Bill Wong is a recent immigrant to Canada from China. Although he is a highly qualified logistics expert, his credentials are not recognized in Canada. Undaunted, Bill joined an Edmonton based Chinese Canadian business network and decided to work with a few members to help them with export and import opportunities. Like many other immigrants, his associates struggled to get the full credit for their education and experience. But they realised they could leverage their social capital by tapping into their business networks back in their homelands.
By using Wayfinders Bill and his associates were able to identify a number of Chinese food, home decor and clothing products for which there was sufficient demand in Western Canada. Likewise, they were able to identify Canadian goods they thought would sell in China. These included value added forestry products such as engineered wood panels and structural beams for the booming Chinese housing market.
Building International Trading Relationships
As they proceeded to establish relations with contacts back home they took advantage of Wayfinders local chapter development package. This set of instructions comes with live video conference support to help people in other cities get together and form their own local Wayfinders chapters. Bill and his associates found that getting their overseas colleagues to form local chapters was going to help them learn together how to get these import and export businesses off the ground.
The Wayfinders business training modules cover all aspects of business management. However, of particular interest to many of these experienced entrepreneurs is a set of modules concerning the various aspects of doing business in Canada and in other countries. As Wayfinders expands into other countries it acquires more modules that are specific to doing business in those other countries. Included are subjects such as national labour laws, insurance and banking practices, consumer protection legislation, trade agreements, customs and duties, language translation services, licenses and permits, as well as the all-important market data.
Over time, Wayfinders members have contributed a wealth of information to help one another find their ways. All the while, this important information and knowledge is gathered, organized, stored and presented in a meaningful and accessible manner for other members. A true spirit of sharing has become the Wayfinders culture.