Seeking Expressions of Interest

Craft Alliance Atlantic Association
L’Association alliance métiers d’arts atlantique
Contact:       Bernard M. Burton, Executive Director

Please Respond by June 21, 2021


Project: Craft Hub SME Activator Project
Advancing SME’s in Diverse Communities

Craft Alliance Atlantic is a pan-Atlantic association based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The Alliance is creating an ongoing database and roster of business development consultants available for Alliance projects and for client referrals, specific to working with SME’s in Diverse Communities.

The Alliance is seeking Expressions of Interest from qualified Consultants across Atlantic Canada, who wish to be listed on our database.

Consultants with experience in the fields of business mentoring & coaching, diversity and inclusion training, business skills, export and international marketing, among other fields (see below).

Craft Alliance is launching a two-year business development project to enhance, support and further develop wholesale market opportunities and to create new representation from diverse maker communities in the small-scale manufacturing sector (craft, giftware and apparel production) in Atlantic Canada. Consulting contracts will vary in length, depending on the activity and services being provided.


Description of Project:

Craft Alliance Atlantic has built a strategic process and development continuum that will assist producers in capacity building for both established producers and emerging start-ups through relevant programs and services identified by industry stakeholders.

The Craft Hub Activator Project will assist Atlantic Canadian producers and maker focused businesses from diverse communities including: BIPOC, persons who identify as LGBTQ2S+ and persons with disabilities, with business development, coaching/mentoring, and increased sales through innovation, capacity building and product development. As export development is a key aspect of the Craft Alliance mandate, the program will also include export readiness and export market entry for those businesses interested in expanding beyond Atlantic Canada.

The Craft Hub Activator Project will assist underrepresented producers in accessing new markets and create new priority and niche markets for Atlantic Canadian makers who have traditionally had limited or no access to wholesale and export markets in Canada and abroad.  The program will create new and sustainable exporters and increase overall sales by providing support and advisory services to diverse communities.

The dissemination of market development and mentoring skills along with wholesale trade and export related logistics will further the professional development of the industry and create new diverse and inclusive audiences as a result of project activity.


We are seeking consulting companies and individuals with knowledge in:

  • Business development training
  • Business coaching
  • Lean manufacturing processes
  • Export assistance
  • International matchmaking services
  • Leading organizational change
  • Working with diversity committees
  • Employment equity – analysis, reporting, planning & implementation
  • Policy review and development for inclusion
  • Sensitivity training & unconscious bias
  • Market intelligence research
  • Digitization of enterprises (e-commerce, web development, marketing, etc.)
  • Market accessibility for disabled makers
  • Building policies for ensuring accessibility of services


We will be prioritizing submissions from business consultants from racially diverse backgrounds for all program elements.

Interested parties should submit a PDF cover letter including an overview of services provided and examples of previous work with diverse communities.

Please email Expressions of Interest with subject heading: Consultant Roster to Bernard Burton, Executive Director ( and please copy Greg Toole, Manager Export Programs ( and Spencer Morris, Program Coordinator Intern (

We will begin outreach to consultants with further information, as the project moves forward and is formally launched in July 2021.


About Craft Alliance Atlantic

Craft Alliance is a pan-Atlantic organization for the key purpose of wholesale market development and exporting.  The Alliance Atlantic Association was incorporated as a non-profit society in May 2009.  The Alliance contributes to the development of the maker/producer and SME sector in the four Atlantic Provinces by its partnership with established service providers and creating new and innovative approaches to dealing with wholesale market and export development challenges.

Our mandate is to partner with industry groups and organizations to further not only our goals, but the goals of our partners. The Alliances’ involvement of industry partners is the key aspect of the organizations inception and continued development. The underlying principle is that of collaboration and partnership for the development of the sector in Atlantic Canada.

Since its inception, Craft Alliance has strengthened the sector in Atlantic Canada by developing cooperative projects as a means of overall sector support within the region, projects and development activity that would otherwise not happen. The Alliance has successfully and collaboratively aligned provincially based industry partners that can assist in moving individual producers and the industry forward.

The creation of a new and innovative project around diversity and inclusion will assist small-scale maker/producers in getting to the next level in their business development, whether that be building production capacity, improving wholesale markets within Atlantic Canada or further afield or moving into export development.

Throughout Atlantic Canada the industry is developing at different rates and with different priorities and the new Craft Hub Activator Project will create an environment where small maker/producers from diverse communities can thrive. Working with industry partners throughout the region, Craft Alliance can provide tailored support for production-oriented maker businesses and the broader maker community.

Craft Alliance has committed to the 50-30 Challenge to improve equality and representation within our organization and the broader maker community.

Download this Call for Expressions of Interest as a PDF