The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Québec International are pleased to announce the names of the 23 companies that will make up the third cohort of SME Passport. During the next 18 months, they will benefit from comprehensive training, support and services as well as visibility worth over $25,000. Participating companies are targeting North America and Europe, two promising markets for Quebec and Montréal businesses.
The 15 companies selected from Western Quebec are: Altitude Aerospace, Atis Technologies Inc., Bois Expansion Inc., C2 Innovations Inc., Campagna Motors, DIX au carré, Greensolv, Gtechna, Herbasanté, Modes Sly and Co, MTLS Aerostructure, Piknic Électronik Inc., Targe Risques Management, Union libre cidre & vin and Vitre-Art.
The 8 companies from Eastern Quebec are: Arcane Technologies, Bel-Gaufre Inc., E'Mind Tek Inc., Handyem Inc., Lumca Inc., Opsens Inc., Opsun Systems Inc. and TelFlex Technologie Inc.
“The SME Passport adventure will allow these companies to become more competitive and expand their horizons,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “With the economic recovery south of the border and the coming into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, they will have a more favourable economic context to penetrate new markets. We are confident that by benefitting from all the services the program offers, the 23 companies in this third edition will be able to achieve – and even exceed – their international development goals.”
“Since 2012, Quebec companies have been increasing sales on international markets,” said Carl Viel, President and CEO of Québec International. “A survey conducted at the beginning of the year among company leaders showed that 48% of respondents intended to diversify their export markets in 2015. The SME Passport program and the efforts of our marketing experts are a direct response to the needs of local companies to help them be more competitive on these new markets.”
“Our government provides direct support to the province’s small businesses in their export efforts; they are an important source of growth for the Quebec economy,” said Jacques Daoust, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports. “This is why we are pleased to support the SME Passport initiative to help companies in their international efforts.”
“Helping companies grow has been part of National Bank’s mission since it was founded in 1859,” said Louis Vachon, President and CEO of National Bank. “Today, with its network of offices, subsidiaries and partnerships, National Bank is in a good position to support customers as they expand abroad. Similarly, SME Passport offers entrepreneurs the best support available so that they can develop beyond our borders. National Bank is proud to be part of the third edition and to support the next generation of exporters.”
“As a long-term institutional investor, both locally and internationally, the Caisse puts its extensive network and recognized expertise at the service of Quebec companies so that they can reach their full potential on the international scene,” said Christian Dubé, Executive Vice-President, Québec, for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. “In the current economic context, internationalizing can be an essential step in the growth of businesses. This is why the Caisse has been contributing to SME Passport and supporting participating companies since the program was launched.”
Companies in the third cohort were selected by a jury that considered the competitive advantages of the company and their product or services, their financial capacity and resources and the commitment of the management team. The companies chosen are new exporters with exports of less than $1 million in the past year.
Two successful editions
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and Québec International are building on the success of the first two editions, which offered support to 45 SMEs through 117 training activities. Participants took part in trade missions to 20 countries, including a dozen that ended in plans to establish a presence on foreign markets.
The SME Passport program is made possible through the support of the following partners: National Bank, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, the Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et des Exportations and its Export Québec unit, as well as consulting partner Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to business of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
About the World Trade Centre Montréal
With the help of its World Trade Montréal experts, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal offers international trade services to the extended business community, with the support of
About Québec International
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