3 Business Resources That Are Alberta's Best Kept Secrets


Whether you are a start-up try to get your business off the ground or an existing business looking to develop its market, these 3 business resources might just be what you were looking for.


  1. Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)

The Trade Commissioner Service is here to help Canadian companies sell their product/service outside of Canada. They have more than 1,000 trade commissioners in over 160 cities across Canada and around the world, to provide guidance and advice to help your business tap into specific audiences and enter new markets as well as to help connect you with key people within the market.


They offer trade missions and events for you to learn and network with key people. In addition, they have resources on trade agreements, market reports, tariffs and sanctions so you can take advantage of the opportunities and prepare for the costs of doing business in target countries. Furthermore, funding and support programs for international business are available, such as Business Women in International Trade, Indigenous Business Export Support, Canadian International Innovation Program, etc.


Their most notable program is CanExport. The program is broken up to target particular groups (exporters, innovators, associations, and communities).

  • CanExport SMEs – provides up to $75,000 in funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) break into new international markets.

  • CanExport Innovation – provides up to $75,000 in funding to help Canadian SMEs, academic institutions and non-government research centres develop R&D collaborations through partnerships in foreign markets.

  • CanExport Associations – provides annual funding up to $400,000 for Canadian national industry associations and trade organisations to pursue international business development activities.

  • CanExport Community Investment – provides annual funding of up to $500,000 to help Canadian communities and non-profit, locally based organisations attract, retain, and expand foreign direct investment.

For more information on all of these programs as well as funding programs offered by their partners, please visit their website: https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/funding_support_programs-programmes_de_financement_de_soutien.aspx?lang=eng


2. Export Development Canada (EDC)


Export Development Canada helps Canadian companies navigate, manage and take on risk to support growth beyond our Canadian borders. Their solutions include access to working capital and financing, insurance, global connections and trade knowledge – as they have offices throughout Canada and around the world.


EDC provides market information as well as their position on a particular country (their position is based on Government of Canada’s restrictions, and other factors like size of the economy, political risk, etc.), all of which can be very helpful when deciding on expanding to a new international market. In addition, they offer reports on a broad range of topics as well as host webinars and events to provide you with insights and network.


Some of the solutions they offer are as follows:

Risk Management:

  • Credit Insurance – protects you in an event of non-payment

  • Performance Security Insurance – protects your cashflow if a letter of guarantee is wrongfully called

  • EDC Advance Payment – protects your business by insuring the advance payment on capital purchases

Financing Solutions:

  • Buyer Financing

  • Direct Lending

  • Structured or Project Financing

Working Capital Solutions:

  • Export Guarantee Program – Helps you grow your borrowing capacity by offering your financial institution a guarantee of repayment

  • Foreign Exchange Facility Guarantee – Avoid posting collateral as payment assurance for your foreign exchange contract provider

  • Account Performance Security Guarantee – Issue letters of guarantee without putting up the cash or credit to your financial institution as collateral

  • Surety Bonds

For more information on their solutions and how to qualify you can visit their website: https://www.edc.ca/en/solutions.html


3. Alberta Innovates


Alberta Innovates is the province’s largest research and innovation agency. They provide support throughout your innovation journey, from the generation of new ideas through applied testing to commercialisation or end-use. They provide funding and grants, networking and mentorship opportunities, as well as expertise. Alberta Innovates have 7 Regional Innovation Networks (RINs) throughout the province and provide entrepreneurs and SMEs with services and expertise, such as business advice, technical expertise, access to foreign markets and connections. RINs work closely with their Technology Development Advisors, local incubators, accelerators and community partners to help tech and knowledge based businesses innovate and grow.


For 2020-2023, Alberta Innovates 5 focus areas are:

  1. Digital Health – technologies that accelerate improvements in the quality and long-term sustainability of Alberta’s health care system and its patients

  2. Innovative Hydrocarbon Products – research and innovations that transforms bitumen into non-combustion, value added materials

  3. Smart Agriculture – technologies that address food security challenges

  4. Artificial Intelligence – building Alberta’s artificial intelligence capacity across all sectors

  5. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem – continuing to provide support to entrepreneurs and start-ups to commercialise their innovations and scale their businesses

Some examples of the programs Alberta Innovates offers are:

  • Alberta Innovates’ Accelerating Innovations into CarE (AICE) – to take you from concept to commercialisation. The program is broken down into concept, validate, and market access. For advanced healthcare, priority areas are: Disease prevention, Diagnostics, Personalised therapeutics

  • Cleaner Hydrocarbon Production – designed to enhance the economic and GHG competitiveness of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. There are funding and expertise available for recovery technologies, methane emissions reductions, and digital oilfield technologies

  • Smart Agriculture and Food Digitisation and Automation Challenge – provides up to $500,000 in funding for projects that lead to the development and application of innovative technologies in smart agriculture

  • Export Readiness, Micro Voucher – provides support to get you ready to export to global markets. You can get up to $20,000 to build and develop a strategic approach to expanding your internationally

For a full list of programs Alberta Innovates offers as well as their partners and subsidiaries (InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies) and how to qualify, please visit their website https://albertainnovates.ca/programs/

We hope you found this helpful.


If your business is looking to grow and needs support and advice The Joyce Group Inc. is here to help you. We have experience working with all the organisations on the list and would welcome the opportunity to work with you.


Contact us at info@joycegrp.com or (403) 818-1289

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