Canada's largest conference dedicated to growth in the U.S. brings people and ideas together for success south of the border
MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 20, 2015 /CNW/ - For the first time, a community of hundreds of small business leaders, investors and experts from across Canada and the U.S. will come together in a unique business forum designed to help Canadian small businesses Expand in the USA. On the agenda: how to make the right strategic choices and access capital for growth in Canada's closest and most viable foreign market.
The conference, debuting at The International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario June 16 and 17, will feature many high-profile speakers and participants, including Gary Doer, Canada's Ambassador to the United States; Nik Nanos, Chairman of Nanos Research Group; Laura Dawson, incoming Director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Amy Gordinier-Regan, President and CEO of Skinfix Inc.; Lee Meagher, Founder and CEO of Scootaround Inc.; Joerg Stieber, Chairman, Ontario Drive & Gear Limited; Frédéric Dugré, Co-Founder, President and CEO of H2O Innovation Inc.; Christopher Sheeren, Partner, Huron Capital Partners.
"The bedrock of the Canadian economy rests on our trade with the United States," said Laura Dawson, who is also chairing the conference. "Despite some bumps, Canada-U.S. economic relations are looking up. Canada exports more to the United States in three days than it sells to India in a whole year − we need to keep our eye on the real prize."
While many Canadian small businesses may have the drive to expand their operations south of the border, they may not yet have the knowledge or the tools to do so. The conference tackles many issues of major strategic importance, including with respect to dealing with agents and distribution partners; moving goods across the border; putting the right teams in place; cross-border travel and transfers; selling to the U.S government; risks of being sued; cultural differences; selling through retail channels, and many of the under-appreciated factors, which often lead to costly mistakes.
"I am happy to see the traction in the community shaping around Expand in the USA," says Jim Shenkman, conference organizer and CEO of Bivio Events. "A weak Canadian dollar, falling oil prices and abundant sources of capital on both sides of the border create favourable conditions for growing business in the United States – one of the world's top growth markets in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)."
Shenkman is no stranger to building vibrant communities around shared business objectives. A founder of Strategy and Playback magazines in Canada, he also brought to life tremendously successful RealScreen and KidScreen summits in the U.S.− each becoming a staple in their respective industries.
"While headlines call for expansion in far-flung markets like India or China, what we don't read about in the news is the successes of thousands of businesses out there who recognize the opportunity in the surging U.S. market," says Shenkman. "Expand in the USA brings these trailblazers together. While expansion in remote parts of the world is great for those who can pull it off, for many smaller companies early in their growth cycle, the U.S. is a closer, safer, more familiar and far less daunting market. Plus, it can be a launch pad for expansion into farther destinations in Asia, Latin America, Asia or Eastern Europe when the company is ready."
Among conference highlights:
- Keynote presentation on the U.S. economic outlook
- Major differences between doing business in Canada and the U.S.: What can trip you up
- U.S. trade and investment: Key things to watch for over the next few years
- The cultural divide: How business is conducted from very different perspectives
- Regions rule: How regions dance to their own tune and state governments do odd things
- Financing a U.S. operation or acquisition
- Finance: Managing the day-to-day operations of your U.S. subsidiary
- Ramping up for exports: How will you finance the growth?
- Selling through retail: Choosing the right strategy
"There's no one-size-fits-all blueprint for U.S. expansion," says Shenkman. "But, for those with the vision, guts, the right team and smart strategy, the opportunities are limitless."
SOURCE Expand in the USA
Image with caption: "Jim Shenkman (CNW Group/Expand in the USA)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150520_C5280_PHOTO_EN_16781.jpg
Image with caption: "Laura Dawson (CNW Group/Expand in the USA)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150520_C5280_PHOTO_EN_16782.jpg
Image with caption: "Expand in the USA (CNW Group/Expand in the USA)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150520_C5280_PHOTO_EN_16783.jpg
For further information: To schedule media interviews with Jim Shenkman and other participants, or to confirm media attendance (RSVP by June 1), please contact: Colin Nekolaichuk, [email protected], 416-640-5525 ext. 253; Jade Towle, [email protected], 416-640-5525 ext. 233