Accelerating trade in Nova Scotia

Accelerating trade in Nova Scotia

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Patrick Sullivan

The crisp days of autumn are beginning and it is my favourite time of year. It’s September: the new school year beckons and for many it seems like the unofficial start of the year. I hope you had a chance over the summer to recharge, plan for the year and enjoy the sun! We are excited that the summer months have given us the opportunity to enhance our goal of supporting export growth in Nova Scotia.

We are partnering with Export Development Canada and Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) and beginning a Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) that will assist Nova Scotia companies in increasing their exports and ultimately their sales. This partnership will allow the small and medium-sized businesses of Halifax to break into the export game with confidence through access to the necessary education and connections.

The Chamber’s 2019-2023 strategic plan focuses on creating value and prosperity and as we dive into the Trade Accelerator Program, we will make great strides to grow the export sector of
Nova Scotia.

TAP will offer Halifax businesses an opportunity to break down barriers to the world of the export sector. Perhaps the most common barrier is lack of knowledge. Many small business owners can’t afford the risk of taking the leap of faith required to begin selling abroad. This program will give participants the tangible skills and steps to broaden their sales horizon, growing their businesses and improving the overall economy of Nova Scotia in an accelerated process that assists them in developing specific plans for various markets.

TAP begins with a two-day workshop designed to teach companies how they can build and implement a new market entry plan. They use presentations, case studies, mock negotiation exercises and interactive group workshops to give participants the hands-on experience needed to go global with their brand.

Another barrier is a lack of connections needed to begin exporting their product. TAP participants will be connected with the right people to make this change.

On the third day, participants receive hands-on support from leading Canadian export advisors, helping them produce an export plan of their own. This plan is developed by the participant over the next three weeks in preparation for the final day, where it is assessed by the TAP team and export advisors. Our participants will then experience 30 minute one-on-one mentoring sessions which will finalize their plan to move forward and give them the information and contacts needed to go international.

TAP has been implemented in markets like Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal since 2015 with very encouraging results. Organizations demonstrate an average growth in export sales of 42 per cent one year after graduating from the program, with 75 per cent of graduates entering completely new markets. TAP is having a positive impact on the country and we feel privileged to bring it to our members and the province in partnership with NSBI.

Even organizations who have been exporting for years have taken the program and expressed their immense satisfaction with their new opportunities. Don’t leave money on the table — keep an eye out for TAP applications coming this fall. We’re in your corner! ν

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