Trade & Export Support for Women Business Owners
Did you know only 5% of Canadian women business owners export?
We want to change that by giving you the tools and confidence to access new markets and take advantage of international growth opportunities.
If you’re a business owner who wants to trade internationally but doesn’t know where to start, we can help you become import or export ready!
We work closely with partners, such as Business Women in International Trade (BWIT), to support women business owners become trade-ready and attend trade missions throughout North America.
If you have any questions about how we can help you with exporting and/or importing, send us an email or call us at 1.800.643.7014 ext. 112.
We can help you…
1. Understand Importing & Exporting Regulations
You may recognize the growth opportunities of importing and exporting, but may be overwhelmed by the prospect of learning about the rules, regulations, permissions and approvals required.
We can help you understand and comply with importing/exporting regulations and requirements for your specific product, and provide you with a plan so you can import/export legally and confidently.
2. Make Connections
If you are a woman entrepreneur exploring your exporting options, now you can access unprecedented support to make connections with Fortune 500 companies in trade missions to the US, Europe, Asia, Latin America and beyond—and we can help you access these opportunities!
3. Prepare for Trade Missions
We can connect you with other women business owners who are attending trade missions and keep you informed about preparation webinars, prior to conferences.
We can also help you create your pitch and capability statement so you feel confident to approach large corporations at supplier diversity or trade events.
4. Benefit from Social Procurement
Women-owned companies are diverse suppliers, and this means companies around the world want to do business with you. Learn more about social procurement and certifying as a diverse supplier >>
Access Other Trade Support
Check out these other resources from us and our partners to help you get import or export ready!
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) International Market Reports
On this site, you can find market intelligence reports on agriculture, food and seafood. Learn more >>
- BC Trade and Investment Representatives
They help British Columbia businesses contact potential buyers, investors, and other key partners in global markets. Learn more >>
- Business Women in International Trade
The BWIT Program, which is part of the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), is the only national program that provides targeted products and services to help women entrepreneurs internationalize. BWIT’s mandate is to link Canadian women entrepreneurs with international business opportunities to help spur their company’s growth. Learn more >>
- Canada Tariff Finder
This handy tool helps you check tariffs for a specific good in an international market. Learn more >>
- Canada’s Free Trade & Investment Agreements
On this site, you can explore Canada’s free trade agreements (FTA) and learn more about them. Learn more >>
- CanExport Grant
The CanExport program provides direct financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) registered in Canada that are seeking to develop new export opportunities and markets, especially high-growth emerging markets. You may be eligible to receive up to $75,000 in funding (or 75% of eligible expenses). The program has been expanded to include submissions from companies in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products industries, including fish and seafood. Learn more about the CanExport Grant >>
- Country Insights
This site, from Global Affairs Canada, answers intercultural questions from a Canadian and local point of view for a number of countries around the world. Learn more >>
- Export Development Canada (EDC) Assistance to Women Entrepreneurs
EDC has a $50 million Women in Trade Investments Program that provides equity capital for Canadian women entrepreneurs who are growing through exporting. Learn more >>
- Export Navigator
The Export Navigator pilot offers businesses access to community-based export specialists who can provide a personalized, step-by-step approach to exporting and help connect your business to the market information, export programs, financial services, and business development experts it needs at every stage of the process. Learn more >>
- International e-Commerce Essentials (ICE)
This workshop equips businesses with hands-on training and techniques to succeed in cross-border e-commerce by creating an integrated online strategy to drive global sales. Learn more >>
- Spotlight on Market Research on an International Scale
This guide, created by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, will help you conduct market research on an international scale to help you solidify potential export opportunities and avoid the risk of entering the wrong market. It includes factors that you should consider when profiling a potential international market, as well as common challenges that you may need to overcome to be successful. View the resource >>
- Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting
The Trade Commissioner Service has updated their exporting guide! Whether you are a novice or seasoned exporter, this improved guide will help your business get export-ready and positioned for commercial success abroad. Take a look >>
- Trade Accelerator Program
The Trade Accelerator Program provides companies with access to Canada’s top exporting advisors, resources, and contacts, giving them the training and support they need to become successful international traders in their specific business sector. WEC clients may qualify for full bursaries for this program! View upcoming sessions >>
- Trade Commissioner Service
The Trade Commissioner Service helps companies navigate international markets. View their services >>
- View More Business Growth Resources in our free Online Resource Library
- Webinar Recording | Are You Export Ready? Your Top Questions Answered
Upcoming Trade Missions and Events
Below are upcoming events for women business owners who are looking to make valuable connections to grow their business. Also check out the Business Women in International Trade calendar for events and trade missions.
Upcoming Events › Trade Events
Looking to import goods into Canada? Before you start, you need to know which regulations, standards and licenses apply to your products. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of which regulatory agencies are responsible for your industry, and how to manage pre-entry requirements, such as testing and labelling – before you start importing into Canada. This interactive session will bring together representatives from Small Business BC, Health Canada, the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Following the…Find out more »
Ready to increase your customer base and sell your services outside British Columbia? Just because you’re a service business doesn’t mean you can’t export. In fact, service-based businesses often have fewer barriers to overcome to become export ready. Join us for this FREE interactive seminar and start finding customers outside of B.C. We’ll discuss finding the right markets to enter, what to include in your contracts and how to handle international travel when finding a new client or working on…Find out more »
Thinking of importing into Canada? Instead of trawling through the avalanche of confusing information online, join us for this seminar as we walk through the overall importation process from start to finish. Join Max Vitali and gain an understanding of how to import into the Canadian market. This seminar is an ideal introduction before Importing Regulations In Canada and the Import/Export Advisory service. Learn More or Register This seminar is hosted at Small Business BC in Vancouver and delivered to…Find out more »
The Surrey Board of Trade has partnered with the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT), and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to bring you training on the newly released Incoterms® 2020. This one day course will provide a comprehensive overview of the new 2020 version of the terms and the differences between the 2010 version. The Incoterms® 2020 course offered by the Surrey Board of Trade and FITT will be the only in-class training in Canada that is done by…Find out more »
The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) is pleased to announce that it will lead, with strong support from the private and public sectors, Canada's first women-only business mission to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) February 27-29, 2020. Following the success of the first women-only business mission to Japan in April 2019, APF Canada will continue helping women entrepreneurs in Canada to diversify and expand trade opportunities into other Asian markets. The three-day mission will be hosted in…Find out more »
On Our Blog
Check out our recent blog posts on International Trade below or visit the Trade section of our blog for all trade-related posts.
When a group of dynamic women entrepreneurs come together for a day of networking, learning and connections, wonderful things can happen. On September 14-20, Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada helped to organize an incoming trade mission of about 20 women business owners from VdU, the association of German women entrepreneurs, to Edmonton and Vancouver. To […]
Earlier this year, I was contacted by the German consulate in Vancouver, and was told they’d like to nominate me for one of their Information Tours. Curious, I did some research and found that, in 2019, Germany will host 15 groups of 15-20 journalists and sector experts from around the world. They meet with their […]