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 is a five-year, $50-million Government of Canada program that 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 funding for a portion of your travel expenses with 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
Join WEConnect International in Canada to learn about Marriott’s procurement process and the company’s procurement partnership with Avendra. The Marriott team will provide an overview of its supplier diversity program as well as review the types of products and services Marriott International procures at the enterprise level. The Avendra team will review the products and services within the Avendra procurement scope, how to become a prospective Avendra supplier for Marriott hotels and highlight upcoming Canada-specific opportunities. WBEs will leave the…Find out more »
The BC Export Awards are the province’s most prestigious awards paying tribute to the success and innovative approaches of BC export companies. Extending across industries the awards recognize achievements in 9 different categories and are a celebration of the contributions exporters have made to both the provincial and national economy. Conceived in 1982, the program has recognized over 300 companies since its inception, reflecting the growth and diversity of BC’s economy over the past 30 years. Category Awards: Emerging Exporter…Find out more »
BWIT will lead a trade mission to Go for the Greens Business Development Conference in partnership with the Consulate General of Canada in Miami. The conference is a high-level, boutique event that offers exclusive access to companies and government agencies that can help women-owned businesses secure contracts. The trade mission will offer one-on-one business matchmaking meetings, educational programming, valuable networking and a golf networking event! As part of the BWIT trade mission, delegates have an opportunity to apply for a…Find out more »
Join WEConnect International in Canada to learn about TD Bank's strategic sourcing process. The TD Bank team will provide an overview of its supplier diversity program, review the types of products and services TD Bank procures at the enterprise level and discuss how to become a prospective supplier. WBEs will leave the webinar equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to navigate TD Bank's sourcing processes to be prepared for future Canadian and US opportunities. SAVE THE DATE - Registration…Find out more »
Presented by World Trade Centre Vancouver World Trade Centre Vancouver is pleased to present International e-Commerce Essentials (ICE), a workshop that helps businesses discover, learn, and create an integrated online strategy to drive global sales. By enrolling in the International e-Commerce Essentials workshop you can: Discover what online marketing strategy will best achieve your international e-commerce sales goals Learn which tools and platforms can help you predict current and future global demand for your product or service Understand how to…Find out more »
As an importer, 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. This interactive session will bring together representatives from Small Business BC, Health Canada, the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Following the presentation (approximately two hours), in-person attendees will have…Find out more »
WEConnect International in Canada will host its signature annual event, Power the Economy, for women-owned businesses, multinational corporations, senior governments officials, and partner organizations support the growth of women's entrepreneurship across Canada. Learn More or RegisterFind out more »
Are you a woman-owned business or a certified diverse supplier? Need to get access to buyers from large corporations and government organizations? Tired of knocking on doors just to be shut down by gatekeepers? Overwhelmed by barriers to supply chain entry? Cut the frustration and create successful opportunities with direct access to information, resources and buyers at WBE Canada’s 10th Annual Conference this November. Are you a corporate/government leader or buyer? Want to keep ahead of your competitors? Ready to…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.
Once you are export ready you can decide how you want to enter a new market. Let us evaluate how an agent or distributor can help with exports. Agents: Agents work as your business representative in the local market and can use their local networks to obtain orders for your products. They usually work on […]
Did you know that a newly-launched trade deal with the Asia-Pacific region, will allow Canadian exporters access to almost 500 million consumers in 11 countries? Notebook in hand, on February 11, I set out to get to the bottom of this new agreement and how it will benefit women business owners at a seminar called […]