Since its launch one year ago, the Export Navigator pilot project has helped 136 small businesses in six B.C. regions grow their businesses through exports, something the Province is celebrating during Small Business Week in B.C., Oct. 16–20.
The Export Navigator pilot, which launched in the fall of 2016 and runs until March 31, 2018, is now reporting preliminary, fourth-quarter results that will be used to evaluate the pilot’s performance and help inform the future of the project.
Of the 136 companies currently participating in Export Navigator, 36 have advanced beyond the first stage of the program to become export-ready. The pilot identifies four stages of export-readiness. Other preliminary, fourth-quarter data shows that businesses in the agrifoods sector represent more than one-third of participating companies (49). Other sectors represented in the pilot include manufacturing (27) and consumer goods (23).
Companies participating in the pilot have the opportunity to meet with trained export advisors who work with them through every stage of the process to become export-ready and help facilitate their entry into new markets. This unique opportunity allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to have one-on-one support to successfully grow their businesses through export.
Export advisors support B.C. business owners by:
- Helping to identify and validate new market opportunities
- Determining export-readiness and supporting the development of comprehensive market-entry strategies
- Navigating the many services available to clients and providing streamlined referrals to federal and provincial programs
- Supporting clients through logistics and customs certifications, financing and more
- Helping to build business capacity to find and develop greater export opportunities
The Export Navigator pilot was developed by the Province in partnership with Small Business BC, the federally funded Community Futures offices and the Comox Valley Economic Development society. The pilot supports the Province's commitment to building a strong, sustainable economy that works for everyone by growing regional economic development and helping small businesses export their goods and services.
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology –
“The Export Navigator pilot is instrumental in helping small businesses get the help they need to become export-ready. We are committed to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed, and their achievements through this pilot give us confidence that this program is playing an important role in small business growth in B.C.”
Rupert Koyote, owner, Matraea Trading –
“It’s been extraordinary to have a talented and experienced adviser at Export Navigator to give us direction on how to do things and look at our numbers with an objective, outside perspective. The personal approach and support have been great. Our natural maternity teas and bodycare products are now available in South Korea.”
- Export Navigator is available in the following six B.C. regions: Cariboo, Comox Valley, Central Vancouver Island, Kootenay Boundary, North Okanagan and the Pacific Northwest.
- The most popular opportunity markets identified by Export Navigator participants include: United States (28%); Canada, outside of B.C. (23%); the European Union and Europe (14%); and China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan (10%).
- Exports provide a vital source of economic growth and job creation. Right now, one-in-five jobs in Canada is generated through trade.
- In 2016, British Columbia goods exported worldwide totalled $39 billion.
- Small businesses make up 98% of all business in B.C. and employ more than one million people.
- Small businesses provide 55% of all private-sector jobs in British Columbia, the second-highest rate in the country.
- There were approximately 396,100 small businesses operating in B.C. in 2016, and 319,100 of those have fewer than five employees.
For more information about Export Navigator, visit: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/export/export-navigator
For more information about B.C. trade and investment opportunities visit: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca
For more information about Small Business BC, visit: http://smallbusinessbc.ca