Export Navigator Program
Helping your business grow through exporting
What is the Export Navigator?
The Export Navigator offers businesses access to community-based export specialists who will provide a personalized, step-by-step approach to exporting and help connect businesses to market information, export programs, financial services, and business development experts at every stage of the export process.
Who is Eligible?
Small and medium-sized businesses operating in the following four areas:
- Port Alberni
- Prince George
For businesses in the Lower Mainland and those outside of the service communities, there are resources to assist you with exporting. For more information please email: ExportNavigator@smallbusinessbc.ca
Export Navigator Services:
- Export readiness assessment
- Business needs assessment
- Customized export approach
- Export workbook and information
- Expert advice and guidance
- Streamlined service connections
- Ongoing export support
Benefits of Exporting:
- Diversifies your customer base — exporting will expand 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?
Becoming export ready takes time. The goal of the program 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 four partner offices, see community contact information. Businesses will be accepted on a case-by-case basis; however, the Export Navigator program 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 the Export Navigator program?
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 program?
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:
- Has your company received sales inquiries from outside of B.C.?
- Do you or your team have international business experience?
- Is your company’s management willing to dedicate staff, time and resources to developing export markets for a sustained period of time?
- Are you willing to conduct foreign market research?
- Do you have excess production capacity or the ability to scale operations?
- Does your product or service have a competitive advantage (quality, price, innovation, etc.) over similar products in your target market?
- Do you have the ability to secure financing to adapt, ship, and market your product in your target market?
For services in your community, please call
• Comox Valley Economic Development Society
John Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Geoff Crawford at email@example.com
• Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot
Lori Camire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Darrell Goertzen at email@example.com
• Community Futures Fraser Fort George
Susan Stearns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trish Appleton at email@example.com
Charles Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Community Futures North Okanagan
Phone: 250-545-2215 (Ext. 200)
Kazia Mullin at email@example.com
Connie Viszlai at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Export Navigator pilot project is a partnership, with support provided by the B.C. Government, the Federal Government, Small Business B.C., Community Futures, and the Comox Valley Economic Development Society.