Canadian businesses need assurance and expertise now more than ever — a steady hand to guide them through persistent and troubled world-wide waters.
Consider the international climate in which these businesses now operate: evolving geopolitics, a war in Europe, interest rate rancour and the lingering effects of supply chain uncertainty.
Closer to home, real estate uncertainty and once-in-a-generation inflation are everyday conversations.
Together with the usual stressors and hurdles in the world of commerce and trade, business owners may be finding themselves with a growing list of questions and pain points. Export Development Canada (EDC) is the salve, so to speak, to help.
EDC is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies succeed on the world stage.
The organization’s values are guided by four overarching principles: customer success; acting with ethics and integrity through genuine and transparent work; a commitment to making the communities in which they live and work better; and a deep-seated sense of caring for human and environmental impacts.
EDC equips Canadian companies with the tools they need –trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and international connections – to grow their business with confidence.
“Our investment program provides growth and venture-capital solutions to promising Canadian exporters,” explains Mark Livingston, regional vice president of EDC’s western region. “Investments are made both directly into Canadian businesses and via Canadian fund partners. The program is also an active investor in international mid-market and infrastructure private equity funds, particularly in emerging markets that are leveraged to create Canadian trade benefits.
In addition to working directly with Canadian companies in support of their export needs in the provision of their suite of solutions - investments, financing, insurance, business connections, knowledge and advisory services - EDC also works very closely with Canadian banks and other financial institutions.
EDC’s financing expertise helps Canadian companies access working capital via a handful of primary tools. Buyer financing, for example, can help a company’s customer make a purchase they otherwise may not have been able to afford, while direct lending offers financing to a company through a secured loan.
Another solution is to provide extra capital so the business has the cash flow to meet their obligations on time. Structured and project finance, meanwhile, is designed specifically for limited recourse financing of long-term, capital-intensive projects.
Work in the insurance field allows EDC to offer protection, lowering the risk for Canadian businesses expanding beyond our borders. Through EDC’s Business Connection Program, Canadian companies can meet leading global companies interested in working with Canadian expertise and innovation.
As for the knowledge and advisory services provided, Livingston offers this:
“We provide expertise, enabling our customers to make informed decisions and learn more about international markets,” he says. “We help steer them toward available resources, share useful contacts, provide targeted referrals to partners, and respond to trade-related inquiries.”
In addition to leveraging market intelligence from EDC’s 19 international offices around the world, EDC also collaborates with its growing network, who are working together to help Canadian companies meet their international business goals. This Canadian trade ecosystem includes: Business Development Bank of Canada, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, eShipper, Farm Credit Canada, Forum for International Trade Training and MaRS – to name a few.
The Crown corporation’s Economic and Political Intelligence Centre (EPIC) assists businesses in responding to real-time issues as they happen and serves as a country risk advisory and support group for EDC’s business teams.
EPIC provides economic and political analysis to better inform the corporation of country risks that could affect our customers and potential Canadian exporters, when doing business abroad.
The team’s analysts are also responsible for sector analysis: metals, energy, forestry, services, aerospace, agri-food, auto and machinery, among others.
“We are a team of country risk and quantitative analysts that cover over 200 markets. We’re also technical experts in market and industry classification,” Livingston says.