British Columbia’s Export Navigator pilot project is expanding, bringing help to export-ready small- and medium-sized businesses in the Kootenay Boundary and Pacific Northwest regions, thanks to $250,000 committed under the Rural Economic Development Strategy.
Export Navigator is a one-year pilot developed by the Province and administered through partnerships with Small Business BC and federally funded Community Futures offices.
Through Export Navigator, businesses gain access to local export advisors who can help connect them with the appropriate programs, services and contacts at every stage of the export process.
The new export advisor for the Kootenay Boundary region will be centrally located in Nelson’s Community Futures office, collaborating with service providers in surrounding communities, including Cranbrook, Revelstoke and Trail, to help serve businesses that are exploring new market opportunities.
The program was launched in October 2016 in four rural communities: Prince George, Vernon, Comox and Port Alberni. A portion of the new funding will be used to enhance Export Navigator services in pilot communities and extend support throughout the South Okanagan and northeastern B.C.
The Export Navigator pilot runs until Sept. 30, 2017. Insights gained from the pilot will inform the feasibility of pilot extension and expansion to other communities in B.C.
Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development –
“We want to help B.C. businesses get their goods and services to new market, no matter where they’re located. The more we help them grow, the more they can create jobs and boost the economy in their own communities.
“We know it can be challenging for small and medium businesses to figure out what export services are right for them. Export Navigator solves this problem by helping companies navigate to the next step, no matter what stage they’re at.”
George Hunter, CEO, Small Business BC –
“Exports provide a vital source of economic growth and job creation in British Columbia. Small Business BC is committed to working with the Province of British Columbia and partners like Community Futures to help B.C. businesses grow and create jobs through exporting through programs like the Export Navigator Program.”
- The Export Navigator program is part of a commitment in the #BCTECH Strategy to help small businesses become export ready.
- The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of British Columbia's vibrant technology sector and strengthen B.C.'s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development through graduate seats, co-ops and coding, as well as data innovation and market access for tech companies to drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.
- Export Navigator services include:
- Identifying new market opportunities for new and established exporters
- Determining the steps they need to take prior to entering new markets
- Navigating the many programs available to clients and connecting them to services that are specific to their needs
- Working through export stages, including logistics and customs certifications, asking for financing, etc., and
- Building management capacity to find and develop export opportunities.
- In the first quarter of the project (October to December 2016), 31 B.C. companies were accepted into the pilot.
- In 2016, total British Columbia goods exports worldwide were $39.4 billion, an increase of 9.8% over 2015.
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/
#BCTECH Strategy: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca