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InTouch Communications: Diverse and thriving

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Karim George thrives on challenge. The founder, creative director and executive director of InTouch Communications Inc. emigrated to Canada from Egypt with a few hundred dollars in his pocket.

His brother-in-law – at the time enrolled at Dalhousie University – told him Halifax was a lovely city and invited him to at least try it for a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks turned into 10 years.

After working with Scotiabank, he opened his own business in 2012. Since then, InTouch has expanded to employ 11 people on contract, part-time, and full-time. And just this year, George was a finalist for the business leader of the year award with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

Based in Halifax, InTouch provides custom marketing services, from small business branding, social media and video production to managing major marketing campaigns across the country. “We’re different because we’re a small group of very talented individuals, and we’re affordable, creative, and quick,” George says.

When one of his consultants, Uprise Consulting, mentioned supplier diversity and urged him to participate in NSBI’s diversity trade mission, Spring 2019, he immediately signed up.

Supplier diversity and inclusive procurement reaches out to groups traditionally underrepresented in the supply chain of purchasing processes of major corporations or governments. Although supplier diversity is still a relatively new concept in Canada, it is gaining momentum.

During 2016 - 2017, NSBI began research and planning for ways to help businesses in underrepresented groups export more, and NSBI put its Diversity Engagement Plan into operation starting last year.

Held in Toronto, NSBI’s trade mission was centred around the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) Diversity Procurement Fair and the WBE Canada Breakfast with Brands: Automotive Industry.

A one-day, mandatory preparation session in Halifax prior to the mission, gave participants an overview on how to work supplier diversity conferences and business fairs, develop relationships and prepare for meetings with corporates. Within a week of that session, InTouch became CAMSC certified as a business of diversity.

“The full day we spent preparing for the trade mission was absolutely amazing,” George says. “Every single piece of information they gave us, I implemented in my pitch, presentation and capability statement. And it worked. During that mission, I sat down one-on-one with people from eight large corporations. We are now having healthy conversations with two of them.”

Now George has received confirmation that NSBI’s Export Growth Program will support trips he takes this year for export initiatives. “From day one, NSBI has been helpful and supportive,” he says.

Does your business development plan include travelling outside of Nova Scotia? Reach out to a Regional Business Development Advisor and learn how the Export Growth Program can help grow your business.