July 2018

Message from the Chair 
Not every woman wants to grow her business. The impetus for business start up is as varied among women as it is among men. A decision to create income when other options aren’t available; the passion for autonomy; a proprietary product or service; a desire to create a legacy or asset or income stream post work life. Some businesses stay in the basement and some flourish and multiply into many channels. 

The will to grow the business is quite different from the start up rationale. Here’s where men and women often differ in their approach. The reasons for this disparity are many and too complex to go into in this brief note but at one level the grow/no grow decision is simply based on self confidence and belief in ability to manifest a larger enterprise.

All of us who work in the field of women’s business development recognize the need for mentorship and coaching to help our clients envision a possible future that includes scaling up and expansion. Women are as capable of building successful businesses as men and often do. But some could benefit from help in recognizing growth opportunities that come from strategic use of debt, investment in trade exploration and the mechanisms to harness innovation to increase productivity. 

That’s our job. Let’s celebrate all of the women we work with who are recognizing and building on that knowledge.
Happy summer. Relaxation and regeneration to all!

In this issue: 
  • Hot topic: Making the most of supplier diversity connections: Trade mission to WBENC 2018 in Detroit
  • WEOC blog: Money and mindset: Bigger budgets alone don’t solve the whole problem for women entrepreneurs
  • BWIT trade mission: Go for the greens
  • Resources: Curated content from around the web
  • Sponsored blog: Top talent tips for small business
  • 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.

Editor's note: The WEOC newsletter will not be published in August -- see you in September!
Hot topic: Stories from the trenches
Making the most of supplier diversity connections: Trade mission to WBENC 2018 in Detroit
From AWE CEO Marcela Mandeville

The Global Affairs Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) trade mission to WBENC 2018 in Detroit offered the chance for 100 Canadian delegates to explore the opportunities of expanding their businesses into the international supply chains through supplier diversity programs. In addition to the WBENC conference and business fair, WEConnect International Day, and WBE Canada Breakfast with Brands, well-planned trade mission activities included visits to corporations based in Detroit, and meetings with the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canadian Minister of International Trade. There were also special receptions to connect with Fortune 500 companies as well as businesses from around the world.

WEOC partners help entrepreneurs make the most of the action-packed experience before, during and after the trade mission by helping participating business owners plan their time, understand and communicate their unique value propositions and connect effectively into the supplier diversity network with the goal of generating leads and signing contracts in new markets.

If you’re interested in exploring a new market opportunity in a supported and organized environment, a Canadian trade mission may be a great fit for you. We invite you to connect with us to find out more.
Monthly feature: WEOC blog
Money and mindset: Bigger budgets alone don’t solve the whole problem for women entrepreneurs
In the year of Canada’s federal “gender budget,” 2018 has seen many large lenders announce funding for women entrepreneurs. This is a strong signal that gender equality in entrepreneurship, lending and investing has become a priority for the Canadian economy.

At the same time, we need to change our mindset about financing female-led businesses, or the funding imbalance will continue despite these good intentions.
WEOC Organizing Member  Women’s Enterprise Centre  in BC just published “ Money and Mindset: Borrowing is more than dollars and cents for women entrepreneurs ,” an article outlining the effect of unconscious bias and other key factors on lending to women business owners.

According to the article, less than 30% of BC women entrepreneurs surveyed in 2017 feel that banks, credit unions and government-funded lenders recognize and respond to their unique goals, wants and needs. Furthermore, less than 10% feel reflected in the lenders’ marketing.
Business Women in International Trade (BWIT)
BWIT trade mission: Go for the greens
Held in Orlando, Florida every September, GFTG is a boutique event that caps attendance at 300. Women like Sumit Nagi, CEO of Toronto-based Containers International, choose GFTG because of its atmosphere.

“These events can be intimidating,” explains Nagi, “but not Go for the Greens. It gave me a big supportive network and genuine, down-to-earth encouragement. I had five one-on-one meetings with Fortune 500 buyers. The BWIT team prepared me by doing mock dry runs. I was impressed with their support. BWIT put me on the path to successfully securing business.”

Join a BWIT trade mission
For more than 20 years, the Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) program has planned and led trade missions to open markets and opportunities for export-active and export-ready business women. The trade missions give participants access to trade fairs and buyers, market intelligence and services such as matchmaking meetings, networking events and workshops.
Sponsored blog
Top talent tips for small business
Trouble finding and retaining great talent? You’re not alone. Businesses across Canada struggle to retain top people. Some say it’s too expensive to train, it’s easier to hire… but the reality is, it’s tough to find the right fit and then keep good people happy.

Here are 10 talent tips for small businesses.

Talent tips
  1. Pay for quality
  2. Do PR & social media
  3. Work your network
  4. Link in more
  5. Ask around
  6. Engage recruiters
  7. Self your culture
  8. Self-publish
  9. Work your websites
  10. Always follow up

BONUS: Onboard properly

Upcoming events
Women of Influence
September 2018
Toronto and Calgary | Learn more
WBE Canada Conference
September 28, 2018  
Toronto | Learn more
BWIT: Go for the Greens
September 2018 
Orlando, FL | 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 , Femmes, Affaires et Développement
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.