Ask the Experts
Tips and advice from our sponsors to tackle export challenges.

E-Commerce Tips
Hot tips from members.

General Trade Resources
Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals.

The SME Toolkit

The SME Toolkit, a project of the International Finance Corporation, offers free business management information and training for small business and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).


Ask the Experts

Q: I have just started the process of exporting my goods and would like to participate in several trade shows in the United States. I need advice on which shows would be best suited to my products. I would also like to know if there are any programs to tap into to help offset the higher costs of shows in the U.S.

A: Trade Commissioners across the country would be pleased to assist you with advice on trade shows and marketing your goods and on the mechanics of getting your goods across the border. The trade officers are familiar with many of the trade shows. In addition, they can access the expertise of the Canadian Trade offices around the world.

Q: Is export insurance really necessary if I am only exporting to the United States?

A: (From Export Development Canada) Exporting to new markets can help increase your bottom line and grow your business. However, no matter how well you know your export market, or how close it is or similar it may seem, you can never eliminate all of the risks associated with international trade.

For more information: Call 1-866-399-1959 or visit EDC's site.

E-Commerce Tips

Develop Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on your internet site as part of your e- strategy. There are programs to help you qualify customers and communicate live while they are browsing at the merchandise either through e-mail, video or phone.
Betty Penny, Penny & Associates Inc.

Have your web page designed by experts in the field, not by your children or relatives; efficiency and maintenance of the site are very important and all the legalities must be addressed and the right links connected.
Evnur Taran, Northern Legacy Inc.

When building virtual alliances, focus on the business opportunity first; the structure of your relationship will follow. Look for an alliance partner who energizes and empowers you, not controls you, someone you can trust and with whom you can do things together that you couldn't do before. Nurture the relationship through good communication.
Diane Girard, Global Links Network

General Trade Resources

Export Development Canada (EDC)

Provides insurance and financial services, bonding products and small business solutions to Canadian exporters and investors and their international buyers. Supporting of Canadian direct investment abroad and investment into Canada. Much of business is done in partnership with other financial institutions and through collaboration with the Government of Canada.

Forum for International Trade Training (FITT)

The organization is a source of current, industry-validated information available on how to buy, sell, manufacture, finance and source products, raw materials or services anywhere in the world. As an industry-driven world authority on global trade, FITT strive to provide reliable and timely knowledge and practical resources to advance the field of global business.

MacRae's Blue Book (US)

America's original industrial directory since 1893, MacRAE'S is where today's industrial buyers go to find the exact product or service they need, when they need it. Using its powerful search features, users unlock the power of MacRAE'S by instantly accessing information on over 500,000 North American industrial companies with more than 2 million product listings indexed under more than 50,000 product headings

Canadian Trade Index (CTI)

The Canadian Trade Index (CTI) came into existence in the year 1900, to promote the interest of Canadian industry, commerce and foreign trade. Today, the Canadian Trade Index is distributed and used extensively throughout Canada and worldwide, and now contains detailed information on over 30,000 Canadian companies, featuring nearly 100,000 product listings under more than 20,000 headings.

Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professional (FITA)

Get a free subscription to FITA's "Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals" A bi-weekly e-mail newsletter highlighting 4-5 web sites that are useful or enliven your business day - from FITA's International Trade Web Resources.

Canada Tariff Finder

The Canada Tariff Finder is a free tool that allows Canadian exporters to check the tariffs applicable to a specific good in a foreign market. The focus is on countries where Canada has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in place.


As a small business, you face a lot of challenges, especially if you want to get involved in international trade. However, there are many resources on the web to help you get started.

The SME Toolkit, a project of the International Finance Corporation, offers free business management information and training for small business and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Planning
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Operations
  • Information Technology (IT) The SME Toolkit offers how-to articles, hundreds of business forms, free business software, online training, self-assessment exercises, quizzes, and resources for entrepreneurs, business owners and managers in emerging markets and developing countries.

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