Everything on TAP

What beautiful weather we have to enjoy lately. Until someone chimes in with it being the hottest day on record in the past 130 years to remind you of global warming. Or you forget to silence your notifications on your AEA (Alberta Emergency Alert) app which is blaring about destructive weather events nearby.

On the glass-half-full front, I had the privilege to take part in the first Red Deer Manufacturing Cohort for the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP), a national program. This was made available through Calgary Economic Development in partnership with the Manufacturing and Export Enhancement (MEE) Cluster and other partners. I discovered the existence of the program at the Smart MTX inaugural event in April (the event I predict as the next Agri-Trade level event for central Alberta) but it has been around for awhile.

“The World Needs a Little More Canada” is the website introduction to this lofty programming. If you are ready to go global or explore new markets, this FREE program (well, you pay for it partly with your taxes) is for you. And, in this global economy and with Alberta’s need to diversify its economy, why not attend? Who wouldn’t appreciate a few more customers?

So, given I am slogging away in the legal services sector of the economy, how did I qualify for the program? First, I have clients in the manufacturing sector and lawyering these days has to keep up with globalization (even if I personally can only provide legal advice in Canada). Secondly, people may not know about the opportunities globalization presents, so if there are a few spots left in a program, keeners (geeks?) like me might get in, even if we are not manufacturers in central Alberta. The programming overall is pretty industry agnostic.

This innovative programming is designed to accelerate the strategic development of your business (even home-based) so that you can prepare to expand into international markets. Canada’s exports are a significant part of our economy. Unfortunately, all the rules and regulations and lack of practical experience can make global expansion seem much too complex for the busy entrepreneur. Don’t decide that until you attend this program!

More central Albertans should take advantage of all the upskilling, grants, programs and other assets the various federal, provincial, local and other entities are investing in us with our money to keep us globally competitive in the digital industrial revolution. The Canadian entrepreneurs that attended TAP flew in from other provinces or drove in from other cities, and were not just local. Proving once again central Alberta is a perfect meeting spot.

Now, for better or for worse, we have to design our export plan to take advantage of the various coaching and advice. Although not on tap, I can’t wait to sample Lone Pine Distilling’s Rocky Mountain Gin, and can’t wait to share it in the future with my international colleagues from our various global offices, as we both expand our markets. Troubled Monk Brewery and Bumby Wool are other local start-ups that have come out of the TAP. Take the leap.

Donna Purcell, K.C., (aka Lady Justice) is a Central Alberta lawyer and Chief Innovation Officer with Donna Purcell QC Law. If you have legal questions, contact

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