eShipper partnered with the Magnet Export Business Portal to give our customers the opportunity to find funding, workshops, events and trade opportunities to help them ship their products overseas.
We interviewed Emily Collins, Project Lead for the Magnet Export Business Portal on what value the platform adds to small businesses and how to get started.
Why was Magnet created?
Magnet is a digital social innovation platform co-created by Ryerson University. Magnet initially launched in 2014 as a platform to help solve recruitment challenges for employers and to address unemployment and underemployment of youth. There were tons of skilled recent grads who had trouble finding employment, and employers who had trouble finding talent to fill vacancies.
Magnet’s mission is to accelerate inclusive economic growth for all in Canada. Today, our initiatives span across three strategic pillars: careers, business and community. At its core, Magnet is a software platform that uses matching technology to connect people, businesses and organizations to opportunity.
Magnet developed a seamless matching technology solution for job seekers and employers looking to connect. Job seekers create profiles and indicate their competencies, skills and qualifications using drop-downs and picklists on the Magnet platform.. Employers create job postings that use the same drop-downs and picklists to indicate the baseline skills and qualifications required for the position. This allows employers to receive a pipeline of top talent, making the recruitment process much more efficient.
How did Magnet transition from recruitment to exporting?
In 2017, the Ontario Government approached Magnet to use our matching technology to help support Canadian SMEs to better match with export and trade related programs, opportunities, funding, and trade missions.
We worked with the Ontario government to create an on-boarding process that would collect the kind of baseline information we needed to get from a business in order to match them with export and trade related resources. Consequently, the Magnet Export Business was created.
Even though we have "Export" in our name, this platform was also developed for non exporters. It's really about helping non-exporting SMEs see the value in exporting. The incentive behind developing the portal was to support businesses who are new to exporting and help them navigate the trade ecosystem.
The programming, services and learning material found on the Magnet Export Business Portal come from top service providers in Canada’s export and trade ecosystem: Global Affairs Canada and the Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
Let me give you an example of how Magnet Portal adds value to a potential exporter:
If I'm with the Ontario Government and have a funding program from OMAFRA, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, I'm going to upload the program to Magnet and set my baseline criteria. Now, instead of all 3,800 of the businesses on Magnet getting the message, it'll only go out to 125 who meet the eligibility criteria. Those 125 businesses will know that they're already eligible for the funding program sent to them through Magnet. Their portal has been vetted to make sure they meet the baseline criteria, so now all they have to do is apply.
Businesses get access to trade missions, workshops, training programs, trade accelerator programs, webinars and industry networking events run by our partners, the Ontario government and the Federal government.
We also have a huge learning database. We find that early entrepreneurs and smaller businesses are generally very new to the export landscape. They tend to need a lot of information upfront before they can even start to think about applying for that trade mission or applying for the funding. That's why our learning database is rich with easy-to-understand concise information.
How can businesses register and learn how to use Magnet Export Business Portal?
Businesses can get started by creating a free account on eShipper’s Magnet landing page. Before receiving any targeted content, a user will be required to complete a business profile and answer a questionnaire about their organization size, industry, export experience and sales revenue range. This is so Magnet can target programs and opportunities for that specific business. As opportunities come, Magnet will send target email notifications with new opportunities they are eligible for.
Want to learn more about how the Magnet Export Business Portal can impact your business growth? Check out this explainer video and get started at eshipper.magnet.today
Emily Collins is a Project Lead at Magnet Export Business Portal. Magnet is a portal that allows your business to get matched to the right trade missions, funding programs, events and more. To learn more about how it works, visit https://export.magnet.today/