Jim Colthart is Executive Director of Global Chamber® Toronto. He joined us to help Canadian businesses grow by understanding and addressing the challenges they face in international markets.
“I came to Global Chamber® to play a role in the education and development of programs to help Canadian businesses better understand the challenges and opportunities as they broaden their horizons and seek to expand into international markets.", said Jim.
"This understanding is particularly important for newly-established enterprises, and many small- to medium-sized businesses engaged in other than commodity industries. For many Canadian entrepreneurs, this often means looking to the United States. The US, with a population ten times as large and with strong logistics and financial services sectors, offers a readily accessible market. But it's not just the US, especially as markets in Asia and Africa grow rapidly... increasingly the next best opportunities are somewhere else and very often away from Canada.”
Jim reflected upon the cultural differences and marketing expectations businesses face trying to expand into the U.S. as well as U.S. companies trying to expand into Canada:
“What many discover, of course, is that success requires a determined effort to understand the significant cultural differences and marketing expectations of the various U.S regions. And the reverse is also true – American companies and entrepreneurs seeking to extend their operations into Canada are similarly challenged.”
An example success of Global Chamber® work in Toronto has been with Massage Envy, a US-based franchise looking to grow across Canada and in selected countries around the world. Massage Envy asked Global Chamber® to set up meetings with potential investors and area developers with requirements. Jim worked with the network at Global Chamber® to identify candidates and set up meetings.
"Global Chamber® did a great job of setting up meetings for us, right down to getting an ideal downtown Toronto location for the meetings at a member office, Dickinson Wright law firm," said Lee Knowlton, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and International at Massage Envy.
"For firms based in Toronto or those interested to connect here, we are dedicated to growth - within metro, cross metro and cross border - and we work with importers, exporters and nvestors," said Jim.
More on Jim Colthart…
As a seasoned business developer and strategic entrepreneur, Jim brings a wealth of international experience, a passion for technology and a global worldview that his clients value as they seek to grow and strengthen their organizations, especially in Canada and the United States.
Jim has extensive executive leadership in Canadian, US and international markets, as CEO, COO and CTO. He has a 20 year track record with start-ups, turnarounds and sustained growth businesses. He also has international experience with the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC, UK private equity, European and Pacific Rim networks. Other career accomplishments include starting three U.S. ventures from scratch, securing $70M of investment capital and licensing cutting-edge technology.