Build the right export plan for your business with expert resources, advice and hands-on mentorship.

The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is very pleased to host Thunder Bay’s first Trade Accelerator Program (TAP), facilitated by the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the World Trade Centre Toronto.  This dynamic, hands-on workshop is geared to provide companies with access to Canada’s top exporting advisors, resources and contacts, giving them the training and support they need to become successful international traders in their specific business sector. 

STEP 1: ONBOARD

The program begins with an intensive two-day workshop to orient participating companies on the program, the exporting resources available to them and how they can build and implement a new market entry plan. Program partners and other experts share insights on international business development and exporting.

The objective: equip participants with the basic knowledge needed to support growing globally using presentations, case studies, mock negotiation exercises and interactive group workshops.

STEP 2: ASSESS

Approximately one week later is the one-day Export Planning Session. Participants receive hands-on support from leading Canadian export advisors as they develop their export plan, detailing their strategic objectives, market entry methods, international marketing plan as well as supply chain and operational resources.

Over the next three weeks, the TAP team follows up with participants to support further development of their plan.

STEP 3: ACTIVATE

The companies have a total of three weeks before they must submit their final export plan. Submitted plans are assessed by the TAP team and its export advisors.

The final day of the program is focused on mentoring, constructive feedback and relationship building. Participants receive 30-minute one-on-one mentoring sessions from each program partner focused on their plan and how to move forward, assisting them with the resources, information and contacts they need to go global.

TAP graduates report an average growth of 42% in export sales one year after participation, and more than 85% of participants have entered new markets since completing the courseSince its launch in October 2015, TAP has expanded to more than 30 cities across Canada.

The average growth for participating in TAP is approximately a 70% increase in international sales in just 1 year after participation. TAP participants have gotten into markets such as China, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Sweden, US, UAE etc. The program’s goal is that participants are trade-ready to export their goods internationally.

The Thunder Bay Chamber will be hosting the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) for the first time in February 2020.

This cohort runs over the course of 6 weeks, beginning February 10:

  • 2-Day Workshop: Monday, February 10, Tuesday February 11
  • Export plan day: Tuesday February 18 (just over a week after seminar)
  • Expert Mentoring Day: March 18 (takes place 5 weeks later, where an export plan is discussed)

How to Apply

Companies can participate in TAP via partner nomination or direct application. All applications are reviewed by the TAP team to ensure the program is a good fit and to allow participants to maximize its benefits. All applications will be considered based on program criteria and assessed on their merits.

The program fee is $5,000 per company; however, generous support from our partners will allow us to reduce this fee to $495 +HST.

Eligibility Guidelines

The companies being sought for TAP-Thunder Bay should meet the following guidelines:

  • Generates more than $500,000 in annual revenue
  • Has been operating for at least 2 years and receiving revenue for its product, service or technology
  • Is already exporting a product, service or technology, but wishes to diversify its export markets or has taken exploratory steps to expand into new markets
  • Has a product, service or technology with a strong competitive advantage as a result of quality or patent protection
  • Is located anywhere in Ontario (not limited to the Thunder Bay Area)
  • Is willing to dedicate two senior representatives to participate in the program and apply its resources

Application Requirements

Companies that meet the profile are welcome to apply for the program through the electronic application form linked below. Once your application is approved, an invoice will be sent to you via email.

NOTE: Companies nominated by TAP Sponsors or Partners will have the program fee of $5,000 waived in part or full.  Nominated companies who do not attend all four (4) TAP sessions and complete an export plan prior to the One-on-One Mentoring Day will be charged the full program fee.

Sponsorship Opportunities
Opportunities are available for up to 3 Program Sponsors to support regional business development and enrich the experiences of Thunder Bay’s first TAP cohort.