To be successful, we need to adapt quickly to changing market realities, while helping our customers do the same. More than ever, this means responding to the unique needs of SMEs, who are the backbone of Canada’s economy, representing 99 per cent of all business and employing more than 10 million Canadians.
We continue to roll out new digital solutions for the growing number of customers who prefer self-service or need a combination of digital and in-person services. Through online knowledge products, we’re able to share our trade intelligence with more SMEs and new exporters. We’ve also established strategic alliances with non-traditional partners like e-accounting firms and freight forwarders and deepened our collaboration with banking partners.
EDC maintains offices across Canada to stay close to local companies who need our help. To bolster our support, we created a dedicated team of account managers in 2019 who provide expert guidance and assistance to high-growth companies across all industries.
The Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) helps SMEs gain knowledge and a network of contacts to unleash their export potential. Through a series of in-depth workshop sessions with trade and industry experts including EDC staff, TAP provides strategy, resources and mentorship to help Canadian business leaders formulate their export strategy. Developed by the Toronto Board of Trade, the program is supported by EDC nationally with 31 workshops held in five provinces in 2019. EDC plans to expand TAP to more than 50 workshops in seven provinces in 2020.
The Trade Expansion Lending Program (TELP) is a streamlined, standardized version of our popular Export Guarantee Program (EGP), in which we share the risk with an exporter’s bank by providing a guarantee on the money the exporter borrows. Specifically designed for the under-served small exporter segment, TELP makes for a simpler, faster lending process by allowing our banking partners to apply EGP guarantees on select loans with less upfront involvement from EDC. The program was piloted with National Bank in 2018, and officially launched in 2019, with RBC joining on in March of the year.
TELP customers acquired in 2019
We’re developing a tailored and dedicated program of advice and expertise for growing Canadian science and technology companies.
Through a new partnership with MaRS Discovery District (MaRS), we’re developing a tailored and dedicated program of advice and expertise for growing Canadian science and technology companies, called the International Solutions Suite. The portfolio of services helps companies identify new potential global markets while simultaneously exploring practical solutions for succeeding in those parts of the world. We’ve already launched the United Kingdom Country Guide, which covers topics such as market opportunities, business regulations and taxes, and is tailored to the unique opportunities and challenges facing Canadian early-stage companies.