Manitoba’s Raysolar sets up solar and wind energy systems. Technical expertise combined with being able to work in both of Canada’s official languages has opened up doors to expand into Francophone African countries.
Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba (CDEM) helped Raysolar build relationships in Mali and Burkina Faso. This created opportunities for the company to expand its sales.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) funds CDEM as a Francophone Economic Development Organization. This is one way that WD helps official language minority communities in western Canada boost their economies.
WD’s Business Scale-up and Productivity Program (BSP) also supports Raysolar. BSP helps businesses grow faster and be more productive and competitive in both domestic and global markets.
Transcript: Winnipeg firm exports renewable energy systems to Africa
The camera focuses on a building sign for Raysolar that reads “RAYSOLAR est. 2009 renewable energy made easy! Sales. Solutions. Design. RAYSOLAR.CA”
RAY PAMBRUN (voice-over): My name is Ray Pambrun and I’m the founder and owner of Raysolar.
The camera transitions to a view of RAY PAMBRUN in front of solar panels and then intersperses photos of RAY’s childhood and his father along with videos of RAY in meetings, and Raysolar corporate promotional materials into the next part of the interview
RAY PAMBRUN: It was the strong francophone, St. Boniface culture of especially my father who instilled in us that, you know, we speak French in the house. My dad knew that being a francophone was important because he was living it every day. I mean, in his job was sales and marketing across Canada in the automotive industry and it opened up doors in his profession and for his company that he was able to speak French.
RAY PAMBRUN (numbering the reasons on his fingers while he speaks): I mean working in the Maritimes, working in Quebec.
Video clips of RAY in meetings at Raysolar and Raysolar corporate promotional materials are interspersed into the next part of the interview
RAY PAMBRUN: So, he knew that value. He says, one day Ray, you will see the opportunity in your work or maybe your businesses and here we are today.
Photos of RAY installing solar panels and video clips of RAY in meetings at Raysolar interspersed into the next part of the interview.
RAY PAMBRUN: Really, it wasn’t up until the last few years that I really started to say ok, I’m coming into St. Boniface, there’s a whole community, there’s there’s opportunities outside of just Winnipeg with the francophone communities. Working with the CDEM is where the doors really started to open because it started to connect the dots with the people that had the know-how or the resources with how we’re going to put this together.
Photos of RAY and employees installing solar panels in a variety of outdoor settings and seasons are interspersed into the next part of the interview.
RAY PAMBRUN: In business, we’re always trying to take out the peaks and valleys of our sales cycle as much as possible, right? It’s more predictable revenues. So I was looking for opportunities where the sun shines.
Video clips of streets and traffic in an African city, RAY in meetings at Raysolar, Raysolar promotional materials inside the Raysolar office, and Raysolar equipment are interspersed into the next part of the interview.
RAY PAMBRUN: Africa was the opportunity to bridge being able to speak French and to bring our expertise and our resources to countries that has a tremendous amount of solar capacity. What we’re doing in renewable energy as an English speaking and French speaking business is very very unique. Especially in Africa because not only is it being able to speak French, it’s cultural challenges as well and having a team that has the cultural exposure as well as the francophone, French abilities.
Video clips and images of Raysolar equipment and RAY and employees installing solar panels are interspersed into the next part of the interview along with video clips of traffic and electricity lines in an African city.
RAY PAMBRUM: For us to come in and offer those services at the quality that we would here in North America and in Canada, in a country where we know the standards aren’t as high, but we can come in with the same standards and we can navigate the culture, we can communicate and we can build the relationships that are going to help to really bring a technology to to to a population that needs it.
WD Wordmark appears on screen.
Be Leaf Media and CDEM logos appeafr on screen.
Canada Wordmark appears on screen.