June 20, 2020

Business Support for Export and Commercialization in the Atlantic Region

Amy Boudreau Amy Boudreau Chief Operating Officer

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LearnSphere has been delivering funding programs specific to exporting since 2003 and commercialization since 2009. With funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), our Export Market Access (EMAP), E-tools for Exporting (EforE), and Commercialization Coaching and Mentoring (CCM) programs have been supporting Atlantic Canadian SMEs and organizations to grow and thrive.

As the COVID-19 global health crisis unfolded, and we came to understand the gravity of the economic impact on SMEs, we knew we had to act fast to meet immediate needs. As part of LearnSphere’s rapid response, we looked to these longstanding funding programs to ensure that SMEs in Atlantic Canada had access to funds to not only help them withstand the crisis, but to prosper post-COVID.

Reaching New Markets

Some businesses are already using the COVID-related “downtime” to position themselves for the rebound, and our programming can help. Our Export Market Access (EMAP) and E-tools for Exporting (EforE) programs provide financial assistance to help SMEs market themselves more effectively, thereby improving their exporting performance and growing their businesses. Understanding the cash crunch felt by many SMEs during this uncertain time, working hand-in-hand with ACOA, LearnSphere increased funding available under this program from 65% to 80% of total eligible costs, to a maximum of $18,462, until September 30, 2020. The extraordinary demand we’ve seen for this program since re-opening is further proof of the tenacity and resiliency of our Atlantic Canadian SMEs. Full details on this program can be found here.

Getting SMEs Closer to Commercialization

We’ve heard that COVID-19 will fuel innovation. In fact, despite the challenges we’re all facing, inspiring stories of new technologies and ideas from the Atlantic region are already emerging. LearnSphere’s Commercialization Consulting & Mentoring (CCM) program assists Atlantic Canadian businesses and institutions accelerate their development of innovative products and solutions, and quickly navigate the final stages of commercialization. Again, LearnSphere and ACOA increased contributions of this program from 65% to 80% of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $20,000, until September 30, 2020. Full details on this program can be found here. Although the full impact of the global pandemic is still unfolding, we already know that it will spur major changes. Through funding programs like these, LearnSphere with the support of ACOA, is helping SMEs to navigate this uncertainty so that they may assess, pivot and align themselves for success now and in the post-COVID world.

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