Every day is International Women's Day when you're part of the Business Women in International Trade program!

April 29, 2019 - Tags: Export

This guest blog post is provided by the Business Women in International Trade (BWIT), a program within the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) at Global Affairs Canada, which supports Canadian women entrepreneurs as they pursue opportunities in international markets.

On International Women's Day on March 8th, Canadians all over the country paused to reflect on the progress made to advance gender equality and women's economic empowerment at home and abroad. However, topics such as gender equality, trade diversification, and women's rights shouldn't be a conversation that only occurs one day every year. For this reason, Global Affairs' Trade Commissioner Service is proud of its ongoing contribution to the conversation surrounding women empowerment through the BWIT program.

For over 20 years, BWIT has helped Canadian women-owned businesses open doors and develop opportunities to expand in international markets. BWIT can introduce Canadian business women to trade commissioners in over 160 cities worldwide, which is no small feat! The program is also in charge of planning and implementing women-focused international trade missions, providing information on funding and financing opportunities for Canadian SMEs, and offering valuable export advice.

Last year the Government allocated $10 million over five years in Budget 2018 to expand and enhance the program. To capitalize on this investment, the BWIT team has truly delivered on its promise to help business women advance globally, by offering:

  • Support to over 120 delegates who participated in BWIT trade missions in 2018. This included a mission to Detroit with our International Trade Minister and a business women's event in Orlando in the first half of the year. The first BWIT trade mission to Europe took place November 3rd to 10th, 2018 and was a huge success!
  • Planning and implementation of upcoming trade missions in 2019, including:
    • Canada's first women-only trade mission to Japan, which took place April 1st to 4th and was planned in partnership with APFC and the Canadian Embassy in Japan
    • The BWIT trade mission to the WBENC National Conference and Business Fair taking place in Baltimore, Maryland from June 23rd to 27th. BWIT, in partnership with WEOC, will be organizing and leading a trade mission to WBENC for Canadian business women who wish to take advantage of the amazing opportunities this event has to offer, including prestigious presentations, engaging panel discussions, 1:1 matchmaking sessions, networking receptions, and a WBENC business fair.
  • Additional BWIT positions have been allocated across the regional office network to provide dedicated TCS services to ALL domestic Canadian women-owned businesses.
  • Enhanced, easy-to-use BWIT website! The website provides useful information on upcoming trade missions, export tips, success stories about BWIT clients, and many more amazing features.
  • In recognition of International Women's Day, Minister Carr launched the annual BWIT 2019 Newsletter which features success stories about Canadian business women going global. Inspiring success stories have also been published by CanadExport focusing on BWIT clients who have excelled in global markets. Read the stories here.

The Government of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, and the Trade Commissioner Service are proud of the daily work that BWIT does to help our Canadian business women flourish globally. If you're a Canadian business woman who would like to seize a slice of the international marketplace, visit our website, join us on LinkedIn or email us to learn more about exporting, partnering and accessing unique opportunities.

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