Export Navigator Program Expanded to Support Regional Exporters

Small Business BC, alongside our partners at the Province of B.C., Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) and Community Futures is pleased to announce the expansion of the Export Navigator Program.

In 2018, total British Columbia goods exported worldwide were valued at $46 billion. The Export Navigator Program helps rural business owners in British Columbia get their goods to international and interprovincial markets easier. They receive access to community-based export specialists who can provide personalized, step-by-step advice about exporting, while connecting their business to the market information, export programs, financial services and business development experts it needs at every stage of the process.

Expanding the Program

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion has announced $2.25 million over three years to expand the program. The Province of B.C. is also contributing $2 million over two years, with a third year of funding to be confirmed following a review of program outcomes. The expansion will help the program to reach businesses owned by Indigenous Peoples, women entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs through the hiring of new export advisors, bringing the total to 10 advisors serving six B.C. economic regions.


“Finding ways to support the hard-working people who fuel these businesses can only pay dividends in terms of jobs and growth,” said The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion.

“Through the Export Navigator Program, we are delivering on our priorities like inclusive growth, business productivity, and economic competitiveness.”

“Export activity directly benefits communities across B.C., creating jobs in every corner of our province. So far, Export Navigator has helped 317 small businesses at all stages of exporting,” said The Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, British Columbia.

“Working with Minister Ng and the federal government, we now have an opportunity to expand the program by further assisting Indigenous people, women, and youth.”

“At Small Business BC, we see first-hand the challenges many small business owners face when trying to enter international markets,” explained Tom Conway, CEO, Small Business BC.

“Export Navigator helps fill that knowledge gap and makes essential connections to give them a competitive advantage. We are extremely pleased for this program to expand and cannot wait to see even more small businesses flourish because of the support they receive.”

Quick Facts About Export Navigator

  • Export Navigator is available in the following six B.C. economic development regions: Vancouver Island/Coast, Cariboo, Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenay, North Coast and Nechako, and Northeast.
  • 317 B.C. businesses have participated in the program since 2016 – 56 of them are in the market entry and market growth stages of the program, which focus on exporting and export market strategies.
  • The largest groups of participating businesses are from the agri-foods sector, followed by manufacturing, consumer goods and clean technology
  • It is estimated four direct jobs and two indirect jobs are created for every $1 million in international exports.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology, and the Government of Canada through Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan).