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…

Picture of Alpana Sharma, FITT Professional

Alpana Sharma
FITT Professional

Understand Importing & Exporting Regulations

Many business owners recognize the growth opportunities of importing and exporting, but they’re 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.

Contact Alpana Sharma, FITT professional, for help with your questions.

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Kath Britton
Director, Business Development

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 and we can help you access these opportunities!

We can connect you with other women business owners who are attending trade missions and keep you informed about preparation webinars, prior to conferences.

Kath Britton is our Director, Business Development and your contact for trade missions and export support. She can help you certify as a diverse supplier, access markets and prepare for trade missions. She can help you:

  • Access procurement opportunities
  • Create your pitch and capability statement so you can approach large corporations at supplier diversity or trade events

Contact Kath Britton for information and support with trade missions.


Access Other Trade Support

Check out these other resources from us and our partners to help you get import or export ready!

  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • 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. View upcoming sessions >>
  • View More Business Growth Resources in our free Online Resource Library


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.

Picture of cargo ship

5 Government Programs to Help You Export

On August 21, we hosted the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, for a roundtable to discuss federal programs and services that women business owners can use to access new markets and explore export opportunities. The conversation was a great reminder of the many ways that women business owners can get support to […]

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WBENC 2018 in Detroit, Michigan is the place to be!

You will want to attend this year’s annual WBENC Conference and Business Fair if you are a woman business owner and you have: Visions of growing your business via export Interest in or already had experience selling B2B and/or Capacity to manufacture in larger volumes The WBENC Conference and Business Fair is the perfect opportunity […]

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Interested in Export? Trade Missions are Key

There is a lot of attention on growing business via export these days, enhanced by things like the NAFTA renegotiation discussions and the signing of new trade agreements. Hopefully, as a business owner, you are asking yourself, “How can I benefit from these opportunities?” All experts will agree that a good Export Plan should not […]

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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

Events List Navigation

September 2018

SAVE THE DATE: Info Session on the BWIT Trade Mission to Europe

September 24

SAVE THE DATE for this webinar to learn more about joining the BWIT-led trade mission to Europe (Germany and the UK) in November 2018. Please email BWIT for more information: bwit@international.gc.ca.

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Understanding the Logistics of Exporting

September 24 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Whether you’re looking to move physical goods to South Africa or Southern Ontario, your success depends on how efficiently, timely and economically you can get them from point A to point B. This interactive seminar is essential for businesses exporting physical goods, and will demystify terms like EXW, ACS, and HTKD. Remember, transportation and logistics will be critical factors in your pricing and competitive strategy. This seminar will help you: Understand INCOTERMS and how they affect your pricing and contract…

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WBE Canada Annual Conference- Building to the Future

September 26 @ 9:00 am - September 27 @ 2:00 pm

Whether you’re looking to grow your business, expand in new markets or increase your commitment to supplier diversity, this event is for you!  We invite certified WBEs (Women Business Enterprises), corporations, government representatives, partner organizations and others to join us at this transformational event. These two action-packed days will bring together a community of women-owned businesses, corporations, government agencies and regional partners for learning, networking and matchmaking. Connect with 200+ certified diverse suppliers, corporations, procurement professionals and those championing supplier…

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October 2018

Global Accelerator and Pitch Competition

October 2 @ 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Imperial Vancouver, 319 Main Street
Vancouver, V6A 2S9
+ Google Map

Women's Enterprise Centre is pleased to be a partner on this 1-day accelerator. Startup Canada, in partnership with UPS, Export Development Canada, and the Trade Commissioner Service are showcasing and supporting the global ambitions of 2,500 borderless businesses across Canada. Entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, service providers, and those interested in taking their business global are invited to attend the 1-day accelerator featuring keynotes, panels, and workshops, followed by a pitch competition and networking reception. Register now - space is limited. Global entrepreneur-led companies are invited to apply to pitch their companies and gain free access to this 1-day accelerator here. Register Now

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#TradeTalks First-Mover Advantage

October 11 @ 7:30 am - 2:00 pm
River Rock Casino, 8811 River Rd.
Richmond, BC Canada
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Seizing “first mover advantage” is this year’s theme with a focus on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) given BC’s pole position as Canada’s Pacific province. During this half-day forum hosted by the BC Chamber of Commerce, we'll take a closer look at Canada’s progressive trade agenda on the world stage and help BC businesses step up their export game. Register Now

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THRIVE Business Resource Expo

October 24 @ 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
The Riverbelle, 1350 Esplanade Avenue
Trail, BC Canada
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Celebrate Small Business Week and participate in THRIVE, the 1st ever South Kootenay Business Resource Expo. This event is a collaboration between Community Futures Greater Trail, Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC), Trail & District Chamber of Commerce, and The Greater Trail Community Skills Centre. We all share the same goal to help business grow, strengthen our local economy and help our communities Thrive! THRIVE will showcase local business service providers, and offer advice and resources such as: Business loans Education…

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Trade Accelerator Program, Vancouver

October 25

New trade agreements and a competitive Canadian dollar make it an ideal time to extend your company's reach through the export of goods and services. World Trade Centre Vancouver is pleased to introduce TAP in British Columbia, an initiative that has been successfully operated by the Toronto Region Board of Trade since 2015. 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…

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WEConnect International Power the Economy Conference

October 26

On October 26th, WEConnect International in Canada will host its signature annual event, Power the Economy, for women-owned businesses, multinational corporations, senior government officials, and partner organizations supporting the growth of women’s entrepreneurship across Canada. Power the Economy offers targeted education and valuable corporate connections for business owners seeking to grow their businesses as well as a rich environment for corporations interested in creating or improving their inclusive sourcing programs. The event brings world leaders in supplier diversity and inclusion,…

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November 2018

BWIT Trade Mission to Europe

November 4 - November 10

Are you a women-led business looking for market access opportunities in Europe? Interested in learning how to navigate and access global supply chains with your German and British counterparts? Join the Canadian Business Women’s Trade Mission to Germany and the U.K. Where and when: GERMANY (Hamburg & Stuttgart) November 4-6 and UNITED KINGDOM (London) November 7-10. Canadian companies can join one or both legs of the trade mission. BWIT is working with other Canadian Trade Commissioner teams located in Germany…

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Are You Thinking of Importing?

November 7 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Are you interested in importing but don’t know where to begin? Get started by learning the technical aspects of importing commercial goods into Canada. Learning Objectives: Step-by-step process of how to start your import venture How to bring your product into Canada and avoid costly mistakes How to work with customs brokers and international freight forwarders Learn the industry language that will help you understand contracts and shipping terms Find out about the federal and provincial government agencies that regulate…

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Women Entrepreneurs Trade Mission to Croatia

November 13 - November 16
Croatia Croatia (Local Name: Hrvatska) + Google Map

The goal and mission for the trip is to act as Canadian female entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to increase export and imports, at how to export/import more, find potential business opportunities, better understand the international marketplaces and learn more about shared or individual your own businesses and /passions. This trip is important to your business as it will help you increase your knowledge of other cultures and the successes and struggles they may share with you, help support…

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