October 2018

Message from the Chair 
Our member organizations are often involved in October activities spurred by BDC’s Small Business Week initiative. It comes at a perfect time. Fall is the beginning of a new rotation of training and program activities, round tables, conferences and networking events centred around topics of interest to women entrepreneurs and those who support them. Summer is over (sigh) as is the madness of September’s school start and cottage closing. We are ready to regroup for another business year. 

October is a bit like the Happy New Year of activities that portend the start of a new strategic focus on our programs. It’s a good month for getting out there and renewing our networks, attending topical educational events and prepping for our clients’ busy season and its accompanying stressors.
In all of that frenzy, let’s not forget to take a breath and think about our direction and focus for this next quarter. There’s so much going on in our ecosystem that impacts our organizations; so much potential, so much challenge, so many opportunities. Entrepreneurs know how to be daunted and excited at the same time, it’s what makes us tick. As entrepreneurial organizations, we often share those traits. So, if this is the start of the roll into the holidays, maybe it’s also good for it to be the start of those things we promised ourselves we would do to keep a relative balance in our lives; good eating, meditation, exercise, time out to thoughtfully plan and execute our best ideas.
We look forward to seeing some of you at the October and November events centred around women’s entrepreneurship and to continuing our conversations about how best to support and develop our ecosystem so that it is founded on good practices and deep knowledge.
In this issue: 
  • From WEOC: 2017-2018 Annual Report | Public Consultations on Trade and Gender
  • Monthly feature: WEOC Member Organizations
  • BWIT Trade Mission to Europe
  • veza Community Trade Mission to Croatia
  • Sponsored blog: Microsoft Canada's Support for Small Business Month
  • Upcoming events
WEOC and its member organizations are building Canada's economy by helping women entrepreneurs through all phases of their business cycle, whether they're just starting out or looking to grow and scale operations nationally or internationally.

Please share these resources with your members.
WEOC 2017-2018 Annual Report
WEOC is proud to report significant outcomes for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Our national organization continues to develop a strong voice for Canada’s women entrepreneurs on a national and international scale.

These results are made possible thanks to our network of member organizations, partners and funders who are focused on supporting women’s entrepreneurship growth across Canada.
Public Consultations on Trade and Gender
This is the second in a series of consultations that will take place to help the Government of Canada better reflect the views and interests of Canadians, industry and civil society into our trade agenda. Our first consultations on  FIPAs  are still opened until October 28. 
This consultation on trade and gender provides an opportunity for interested parties to have their say in improving rules and institutions that support the international trading system. All Canadians are encouraged to participate in the consultations, which are taking place until November 25, 2018.
We encourage you to participate in this consultation and share the word with any other interested person or group. This consultation will help ensure Canada’s trade and investment agreements better reflect the interests of every Canadian, particularly women.
Monthly feature: WEOC member organizations
Small Business, Big Dreams: Helping Women Access New Markets
Market access is all about connections – both to new markets and to supports that help business owners get there.
In Canada, women entrepreneurs are fortunate to be supported by a government that invests in their growth potential. Yet navigating the different programs to find the right fit can be overwhelming for some business owners, and that’s where women’s enterprise support organizations can close the gap.
On August 21, Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC) hosted the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, in Kelowna, BC for a roundtable to discuss federal programs and services that women business owners can use to access new markets and explore export opportunities.
In this blog, contributed by WEC, they share five key programs that can help women export.
AWE Celebrates Small Business Week
The Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) team is looking forward to Small Business Week, with both AWE staff and board members participating in events around the province.

Some highlights include facilitating a business planning workshop to women in northern Alberta, and participating in two panel discussions on the topic of accessing capital. We are also presenting a workshop on strategic marketing, which will be a perfect warm-up for the new digital marketing program that AWE is launching in November.

We are thankful to have such a vibrant small business community and the opportunity to connect with a variety of perspectives!
Business Women in International Trade (BWIT)
BWIT Trade Mission to Europe November 4 - 10, 2018
Do you support women-led business owners looking for market access opportunities in Europe and who are interested in learning how to navigate and access global supply chains with their German and British counterparts? Join the Canadian Business Women’s Trade Mission to Germany and U.K. 
  • High-calibre networking
  • Business-to business matchmaking
  • Inspired programming
  • Government of Canada support

Target Sectors
Multi-sectoral, including Information & Communications Technologies, Cleantech, Automotive, Infrastructure, Consumer Products, Agri-foods, Professional and other services*

*Please note that it is possible to sign up for either one or both components of the trade mission, and the identified target sectors and markets are not exhaustive.

Program Elements
Hamburg and Stuttgart, Germany – November 4-7, 2018
Unique events held in partnership with the German Businesswomen’s Association (VdU) and the Embassy of Canada in Berlin. Content designed for women-owned businesses in multiple sectors, from Canada and key regions of Germany, to open opportunities for B2B and improve access to global value chains.

London, United Kingdom – November 7-10, 2018
Includes attending the WEConnect International Europe’s annual conference to network with procurement specialists from leading corporations, multinationals and government agencies, as well as women business leaders from the U.K. and Europe.

Potential participants can contact  for more information and to register.
Trade Mission to Croatia
veza Community Trade Mission to Croatia and Slovenia
Founded to address the diversity gap and to foster inclusion around the boardroom table, veza Community offers enriching personal and professional development opportunities. These opportunities train and mentor female leaders, of various cultural backgrounds, to speak up with confidence, and contribute their unique vantage point and expertise to create positive change in the entrepreneurial, not-for-profit, government and corporate sectors they serve.The mandate of the organization is inherent in its name— veza, which is the Croatian word for  CONNECTION.

veza connects women with their individual desires and greatest talents. It also connects them with peers who are on a similar leadership journey. With mission trips, retreats, online courses, masterminds, and coaching programs, veza Community members are offered a safe space to cultivate lasting relationships and to enhance their skills so that they can impact the world.

veza community's 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 your business mindset by broadening your sphere of relationships and insight, and provide you with opportunities to meet amazing women entrepreneurs from Canada and Croatia.
Sponsored blog
Microsoft Canada: In Support of Small Business Month
DID YOU KNOW? There are approximately 1.2 million active small businesses and they represent 97.9 percent of employers in Canada. Time to show our appreciation and help them stay safe!

As a tradition in its 39th successful year in Canada, National Small Business Week gives us the opportunity to celebrate small businesses and the contributions that they make to local communities and our Canadian economy.  Small Business Week is October 14 to October 20—but we have decided to honour our small businesses all month long!

Our mission this October is to teach small businesses the practice of  “Business Self-Defense .  With the support of numerous Boards of Trade, Chambers of Commerce, professional associations and groups plus our seven retail stores, Microsoft will hold business self-defense events across the country this October—all designed to help raise awareness of digital threats and teach businesses how to defend themselves from harm.

In addition to reaching small and medium-sized businesses through in-person events, we will publish daily consumable content for owners and managers. We are delighted to be sharing this content with you. Every Monday, we will send you a new round up of content. It is our hope that you share with your members, community and friends to help us amplify this very important message. If you would like us to come and speak at any upcoming events, please let us know.
Upcoming events
#Startupday Women Entrepreneurs Program
October 18, 2018
Ottawa, ON | Learn more
WEConnect Power in the Economy Conference
October 26, 2018
Toronto, ON | Learn more
Tech Women Canada 3.0
November 1-2, 2018
Los Angeles, CA | Learn more
BWIT Trade Mission to Europe
November 4-10 2018
Germany and UK | Learn more
veza Community Trade Mission to Croatia and Slovenia
November 13-17, 2018
Croatia | Learn more
WE for SHE
November 16, 2018  
Vancouver | Learn more
WEOC Board

Sandra Altner , Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
Paula Sheppard , Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs
Laurel Douglas , Women's Enterprise Centre of British Columbia
Marcela Mandeville , Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
Ruth Vachon , Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec
Prabha Mitchell , Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan    
Want to become a member of WEOC? Interested in resources for women entrepreneurs and women entrepreneur support organizations? Find these and much more at our website: 
Have an idea or suggestion for the WEOC newsletter? Contact us.