Trade Missions: Open Your Business to Limitless Opportunities

Have you considered entering a new market, but are unsure where to start? Becoming involved in a trade mission may be just the ticket. Trade missions provide valuable experiences and opportunities when entering a new market and offer many benefits compared to trying to do it all on your own.

At its simplest, a trade mission is a trip, usually international in nature, organized by a government agency or organization for the purpose of exploring business opportunities abroad. However, in practice, a trade mission is so much more.

Trade missions are a great way to learn about doing business in a new market, while making important contacts and gaining exposure to the business culture in these regions. Generally, a trade mission follows a structured program, which can include business meetings, workshop sessions, tradeshows, site visits (when possible) and unrivalled networking opportunities.

Above all, trade missions provide access to key corporate decision-makers and they often have pre-arranged matchmaking or business-to-business meetings tailored to your business needs. These provide an unparalleled opportunity to cultivate and complete deals for new business in the future.

With the assistance of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Department of Innovation Business and Rural Development (IBRD), NLOWE has been able to organize and lead trade missions that provide clients in-market experience.

Before take off, we offer pre-mission training and consulting to ensure you are fully prepared and have the best opportunities for success when entering into a new market. In the past, we have offered training on the Elevator Pitch, International Travel – Travelling Organized, Gathering Intelligence, Closing Deals, and Working the Tradeshow Floor.

We have also connected participants with consultants for business profile writing and we have offered invaluable matchmaking opportunities. Our goal is to provide an experience that not only broadens current markets, but also develops skills and competencies of the woman business owner to do so effectively.

While on the mission, our staff members help participants take advantage of the experience. There are regular debriefings and consultations to address concerns. Most importantly, because we understand the business profiles and objectives of participating businesses, we can network and help facilitate connections for clients, too.

The support does not stop when you return from the mission; we anticipate reporting requirements and provide training beforehand to make it easier to record necessary information throughout the trip. The other critical component is follow-up with potential business opportunities. This is time sensitive, and through client consultations, NLOWE can help with aspects of the process including meetings, training, strategizing, and mentoring.

NLOWE has developed important relationships with Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) similar to ours in various regions of the United States including the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) South in Louisiana and the Women’s Business Development Centre (WBDC) in Florida. Through our work with these RPOs, we have been able to develop additional events and opportunities during trade missions that directly benefit our women business owners.


The ability to work with a professional matchmaker is invaluable when entering a new market. A matchmaker is someone on the ground that works with you to identify key contacts in the market you are exploring, and most importantly, schedules meetings with these contacts, so that you may start building valuable relationships on your first visit.

Creating these invaluable partnerships allows us to examine comprehensively if a particular market is beneficial, or viable, for your business. For instance, Louisiana is a market with a strong oil and gas industry that provides opportunities for women business owners in our province to build capacity in their businesses by partnering and collaborating with the businesses in this U.S. region. Florida offers many business opportunities in sectors such as aerospace, information technology, agri-foods, life sciences, as well as financial and professional services. Florida is also seen as the gateway to other markets in the Caribbean and South America.

While NLOWE presently focuses on Louisiana and Florida, we also look to support business development in other regions and countries depending on client requests.

If you are interested in entering a new market, no matter where the location, we can help you explore effectively any opportunity that may exist for your business and help you evaluate the market.

DebYouden-DSC_0356 1 copy 3

Deborah Youden, Export Consultant,


There are limitless opportunities when you open your business to the world to grow and diversify your market. When and wherever you need to go with your business, NLOWE will help get you there. 


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