Award Winners: Taking on the World

Written by Chris Atchison

The winners of the inaugural Canada Export Achievement Awards remind us that great opportunity lies beyond our borders — and that Canadian firms in any sector can succeed abroad. How? Through product differentiation, smart distribution and the sense to go global one step at a time. Read on to find out who won and why.

Table of contents:

2009 winner: Atlantic Canada

A Tale of Two Customers
Jewel Pop makes the revolutionary kind of product that can almost sell itself to consumers. But that doesn’t stop the Nova Scotia firm from hooking retailers on its merchandise, too.

2009 winner: Quebec

Growth is in the bag
What makes Via Vegan’s handbags a hit with consumers in the U.S. and Europe? Hot designs, and the care and feeding of foreign distributors.

2009 winner: Ontario

Software saviours
FreeBalance might be a “public financial-management software developer,” but don’t let that dull descriptor fool you. Behind it is a firm whose product is helping rebuild wartorn nations.

2009 winner: Prairies and Territories

To Russia, with Love
In the wake of the BSE crisis, Alta Exports International found itself with no sales and little hope. What else could it do but organize its own trade mission?

2009 winner: Pacific Region

Mining the Middle Kingdom
Want to do business in China? Then follow the lead of Bioteq Environmental Technologies, whose experience is a case study in cracking the world’s most populous — if not perplexing — market.

About the awards

The judging process was completed in two stages. In the first stage, the editors of PROFIT evaluated all applications according to the criteria shown at right. In the second stage, the entries of the highest-scoring applicants in each region were reviewed by the members of a national judging committee, who independently evaluated the finalists’ applications, then chose the winners by consensus. Finally, winners were subjected to a due-diligence process that included background and reference checks, plus the review of their financial statements from their three most recent fiscal years. This due-diligence process was conducted by KPMG Enterprise.

National Judging Committee

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