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 >>

Picture of Alpana Sharma

Alpana Sharma
WEC Business Advisor & FITT Professional


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 >>
  • 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 >>
  • 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. WEC clients may qualify for full bursaries for this program! View upcoming sessions >>
  • View More Business Growth Resources in our free Online Resource Library


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.

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Upcoming Events › Trade Events

March 2019

Maximize Your Potential at WBENC 2019

March 27 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Learn about what you can expect to improve your prospects at the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) annual Conference and Business Fair from June 23-27, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. Hosted by Business Women in International Trade (BWIT), this webinar will provide an overview of what to expect at WBENC and the benefits of being part of the Canadian delegation to WBENC. It will also focus on business opportunities in the Baltimore area. Email bwit@international.gc.ca to register today.

Find out more »

Canadian Export Challenge – Round 2 Application Deadline

March 31

Women's Enterprise Centre is a proud Promotional Partner of the Canadian Export Challenge! Startup Canada, UPS, Export Development Canada, and the Trade Commissioner Service are coming together to support a cohort of 1,500 Canadian businesses to scale and succeed globally in 2019 as part of the Canadian Global Entrepreneur Cohort. Accepted entrepreneurs will: Have a chance to pitch to win $2,500 and a trip to Toronto for a chance to win $25,000 and up to an additional $100,000 in in-kind…

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April 2019

Trade Accelerator Program – Abbotsford

April 24
Quality Hotel Abbotsford Conference Centre, 36035 North Parallel Rd.
Abbotsford, BC Canada
+ Google Map

Women's Enterprise Centre is a proud Supporting Sponsor of the Trade Accelerator Program! 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 has successfully delivered Canada's Trade Accelerator Program (TAP), in B.C. since 2017. The Trade Accelerator Program is designed to help SMEs TAP into their full export potential. It has a proven track record helping participants get results. Just…

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Canadian Export Challenge – Round 3 Application Deadline

April 30

Women's Enterprise Centre is a proud Promotional Partner of the Canadian Export Challenge! Startup Canada, UPS, Export Development Canada, and the Trade Commissioner Service are coming together to support a cohort of 1,500 Canadian businesses to scale and succeed globally in 2019 as part of the Canadian Global Entrepreneur Cohort. Accepted entrepreneurs will: Have a chance to pitch to win $2,500 and a trip to Toronto for a chance to win $25,000 and up to an additional $100,000 in in-kind…

Find out more »

May 2019

Understanding Regulations for Importing

May 24 @ 9:00 am - 12:45 pm
Webinar or Small Business BC, 601 W Cordova St
Vancouver, BC Canada
+ Google Map

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…

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June 2019

BWIT trade mission to the WBENC National Conference and Business Fair

June 25 - June 27
Baltimore Baltimore, MD United States + Google Map

The conference is the world’s largest gathering of corporate and government buyers where delegates can connect with women business leaders from over 18 countries. Attendees will enjoy tailored Canadian programming and three days of speakers, executive workshops, matchmaking and networking opportunities, including the WBENC Business Fair– the largest of its kind with more than 300 exhibitors and procurement specialists. Learn More

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WBENC National Conference & Business Fair

June 25 - June 27
Baltimore Baltimore, MD United States + Google Map

The WBENC National Conference & Business Fair is the largest conference of its kind for women business owners in the US. A signature event from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Conference & Business Fair features innovative educational programming, inspiring keynotes, 1:1 MatchMaker sessions, networking opportunities, and an unrivaled Business Fair. Expect a high energy affair with thousands of women entrepreneurs and corporate executives ready to make connections and do business. Why Attend NETWORKING: Make lasting connections with…

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September 2019

Go for the Greens Business Development Conference for Women Entrepreneurs

September 18 - September 21
Orlando Orlando, FL United States + Google Map

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…

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October 2019

SAVE THE DATE – WEConnect International in Canada—POWER THE ECONOMY 2019

October 24 - October 25

Check back for details.

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November 2019

2019 WBE Canada 10th Annual Conference

November 14
The Toronto Congress Cenre, 650 Dixon Road
Toronto, BC Canada
+ Google Map

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…

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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 the CPTPP Event

Expanding Your Business Horizons: What is the CPTPP international trade deal? | Event Takeaways

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 […]

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10 Questions to Ask if You Plan to Export

Considering business growth options in 2019? You can boost your business through exports. If you are selling just to the domestic market, you are limiting your growth potential. In 2016, BC’s small businesses were the source of “43 per cent of the province’s total exports and shipped almost $18.0 billion worth of merchandise from the […]

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