NELSON, BC– Community Futures Central Kootenay is happy to announce that the Export Navigator Program has officially been extended until March 31, 2018! The Export Navigator pilot program developed from a thorough consultation process that identified that many BC businesses were struggling with the lengthy, and often complex process of exporting their products.
In this era, it`s often not enough for businesses to rely solely on their local market to sustain profits; at some point, a local business will be faced with new competition that disrupts their traditional sales base. Without buyers from a variety of markets to supplement local demand, a company is at risk. If the majority of companies in a community rely on this model rather than diversifying through exports, the entire community becomes vulnerable to the shifting fortunes of a single company or sector.
“And while many businesses understand the importance of exporting, the complexity of the process is often a barrier to many wishing to do so. With this in mind, the Province, in partnership with Small Business BC and Community Futures, launched the Export Navigator pilot. This pilot aims to address consistent feedback identifying limited awareness of the existing services available, and a general lack of understanding on how to access those export services. Most critically, it was identified that there is no single resource that connects businesses to available export programs and services.
“The Kootenay-Boundary region has many businesses with great products and services and we want to help them grow their profitability by increasing sales to existing markets and accessing new markets outside of BC,” said Andrea Wilkey, Executive Director of Community Futures Central Kootenay. “Export Navigator offers business owners in-person support with an expert who can help guide them through the process from start to finish, providing advice and credibility.”
Export Navigator services include:
- Access to a dedicated Export Advisor in the area;
- Identifying new market opportunities for new and established exporters;
- Determining the necessary steps 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.
“I’m looking for businesses that have the ability to scale up operations, are 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.” said Michael Hoher, Export Advisor for the Kootenay-Boundary region. “By connecting these businesses to the right services at the right time, we can save them time and money.”
Michael Hoher is centrally located in Nelson. He collaborates with service providers in all communities throughout the Kootenay-Boundary area, to help serve businesses exploring new market opportunities.
Insights gained from this now 18-month long pilot will inform the feasibility of turning this pilot into a consistent program and expansion to other communities in BC. To date, more than 100 BC businesses have benefited from the Export Navigator pilot.
For more information, call Community Futures Central Kootenay at (250) 352-1933 extension 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.