Going beyond Canadian borders is a smart strategy. There are many opportunities for certified Canadian Woman Business Owners, or, WBE (pronounced Wee-Bee) within the US – our largest trading partner.
However, there are also opportunities elsewhere in the world that are supported by WeConnect International, a global nonprofit that facilitates opportunities for women owned businesses globally.
These opportunities were discussed at a panel discussion at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) 2013 Conference & Business Fair in June in Minneapolis, USA.
Moderated by Elizabeth Vazquez, President, CEO and Co-Founder of WeConnect International, the panelists focused on the opportunities for WBE’s in Latin America, China and Mexico.
Some of the keys to being successful in these places included the following:
- Understanding the local culture is key. For example in many Asian countries, business is relationship based. Time must be dedicated to establishing the relationship first before business discussions can start.
- The local representative of WeConnect International can connect any WBO to other local WBO in these parts of the world. These strategic alliances will make it much easier to gain an understanding of the local business culture and develop business connections in that marketplace
- Speaking the local language is helpful, but not required.
- The local consulates are a wealth of information and should always be contacted prior to attempting to do business in these areas. They can research a potential business contact, provide information on how to function in the local environment, provide safety features like transportation to meetings, make connections to local corporations or business connections.
Getting certified can open doors for you. WEConnect Canada certifies women-owned businesses in Canada. Women’s Enterprise Centre of BC is the certifying body for WEConnect in British Columbia. For additional information on becoming a certified WBE and connecting to top tier buyers from major corporations, contact: Kath Britton, Business Advisor at Women’s Enterprise Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org