Exporters NB

Exporters NB

The Exporters NB program provides financial assistance to New Brunswick SMEs who have set their sights on growth but who may not yet have any export sales, or a formal export plan.

The target audience for Exporters NB is SMEs who are too early-stage to qualify for EMAP or E for E. In some cases, their path to exporting may require them to first penetrate domestic markets to create a stronger foundation for exporting in the future.

The program covers specific activities provided by consultants or agencies such as:

  • Website development
  • E-commerce integration
  • Export plan development
  • SEO strategy
  • Digital ads
  • Social media strategy
  • and more

This program is managed by LearnSphere, with financial assistance from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Opportunities New Brunswick.

Eligibility

To be eligible for financial assistance through Exporters NB, you must be a for-profit company, with a head office located in New Brunswick. The company must be growth-oriented, and able to demonstrate an increase in revenue, profit, or workforce in the past two years. You must not be currently exporting outside of Canada, and you may or may not have an export plan.

Exporters NB is open to all industry sectors except retail / wholesale, real estate, government services, personal or social services and softwood lumber. Professional services such as marketing firms, creative agencies, business or fitness coaches are generally not considered eligible applicants; however, they may be considered if the project represents a unique and/or strategic opportunity with potential economic benefit to Atlantic Canada. Consultant travel and trade show attendance fees are not eligible. Applicants must not make any financial commitments prior to submission, or costs incurred will not be eligible.

Please note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee you will receive funding. Each eligible application will be subject to an evaluation process.

Eligible Activities and Costs

Eligible Activities* Eligible Costs Ineligible Costs
  • Website development, redesign or rebranding
  • Responsive web design conversion (ensuring mobile-friendly design)
  • Integration of e-commerce functionality
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Paid advertising (Pay-Per-Click, Google AdWords, etc.)
  • Social media strategy or integration
  • Videos, online catalogues, and other online customized tools
  • Translation of website
  • Creation/design of language toggle
  • Market research or strategy development
  • Export plan development
  • Lead generation activities, which may include purchase of a software and training in some instances.
  • Sales activities, including mapping of the sales process, creation of a sales playbook, sales coaching, etc.
  • Design of offline promotional content such as brochures, product catalogues, banners for trade booths, etc.
  • Training, coaching, or mentoring on any of the above.
  • Professional/consulting fees to undertake activities.

* Please note that it is inadmissible for applicants to undertake activities themselves. A consultant must be engaged, and a proposal included as part of the application process.

  • Maintenance Fees
  • Web hosting Fees
  • Recurring costs for paid advertising
  • Travel for consultants or applicants
  • Costs associated with participating in a trade show
  • Printing of brochures
  • Production of trade show booth
  • HST

Contribution

Funding is provided in the form of a reimbursement. The Applicant must cash flow 100% of costs and will be reimbursed when the project is finished.

Total project costs must be more than $5,000 to apply for assistance. To better meet the needs of SMEs during the current global situation, this program, exclusive to New Brunswick, will reimburse up to 80% of eligible costs, to a maximum contribution of $8,000. For the minimum project size of $5,000, the reimbursement would equal $4,000; for a project of $10,000 or greater, the maximum reimbursement would be $8,000. At least 20% of the total project costs must be provided by the Applicant. All sources of funds must be identified.

LearnSphere will reimburse the contribution amount after all project costs have been paid, and a claim has been submitted by the Applicant.

Program Process

You must complete the online application form and demonstrate that you comply with the program’s objective and guidelines.

Prior to submitting the application, you will be prompted to complete an export readiness assessment.

Once the application form, consultant proposal(s), and other supporting documents are received by LearnSphere, you will be notified of the evaluation outcome as soon as possible, usually within two weeks.

If your application is approved, a contract will be issued between LearnSphere and your company.

It will be your responsibility to select the consultant(s) you work with. A sample statement of work for engaging a consultant can be found here.

All consultants must be at arm’s length to your company, and their fees must be at fair market value. You are responsible to ensure that satisfactory work is completed by the consultant(s).

Frequently Asked Questions

I just started a business six months ago and wanted to apply for support under Exporters NB? Should I apply, even though I haven’t been in business for very long?

This program targets businesses with at least a two-year track record of success. While we may consider exceptional cases where proponents can build a strong business case, this is not the intended target audience.

I’m wondering if I should apply under LearnSphere’s EMAP and E for E export programs or under this new Exporters NB program. How do I know which program to apply to?

If you are already exporting outside CANADA, you should apply to EMAP and EforE. If you are not yet exporting outside Canada, you should apply under Exporters NB.

Can a business apply more than once?

Yes, but not concurrently. One project must be successfully completed before another project can be considered from the same applicant.

How will my application be assessed?

Applications are assessed on their individual merits, using the following criteria:

  • Must meet eligibility ( i.e. from an eligible sector, not currently exporting outside Canada, be able to demonstrate they are growth-oriented, must be registered and operating in New Brunswick and have a Canada Revenue Agency business number)
  • Must be able to present a strong business case for exporting potential. (demonstrate how this activity is aligned with the company’s business growth strategy with respect to exporting)
  • Must be able to demonstrate preparedness and capacity internally to undertake this work with the assistance of a consultant
  • The consultant proposal must have a clear statement of work with specific deliverables, priced at a reasonable amount for the work to be undertaken. The consultant must also be able to demonstrate the requisite experience and expertise to successfully undertake the work
  • The applicant must demonstrate that their proposed activity goes beyond their core activities. (i.e. Incrementality)
How long does it take for LearnSphere to review applications?

If the application is complete, on average, the turnaround time is 5-10 business days.

How can an applicant demonstrate that they are growth-oriented?

The applicant should be able to demonstrate their planned trajectory towards growth through increases in revenue, profit or workforce in the past two years

What should be included in the consultant’s proposal?

Please see this template for an example of what should be included in a consultant’s proposal.

What is meant by incrementality?

The applicant must demonstrate that the project goes beyond the applicant’s core activities, represents new initiatives and yields incremental results.

How long is a typical project?

Once your application has been accepted, it is referred to as your “project”. Most projects take approximately 3 to 4 months to complete. Targeted promotional campaigns could last for up to 6 months.

How do I finance the project?

You must be able to cash flow all planned activities in the project. Exporters NB will reimburse eligible costs once the work is complete and you have submitted a claim.