Toronto-based businesses have a phenomenal opportunity when it comes to exporting products internationally. There are government funding programs and other resources available to companies of all sizes and industries; the key is knowing how to access them.
Many of the hurdles businesses must face to export their products globally can be minimized through the development of proactive export strategies.
One of the ways that business managers can eliminate export barriers is by participating in the Toronto Board of Trade’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) . In partnership with World Trade Centre Toronto, TAP provides a 90-day hands-on workshop delivering access to Canada’s top exporting advisors, resources, and contact network. Ultimately, participants of the program will be trade-ready and able to export their goods internationally.
The program has four annual intake periods where businesses can apply or receive nomination by one of the program partners. The next TAP session begins March 21-22, 2017; space is still available, companies should consider applying if they’re ready to develop their strategic exporting plans.
Toronto Trade Accelerator Program: Develop a Market Entry Strategy
TAP is designed to help Toronto Region businesses develop and activate a market entry strategy. The three-month program leverages expertise and resources from a vast network of program partners to:
- Navigate complexities of the global trade ecosystem;
- Leverage trade and investment resources;
- Access tailored, one-on-one coaching;
- Learn about international best-practices;
- Accelerate export readiness; and
- Expand global trade footprint and grow revenues.
How the Trade Accelerator Program Works
Program participants can become involved with TAP in one of two ways:
- Partner Nomination (through an organization like Mentor Works); and
- Self-Application (through the Toronto Board of Trade).
Although it’s possible to apply on your own, receiving nomination through a certified program partner will accelerate the application review process and strengthen your chances of success.
Program Success: TAP enabled Linear Transfer Automation to broker their first order of $1.5 million from China and initiate plans to expand to India.
Upon approval into the Trade Accelerator Program, businesses will send a senior representative to the Toronto Board of Trade to complete phase 1 of the program and follow-up on subsequent sessions as noted below:
Phase 1: Onboarding Session
Onboarding sessions are held once per quarter to begin the TAP program for new members. During the onboarding session, participating companies will complete an intensive two-day training sessions where they will learn about the full range of exporting resources available to them, and how to build an export strategy.
Phase 2: Export Plan Development and Assessment
A few days after the initial onboarding session, participants will return to the Toronto Board of Trade to complete a day of mentoring and begin writing their export strategy.
Program Experts will guide each participant through an Export Assessment Tool where export plans can be analyzed. Experts will be able to highlight gaps in the company’s export plan and provide clarity on ways to overcome the issue.
Phase 3: Export Plan Activation
Participants will finalize their market entry plans and strategize an implementation plan with a combination of lead and supporting partners (including RBC, CN, UPS, EDC, BDC, the Trade Commissioner Service, and the Province of Ontario). These organizations will be able to assist with next steps and improve the market expansion process.
Program Success: TAP enabled Fine Cotton Factory Inc. to increase monthly sales by $250,000, hire an export manager, find an Italian distributor, and sign a R&D agreement with the National Research Council of Canada.
Apply for the Trade Accelerator Program
To apply for the Trade Accelerator Program, businesses may contact the Toronto Board of Trade, or request nomination through Mentor Works.
Please note the next onboarding session of March 21 – 22, 2017. Apply now to register for the session.
Access Export Grants to Offset Market Development Costs
Having access to knowledge and resources plays a critical role in successful export expansion, however, so does funding. Without access to the cashflow required to expand your business internationally, market entry plans can be postponed or even cancelled.
Luckily, Canadian government grants are available to offset the costs associated with many export expansion projects.