Export Navigator Program

Helping your business access new markets.

What is the Export Navigator Pilot?

The Export Navigator pilot offers businesses access to community-based export specialists who can provide a personalized, step-by-step approach to exporting and help connect your business to the market information, export programs, financial services, and business development experts it needs at every stage of the process.

Who is Eligible?

Small and medium-sized businesses operating in the following six regions:

  • Central & North Vancouver Island (Based in Port Alberni)
  • Central Vancouver Island (Based in Comox)
  • Cariboo (Based in Prince George)
  • North Okanagan (Based in Vernon)
  • Pacific Northwest (Based in Prince Rupert)
  • Kootenay Boundary (Based in Nelson)

For businesses in the Lower Mainland and those outside of the service areas, there are resources to assist you with exporting. For more information please email: Export.Navigator@gov.bc.ca
Export Navigator Services:

  • Export readiness assessment
  • Business needs assessment
  • Market entry strategy support
  • Export workbook and information
  • Expert advice and guidance
  • Streamlined service connections
  • Ongoing market entry support

Benefits of Exporting:

  • Diversifies your customer base — expanding to new markets increases the size of your target market, may broaden your product offering and offset seasonal fluctuations in sales.
  • Increases profitability — increased production generally leads to economies of scale and decreased cost per unit, which increases your profit margins.
  • Fosters innovation – expanding to new markets fosters innovation in your goods and services, which enhances your competitiveness.

Q’s and A’s

How does Export Navigator support the BC businesses looking to export?

Businesses receive in-person guidance from an advisor with advanced knowledge in the export process. Advisors receive specialized training and have access to tools that help businesses navigate the many programs and services available to them. By connecting businesses to the right services at the right time, businesses save time and money.

How quickly do I have to start exporting?

Expanding to new markets takes time. The goal of the pilot is to help businesses move from stage to stage along the export pathway, bringing them closer to getting their goods and services into new markets.

Who is eligible?

Businesses must be located within the service area of our six partner offices, see community contact information. Businesses will be accepted on a case-by-case basis; however, the Export Navigator pilot is looking to work with growth-orientated, small and medium-sized businesses.

What does a good candidate look like?

A business that has the ability to scale up operations, is willing to commit to working through the export process, demonstrates openness to cultural differences, indicates a willingness to adapt their goods or services, and has the ability to self-fund or obtain financing.

Is there a fee to participate in Export Navigator?

No. Basic services (e.g. export readiness assessment, business needs assessment, etc.) will be provided free of charge. Clients referred to other service providers may be subject to a fee for services.

How long does it take to find out if my business qualifies for the pilot?

Following the completion of a client self-assessment, the business will undergo an in-office assessment with their community-based Export Advisor to determine if the business would benefit from participation in Export Navigator.

Export Readiness Quiz:

  1. Has your company received sales inquiries from outside of B.C.?
  2. Do you or your team have international business experience?
  3. Is your company’s management willing to dedicate staff, time and resources to developing export markets for a sustained period of time?
  4. Are you willing to conduct foreign market research?
  5. Do you have excess production capacity or the ability to scale operations?
  6. Does your product or service have a competitive advantage (quality, price, innovation, etc.) over similar products in your target market?
  7. Do you have the ability to secure financing to adapt, ship, and market your product in your target market?

Contact

For services in your community, please call

Cariboo Region

Community Futures Fraser-Fort George
Phone: 250-562-9622
Susan Stearns at susans@cfdc.bc.ca
Charles Scott at charless@cfdc.bc.ca

Central Vancouver Island Region

Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot
Phone: 250-724-1241
Lori Camire at lori.camire@cfac.ca
Darrell Goertzen at darrell@owlbc.com

Comox Valley Economic Development Society
Phone: 250-334-2427
Email: info@investcomoxvalley.com
John Watson at john@investcomoxvalley.com
Geoff Crawford at geoff@investcomoxvalley.com

Kootenay Boundary Region

Community Futures Central Kootenay
Phone: 250-352-1933
Andrea Wilkey at awilkey@futures.bc.ca
Michael Hoher at mhoher@futures.bc.ca

North Okanagan Region

Community Futures North Okanagan
Phone: 250-545-2215 (Ext. 200)
Kazia Mullin at kaziam@futuresbc.com
Connie Viszlai at conniev@futuresbc.com

Pacific Northwest Region

Community Futures Pacific Northwest
Phone: 250-622-2332 (Ex.4)
John Farrell at john@cfdc-pnw.com
Eli Kelly at finance@cfdc-pnw.com

The Export Navigator pilot project is a partnership, with support provided by the B.C. Government, the Federal Government, Small Business BC, Community Futures, and the Comox Valley Economic Development Society.

Seminars Available

Understanding CETA: Benefit From Canada’s Free Trade Agreement with the EU
Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 9:00 am to 10:30 am

Join us for this interactive seminar and learn about the fundamentals of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and how your business can benefit from it.