As an Export Advisor, Linda Adimora draws from her corporate and entrepreneurial background to support businesses looking to export. With personal experience in importing and exporting, she knows the importance of venturing beyond local markets. Her best advice? Build a strong support system and get ready to face your biggest challenges head-on.

Export Navigator: Can you introduce yourself and what you do in your role as an Export Advisor?

Linda: My name is Linda Adimora, and I’m an Export Advisor for the Lower Mainland, covering Surrey, Langley, White Rock, and the Fraser Valley. In my role, I’m responsible for supporting businesses that are looking to grow their markets. Part of that role means being there as needed to provide support, value, and information on any opportunities that would help a business meet its export goals. Essentially, I am here to support businesses in all areas of their growth.

Export Navigator: What is your professional background, and how did that prepare you to work as an export advisor?

Linda: I have both a corporate and entrepreneurial background. I worked in e-commerce, marketing, construction, and manufacturing in my corporate career. From establishing global distribution for Canadian-made construction equipment, I then moved into entrepreneurship, which includes running my own brick-and-mortar store in Downtown Chilliwack and establishing export markets with major retailers in the US. My diverse background has served as a strong foundation for this advisory role because I also understand first-hand the pain points business owners feel when wanting to grow and reach new markets. My experience allows me to advocate for opportunities that might not be easily accessible, and to make the journey of growing and scaling a business simpler and more efficient, one business at a time.

Export Navigator: What do you look for in a business to determine if they are ready to grow beyond B.C.?

Linda: Beyond product or service validation, the entrepreneurial mindset is key. Exporting requires a lot of commitment of various resources, including time. Second, entrepreneurs can’t ignore finances. Exporting can be a costly growth strategy. How much risk is a business willing to take to drive growth? I find that for many businesses, it’s beneficial to grow locally and interprovincially first before exporting internationally.

Export Navigator: How would you describe your advising style/approach to working with clients?

Linda: I take a supportive approach but am also honest and direct. Good advice is clear and trustworthy, even if sometimes it’s different from what you might want to hear. Plus, I try to always leave clients with something to take away. Along with that, I have an open-door policy. My clients can reach out to me anytime, and I’ll be there to champion their work as much as possible. Finally, I see myself as a connector. If there is ever anyone or anything in my network that can help, I extend that to my clients. With exporting, so many parts of the business can be involved, from marketing to production and everything in between. For that reason, I see myself as a champion for the business as a whole, not just the exporting side.

Export Navigator: Aside from being an Export Advisor, what else do you like to do in your free time?

Linda: It’s hard to choose which hobbies to mention! I love hosting. Food is a core piece of me because it’s an extension of my love for travel. I enjoy experiencing different culinary flavours, recreating them, or making dishes from countries I’ve never visited. My favourite food to make is probably our staple food from Zimbabwe, comprised of a stew and a cornmeal-style side similar to polenta, which you eat with your hands. It always makes for a good ice-breaker!

I also recently picked up golf, so I enjoy being on the range, challenging myself with something new. And, of course, family time is essential. It’s special for me to be with my family and create moments to look back on, so I’m very proactive about spending time with loved ones.

Export Navigator: What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Linda: Eat your frogs! What I mean is, do the difficult things first. The big steps, especially the difficult ones, are usually the steps that will move a person or a business forward. For example, getting product certifications can be difficult but critical. I’d recommend that entrepreneurs address areas they don’t naturally enjoy. This might include having to outsource, hire, or seek mentorship opportunities.

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Thinking of exporting? Find an advisor today and discover what opportunities are available to you.