The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Québec International have jointly launched the call for applications for the second edition of SME Passport. This program provides tailor-made support to SMEs that show ambition and strong potential for growth for developing their activities internationally.
For 18 months, the 23 companies selected will benefit from a complete program of training and coaching offered by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal’s team of international trade experts, the World Trade Centre Montréal, and by Québec International.
They will enjoy services and visibility worth up to $25,000, including:
“Québec small businesses are not achieving their full potential in terms of exports,” says Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “In fact, almost 40% of them say they need help improving their skills to develop business internationally. SME Passport was created in response to the main impediments to internationalization. Given the impressive results with the first cohort, we would like to continue the experience with new businesses and allow them to increase their presence on foreign markets.”
“Québec International’s marketing and export support team is stepping up its efforts to help companies tackle the challenges of internationalization,” says Carl Viel, President and CEO of Québec International. “This is why Québec International is so enthusiastic about being part of the SME Passport program. The results of the first cohort show that tailored support adapted to the reality of companies and easy access to a network of international contacts are effective ways of helping companies succeed at home and abroad.”
“For over 150 years, National Bank has been part of the development of thousands of businesses,” says Jacques Deforges, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking and International, for the National Bank. “It is one of the architects of Québec Inc. and remains a partner of choice for businesses of all sizes. So it is only natural that National Bank share its expertise by taking part in SME Passport; after all, every year we help many clients break into international markets.”
“The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a long-term builder in Québec and around the world,” says Normand Provost, Executive Vice-President, Private Equity, for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. “Beyond investment, the Caisse makes its expertise and network available to promising Québec companies to help them achieve their potential internationally. SME Passport is in line with the Caisse’s desire to contribute to the economic growth of Québec by allowing local businesses to position themselves effectively worldwide.”
Businesses that want to be part of the second cohort of SME Passport should go to www.passeportpme.com and apply by August 30, 2013. Applications will be assessed by a jury on the basis of the company’s competitive advantages and those of its products and services, its abilities and financial resources and senior management commitment. Its progress in international development and having annual sales between $1 million and $25 million will also have bearing.
This program is made possible thanks to the support of our partners, National Bank, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Ministère des Relations internationales, de la Francophonie et du Commerce extérieur, its Export-Québec unit and our advisory partner, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Québec's leading private economic development organization.
Through its team of experts at the World Trade Centre Montréal, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal provides international trade services to the greater business community, with the support of Canada Economic Development.
Québec International contributes to the economic development of the Québec City metropolitan area and enhances its international status. As a regional economic development agency, Québec International fosters business growth, supports key sectors and attracts talent and investment. www.quebecinternational.ca