Business Matchmaking Between Southern States and Canadian Provinces

Annual Small Business Opportunity

Time to start planning to be part of Southeast United States and Canadian (SEUS-Canada). Over the last four years I attended the partnership held in Newfoundland, Mississippi, New Brunswick and South Carolina. This effort was put together to facilitate business between the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee with the provinces of Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.  The conference is held once a year and rotates between the US and Canada. There are two components: a conference with seminars on leading trends in one of the three targeted sectors and business-to-business meetings among companies in those different sectors. The previous sectors were advance manufacturing, IT, and energy.


As a small business we are invited to attend business-to-business meetings (matchmaking) through the SBA ( and others over the years. Typically these are large events with small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) meeting with large businesses to understand their internal registration and bidding processes. While the SEUS conference year after year has matchmaking meetings, these meetings were among SMEs with a few large businesses focused on specific sectors. It ends up being very dynamic as individuals were able to find solutions for joint production of a product or service, direct sales opportunities with a decision maker on site, and valuable insights into the trends in various industry sectors through the conference.


Additionally a number of Governors and Premiers attended the event and are available to speak with participants at receptions and in between sessions. This provides an unstructured interaction with officials in their respective State or Province to discuss your firm’s recent activity or a concern. Also the respective economic development officers are available to meet from each of the states or province. This event allows you to accomplish a good deal of networking, business and governmental meetings in a three-day time frame.


Typically over 70 companies participated and have over 500 meetings. Some of the best contacts were made with people whose firms were in the same region.


The sixth iteration of SEUS-Canada will take place in July 14-16, 2013 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  There are some unique opportunties in Nova Scotia as large construction projects being undertaken.  One project is the Labrador Lower Churchill Falls hydraulic dam with under water cable to provide electricity from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia.  The two energy companies Nalcor and Emera will both be available for meetings.  Also there is the Halifax Ship Yards $25-billion contract to build 21 Canadian combat ships.  Both of these projects are in the early stages and provide unique opportunities to forge partnerships.


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