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Trade Accelerator Program launches nationwide to take Canadian exporters global

Created by the Toronto Region Board of Trade, in collaboration with RBC, program helps Canadian business expand globally

TORONTO, September 21, 2017 - Today RBC and the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s World Trade Centre Toronto announced the national launch of Canada’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP Canada), an innovative and dynamic initiative aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses overcome barriers to exporting. Launched in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 2015, TAP has helped more than 150 Canadian companies trade globally. The program will now be available through boards of trade and chambers of commerce across the country starting with Winnipeg and Vancouver this fall.

A six-week hands-on program, TAP Canada helps participating businesses navigate the complexities of the global trade ecosystem and leverage Canada’s deep trade and investment resources. Through a combination of workshops, clinics and one-on-one coaching, program participants will complete a new Market Entry Plan and begin its activation while in the program.

“Our clients are looking for new ways to grow, and global trade is one of the fastest and most effective ways for Canadian businesses to achieve that growth,” says Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President, Business Financial Services at RBC. “As the leader in business banking in Canada, RBC can use its expertise, network and relationships to help clients navigate global markets with confidence.”

Currently, only four per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Canada export goods, according to the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Primary Export Markets for Toronto Region Industries report released yesterday. According to that report, if only 23 per cent of Canada’s SMEs began exporting, $225 billion would be generated in exports and two million new jobs would be created.

“Business owners looking to scale and grow their enterprises are often met with barriers and challenges,” adds Grice. “Since the GTA program had such high demand and tremendous success, it made sense to offer this to support more businesses across Canada. TAP Canada provides entrepreneurs with access to the much-needed tools and resources that can open up global markets, instill confidence and increase their likelihood of success.”

Some notable results from the TAP program in the GTA include:

  • Average growth of 70 per cent in international sales one year after participation
  • 76 per cent of TAP graduates have hired export dedicated staff within one year after completing the program
  • 22 per cent of TAP graduates invested in new facilities, equipment, or other infrastructure due to their increase in export activity one year after completing the program
  • 65 per cent of TAP graduates are continuing to pursue USA market opportunities
  • 40 per cent of TAP graduates are exploring new export opportunities into Asia and Oceania

“As the founding and lead partner RBC was invaluable when the Board of Trade created TAP in 2015,” said Leigh Smout, Executive Director, World Trade Centre Toronto. “With the nationwide launch of TAP Canada, RBC continues to demonstrate its commitment and expertise which has enabled Canadian businesses to trade internationally for more than a century.”

For the past five years, Global Finance Magazine has recognized Royal Bank of Canada as the ‘Best Trade Finance Bank in Canada’. This award demonstrates RBC’s commitment to providing clients with the technology, breadth of services, and skills to support their international trade requirements.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have approximately 81,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.‎

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Media contact:
Rob Merk, RBC Corporate Communications,416-955-6665