Export Development Canada (EDC) has joined the Startup Canada National Tour, bringing a global trade perspective to the coast-to-coast effort to support and expand Canada’s entrepreneur sector. EDC personnel will participate in a number of tour events to meet with export-minded entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs and SMEs are an economic driving force in Canada, and are often a hotbed of innovation. Getting them to think globally from the start will not only help their own bottom line, but Canada’s bottom line as well,” said Rajesh Sharma, Senior Vice-President of Business Development, EDC.
“EDC’s wealth of experience and expertise will be a valuable asset for Canadian entrepreneurs looking to leverage international networks to expand their markets,” said Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder of Startup Canada. “I am pleased to welcome EDC as a sponsor of our National Tour and I look forward to collaborating with them to enable entrepreneurs across all sectors and regions to create new trade and export opportunities for Canada.”
Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 75 per cent of EDC’s customers, who use EDC’s financial and insurance products to help protect their receivables, manage their working capital and bid on new business.
EDC can also be a source of venture capital for SMEs. EDC’s Equity program is an active investor in direct venture and growth capital funds, and also partnered investments with private sector fund managers, domestically and internationally.
Startup Canada’s National Tour is nearly complete and has engaged more than 13,000 Canadians in 32 cities so far. The Tour will make its remaining stops through Ontario and British Columbia this September.
The tour began in March and runs through to September, engaging 25,000 Canadians and 250 partner organizations across the country. Entrepreneurs and enterprise support organizations will participate in more than 30 Town Halls and 100 Fringe Events and connect through a social media groundswell campaign. This unique effort will not only identify key challenges facing Canadian entrepreneurs, but will bring them together in a way they never have been before. It’s the beginning of a critical conversation and the first step in a new way of thinking.