By Ehsan Daneshgar, Altitude Accelerator Analyst / Youth Outreach
Are you an entrepreneur working on the next big thing or a technology game changer? Have you considered exporting it to global markets? The truth is that now, with dropped oil prices and lower Canadian dollar, it’s in fact the best time for Canadian businesses to think about exporting to global markets.
The momentum is back
The U.S. economy is gaining momentum and it’s spilling over to the rest of the global markets. The housing market, a key indicator of growth, is taking off, and the effect is carrying on to other industries. The economy in Western Europe is also picking up, and the Greek crisis had a limited direct impact on the U.S. economy. China’s recent stock market crash is also going to have a very limited impact on Canada.
Where is the opportunity?
Opportunities started with the crises, when U.S. investors stopped investing in businesses to create extra capacity. Now that the demand is picking up again, businesses in the U.S. – which haven’t created growth capacity in a while – have started looking for capacity in other countries, and Canada is the closest. Example of a recent opportunity impact for Canada is the automotive industry.
Where to start?
In Canada, there are around 1.1 million SMEs, but less than 4% of them export to global markets. The government is helping Canadian businesses open up to markets with resources such as a network of +1,000 trade experts in different cities around the world.
For tech startups, the government has set up an accelerator program in 12 cities in the United States and around the world, to help Canadian startups find market opportunities, form alliances and access funding.
The government also hosts workshops on how to export. A lot of them are held in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. Workshops are a one-stop shop opportunity, where they bring together the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation.
Last but not least, if you have an innovative business opportunity or a novel technology and you would like to talk to an advisor on how to export it to global markets, you can always contact the Altitude Accelerator. Remember that it’s not about the cards you have, it’s how you play them, so:
- Understand the dynamics of the market
- Know your industry
- Find the risk and mitigate it
- Remember each country is different
- And always get expert advice.