Helping Grow Alberta Small Business. Internationally. 


Today, Alberta small business today are overly reliant on their local markets, with local sales accounting for over 75% of annual sales revenues. Research demonstrates that the more geographically diversified a small business is, the more likely these companies are to grow. Alberta small business need to locate growth markets beyond Canada’s borders.


The Alberta Manufacturing Export Compass program

In 2018, the Alberta manufacturing sector employs 140,000 Albertans and generates $75B in annual sales. Though manufacturing represents 25% of Alberta exports, exporting still represents less than 25% of the sales revenue for three out of four small business. For this reason, the Government of Alberta identified internationalization as a critical growth opportunity for Alberta manufacturers.


The Alberta Manufacturing Export Compass (AMEC) program is an initiative of the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and is facilitated by Mount Royal University's Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The factors influencing small business export performance are complex and include a combination of internal, external and contextual factors. The flexible four-module AMEC program is designed to go beyond traditional generic resources and provide customized support program for Alberta manufacturing firms who are at different stages of developing internationalization. Depending on a company's stage of internationalization, they may choose to participate in one or more of the AMEC modules. This program has been funded by the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development & Trade and therefore there is additional no cost for companies participating in any of the AMEC modules.  

Module 1: AMEC Export Readiness Audit

The first AMEC Module is a rigorous audit of the existing and potential capacity of a company's manufacturing business. This module explores the potential for the small business to achieve differential advantage in international markets. The audit provides essential export readiness information to the small business leadership team and helps to determine whether the small business will benefit from advancing to the next module of the Export Compass program.

Outcome: Efficient and concise evaluation of your export market potential.

Commitment: 20-30 minutes

In-Take: Ongoing

module 2: AMEC Export School

The second AMEC module is a two-day face-to-face training session with the companies leadership teams. This export training session is rooted in a live case study that requires teams to manage a global company through technological and market evolution. Learners develop and execute strategies for their simulated company including product roadmaps, marketing evaluation and production strategies. The Export School incorporates captures a range of factors including: macroeconomics, politics and policy, finance, human resources, accounting, procurement, production, logistics, research and innovation, and marketing. The learning outcome goal of Export School module is for small business leadership teams to reflect on the system-level complexity of all export-related decisions as they progress in their planning.

Module Outcome: Introduction to the system-level factors and complexity of all export-related decisions.

Module Commitment: One-day workshop

Module In-Take: Ongoing

module 3: Market Opportunity ANALYSIS

A successful export strategy is rooted in an awareness of market opportunity, market demand, and associated regulatory, policy, political and cultural issues. In this Module, participating companies will have up to 200 hours of AMEC market analysis and support to comprehensively analyze international market opportunities and issues.     

Module Outcome: Comprehensive market opportunity assessment supported by AMEC market analysts.

Module Commitment: Two-day workshop

Module In-Take: Ongoing


The final AMEC module facilitates the development of a market-entry plan with small business leadership over a three-month period. It is essential that this plan be developed in a collaborative process and be owned by the company's leadership team. Therefore, the AMEC team plays the role of an enabler by facilitating the planning process, providing the market intelligence and research, and compiling the planning outcomes; whereas, the company's leadership team makes and owns all planning and resourcing decisions. The final Market Entry Plan includes: Market definition; Product strategy;; Operational strategy; Distribution strategy; Pricing strategy; Go-to-market action plan

Module Outcome: Comprehensive export plan supported by AMEC market analysts and senior industry mentors. 

Module Commitment: Two-day workshop

Module In-Take: Ongoing


Who is AMEC for?

AMEC program is designed to support companies at different stages of internationalization.  This may include: 

  • A new Alberta-based manufacturer seeking to "go international" for the first time.   
  • An established Alberta-based manufacturer seeking to expand their existing international business. 
  • An Alberta-based manufacturer seeking targeted professional development for their management in the area of internationalization. 

What is the cost for PARTICIPATION?

This program has been funded by the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development & Trade and therefore there is additional no cost for companies participating in any of the AMEC modules.  


If you have additional questions or would like to apply to participate, please email us:  

David J. Finch, Associate Professor & Associate Director

Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mount Royal University