For years I've been telling you about the amazing programs and services the Canadian Government offers businesses. Now, I get to practice what I've been preaching.
The Canadian Trade Commission Service is a shining example of Government programs that not only work but exceed expectations on a number of levels. The Trade Commission has over 150 offices worldwide that are dedicated to helping you expand your business. Everything from market assessment assistance, finding qualified contacts, and helping with problems, there are hundreds of people around the globe who get measured on how great you become. These programs are amazing.
In addition to direct advisory services, Canada has booths in many of the major shows worldwide. For 2010, I'm going to have a presence at Mobile World Congress, CeBit, and CTIA. The total cost for all three of these shows is under $10k. Tack on the airfare, food, hotel, etc, and I'm all in for around $20k. That's for all three major events. Beyond just the booth space, the various trade commissioners have set up press interviews, supplied marketing assistance, arranged meetings with business partners critical to my success, and much more.
Over the years, I've had the pleasure of working with many of the Trade Commissioners. This honour and pleasure continues in my start-up capacity. To date, I've yet to find anyone associated with the Trade Commission who hasn't been off the charts great.
Case in point: Leanne Lalonde. Leanne is a Trade Commissioner based out of Ottawa. Midnight. 2a. Sunday afternoon. These are just three of the time stamps from email I've received from Leanne. She thinks, acts, and works like an entrepreneur. She is an incredibly hard working professional dedicated to my success. That's a far cry from some faceless Government bureaucrat. Susanne Schmidt-Knobloch from Vienna and Anne-Marie Parent from Madrid have also been working overtime to ensure the Mobile World Congress event is productive and successful for Fixmo. These professionals are delivering advice and services that are invaluable to our success.
In Ontario, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade maintains offices worldwide as well as hosting trade missions around the globe, including trade show booths. Bryan Harvey, Mauricio Ospina, and Gilles Chatelain are just three of the power team that is Ontario Exports. Bryan, I've known for years. He has been instrumental in helping hundreds of companies here in Ontario. I had the pleasure of meeting Mauricio when looking into CTIA. For 45 minutes, he enthusiastically discussed his programs, ideas to grow Fixmo, and was simply over the top in wanting to offer up assistance. Ditto with Gilles and CeBit.
If you are an entrepreneur in Canada, you can't afford not to take advantage of the Trade Commission Services as well as the many other programs here in Canada. From extensive tax and research credits, Provincial export programs, to grants and direct investment opportunities there is no better country to start up a business than Canada.
I've believed it then and I believe it now.