pursuit.
  • Candidates degree should have a business focus or be related to their family business.
  • Candidates must have achieved a grade point average of 80%.
  • Candidates will preferably have a family business background, interest in becoming involved in their family business or pursing their own business interests.
  • Candidates must be applying for the first time – only one submission per applicant permitted.