The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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International trade: 3 entrepreneurs make their mark with TAP

A look back at what the entrepreneurs behind Daily tous les jours and the Wabasso Distillery have learned through TAP.

What do Daily tous les jours and Wabasso Distillery have in common? In addition to the implementation of their export plans, which are well underway, both companies have benefited from the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP). Here’s a look back at the challenges faced by Mouna Andraos, Melissa Mongiat and Noémie Rivière, respectively co-founders and portfolio coordinator of the Montréal-based art and design studio, and Guyaume Parenteau, co-founder and vice-president of the distillery in Trois-Rivières and what they have learned.

Resilience and growth as key participation objectives

Through virtual training sessions and one-on-one meetings with TAP's experts, co-founders Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat wanted to take the next step in the growth of Daily tous les jours. As a result of in-depth reflection, they wanted to transform their business model by reviewing the export strategy for their permanent works. Their target? The international urban design market, specifically in Ontario, Australia and the United States (California and Florida).

In partnership with La Piscine, their cohort was made up of actors from the creative, artistic and cultural industries. Through contact with their peers and experts in their field, the entrepreneurs were able to confirm certain hypotheses and identify the distinct needs for their target markets. "With our portfolio of intellectual property and our creative products," says Andraos, "we can move from a demand-response mode to an opportunity-generation mode to better plan and control our offering."

Killing two birds with one stone, the Daily tous les jours development team was also strengthened by facilitating the integration of Noémie Rivière, a newcomer to the organization.

Peer-to-peer discussions that lead to adapted partnerships

Guyaume Parenteau wanted to confirm his intuitions and structure his export plan for Wabasso with TAP. He was able to validate the market penetration strategy and pricing structure, as well as determine their differentiators and develop a value proposition tailored to their target markets – the United States and France.

Mr. Parenteau’s cohort also helped diversify his export plan. Some participants even gave him contacts abroad. For the entrepreneur, this collaboration, made possible by the program, corresponds perfectly to his entrepreneurial vision: "I don’t believe in the self-made man: it is through validation and co-development that we succeed in excelling and creating synergy to surpass ourselves."

In this regard, Benoît Robert, the program’s coach, also recognizes the TAP's collaborative value: "Our objective is to create opportunities, discussion and an environment that facilitates interaction. If things click, we have reached our objective. Some of the entrepreneurs' learning comes from experts, but discussions between peers are also very important."

One of Guyaume Parenteau’s export challenges followed in this vein: the distillery wanted to ally itself with partners who understood the challenges of making gin and artisanal spirits. In our industry," he explains, "taste and storytelling are very much linked: we are in the experiential business. We needed to find people who could be the conduit for our history and the values we chose." According to him, it was mission accomplished!

The secret to their success: surround yourself with people and take the time to learn

According to Ms. Andraos, everyone would benefit from participating in this type of program, "All our friends are already in the lineup! The right time to do it," she continues, "is right away, as soon as you have an export project, even if you don’t have a contract yet. The program provides access to a lot of resources from varying backgrounds, and it’s nice to know about them early on."

Mr. Parenteau agrees: "There is always something to learn, not necessarily from theory, but from the human side as well. We often forget that behind the business there are people and it is through interactions that a business endures."

Both Daily tous les jours and Wabasso Distillery agree that the program is a success because of its practical resources and experienced speakers, provided you take the time to invest in the learning process. As Guyaume Parenteau says, TAP is a tool that pays off as long as entrepreneurs actually do the work.

Whether it’s validating an export plan or honing your knowledge of international trade, TAP can help you take the next step in your growth. Find out about upcoming cohorts!

For more information on the Trade Acclerator Program (TAP), visit our web page.

  • Mouna Andraos Co-founder and Co-director
    Daily tous les jours
  • Melissa Mongiat Co-founder and Co-director
    Daily tous les jours
  • Guyaume Parenteau Co-founder
    Wabasso Distillery
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