August 2017 

Message from the Chair 
Back in my retail days, summer was my busiest time and I rarely got a weekend off.  Now that I’m in business development, not much has changed.  My summers seem to be busier than ever, just with a different kind of work than the rest of the year.  Like you, my hard-working colleagues, I am in the throes of planning, proposal writing, strategic thinking and curriculum/training design.  I know I’ll kick myself come September.  We live in Canada where opportunity to bask in the sunlight is rare in most regions.  August is here, I’m making a resolution to slow down and enjoy this beautiful weather.  Are you with me!?

We thought you’d be interested in these newsy bits about what our board and members are doing and what new ideas and programs are being developed to serve our clientele.  WEOC has been front and centre at WBENC, is busy working on international coalitions and is constantly in touch with government agencies that are involved or interested in supporting women’s entrepreneurship.

Enjoy the summer days and take some time to store up that beautiful sunlight.


In This Issue: 

  • WBENC 2017 Trade Mission
  • WE FOR SHE Goes National
  • Quebec Delegation to the Maghreb
  • WESK Rebranding 
  • Go for the Greens Trade Mission 
  • Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs
Member News
WBENC 2017 Trade Mission: So much more than just a tradeshow

The WBENC Trade Mission in June was an opportunity for Canadian women-business owners with exporting goals to connect with corporate supplier diversity specialists, as well as export-oriented support organizations.

The WBENC Trade Mission is composed of a number of different events offered by a number of different agencies, all of whom focus on assisting women business owners in expanding and attaining their exporting goals through learning and networking opportunities. 

There were almost 100 Canadian delegates from most of the provinces. Delegates are women like Tatiana Wensley and Hailey Jeffries. 

Hailey is President of a newly established company called Prairie Fava, an agri-food ingredient supply company headquartered in Glenboro, Manitoa dedicated to supplying fava beans ingredients to food and pet food manufacturing corporations. 
Tatiana is Director of Tamponato Corporate Gifts headquartered in Vancouver B.C. that specializes in the design, customization and manufacturing of corporate gifts made of cork. 

As you can see, they are two very different companies, one is in the agri-food products manufacturing industry; the other in corporate gifts industry. But they have one key criteria in common: they are both interested in expanding their businesses via export.

Read the full article here.

WE FOR SHE goes national: Join us to step it up for gender equality across Canada

On November 17, the WE FOR SHE movement is launching Canada’s commitment to gender equity at WE FOR SHE: Step it up for Gender Equality in Vancouver. You’re invited to come to Vancouver and be a part of this incredible event!

This forum is one of North America's largest gatherings of women's organizations, companies, experts, business leaders, advocates and young women and we encourage WEOC members to get involved at this important juncture as the initiative expands across the country.

The WE FOR SHE movement was launched in 2014, as a result of years of advocacy and action to increase the economic impact of women in BC. Based on the immense success of the collaboration, we’re now expanding its reach to create change across Canada and tackle gender equity in leadership on a national level.

Read the full article here

Quebec Delegation to the Maghreb

Ruth Vachon, President and CEO of the Quebec Women's Business Network participated in a diplomatic and economic mission organized by the Quebec government to the Maghreb. In addition to the Network, the Quebec delegation was composed of Quebec Deputy Premier Lise Thériault, Danièle Henkel, Sévrine Labelle of Femmessor, and Claude Delage of Desjardins Entreprises.

From July 1st to 9th, these women held various business meetings in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, aimed at encouraging women's entrepreneurship and to highlight Quebec's expertise in this area.

There are still many challenges for women-owned businesses, both in Canada and in Africa. Missions such as these make it possible to stimulate exchanges and encourage more partnership between women entrepreneurs across borders.

Rebrand of Women Entrepreneurs Saskatchewan (WESK)
Bold. Dynamic. Professional. This represents the brand WESK. WESK, formerly Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc., has rebranded. After a strong 22-year history of empowering women to start, build, and grow their businesses. The time had come to ask the questions: Are we relevant? Will we be relevant to every entrepreneur?

It was an enormous and complex undertaking for the organization to rebrand, and with this new brand comes a new promise: To be relevant to every entrepreneur, regardless of age, culture, or stage of business growth; implying that all Saskatchewan entrepreneurs will have an equal opportunity to achieve success and recognition. WESK is dedicated to providing a comprehensive and seamless support system for women in business by connecting like-minded individuals and offering relevant programs and services. 

Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) 
Trade Mission to Go for the Greens (GFTG) Business Development Conference for Women Entrepreneurs
The Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) program of Global Affairs Canada is leading a trade mission to the 10th annual Go for the Greens Business Development Conference for Women Entrepreneurs. The trade mission will take place from September 13-16 at the BoardWalk Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Go for the Greens is a high-level business development conference for women entrepreneurs seeking supplier diversity opportunities through exclusive access to companies, government agencies and non-profits. The conference offers business matchmaking, educational programming, and valuable networking including a golf networking event.

Scholarships are available through BWIT to cover the cost of the conference and golf networking, a value of $400 USD. A list of qualifications for the scholarships can be found on the BWIT trade mission page. To apply, complete the BWIT trade mission registration form, and email BWIT to explain how attending the conference could help grow your business in 100-125 words.

For more information, visit the BWIT trade mission page here
Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs
Provisional Implementation Date Set for CETA
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, have released a joint statement to announce September 21, 2017 as the provisional implementation date for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). This agreement marks a great opportunity for Canadian women entrepreneurs to increase their capacity to export internationally, and we are excited to see how Canadian women entrepreneurs’ international business activities increase with the help of Canada’s new progressive trade agenda. The full statement can be found here
A Canada-United States Council for Women Entrepreneurs
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs recently released a statement regarding The Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. The mandate of the council is to develop recommendations to remove barriers to women's participation in business, support their professional advancement and aid them in starting and growing their businesses.  The full statement can be found here
Canada Supports Fund for Women Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries 

The Prime Minster announced this month that Canada will be contribute $20 million to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi). We-Fi is led by the World Bank, and aims to help women-owned businesses and women-led businesses in developing countries access the resources they need, such as access to capital and technical assistance. It will target small and medium sized businesses and will also invest in projects and programs that support women entrepreneurs. Read the full statement here

New Email Notification Service on has been enhanced with a free email notification service. If subscribed, you will receive email notifications when amendments are made to a tender, or when new results matching your search criteria are added or modified. Find more information on

Government  of Canada Programs and Services for Small Businesses

Canada Small Business Financing Program
By sharing the risk with lenders, this program may help small businesses obtain loans from participating financial institutions.  Pamphlets are available for business support organizations – click here to order.  
If you are a small business or an entrepreneur, please download the pamphlet

Services for Small Businesses
This compact folded pamphlet (accordion style) highlights federal government programs and initiatives for small businesses.  Pamphlets are available for business support organizations – click here to order.  
If you are a small business or an entrepreneur, please download the pamphlet.

Canada Business Network
Whether you need to find information on permits, licences or funding, the Canada Business Network is your key access point for all the federal and provincial/territorial government information that you need to start, run and grow your business.

Upcoming Events
Go for the Greens Business Development Conference for Women 
September 14-16, 2017
Orlando, FL |  Learn more here
Innovate & Ignite 2017:
WBE Canada Conference 
September 28, 2017  
Toronto, ON |  Learn more here

Women in Business North America Summit 
October 3-4, 2017 
Atlanta, GA |  Learn more here
2017 IWEC Awards & Conference
November 12-14, 2017
Redmond, WA | Learn more here

2017 WE FOR SHE Forum 
November 17, 2017 
Vancouver, BC |  Learn more here
SHEday 2018
January 26, 2018 
Winnipeg, MB | Follow on social media
WEOC Board

Sandra Altner, Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
Paula SheppardNewfoundland 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? Find these and much more at our website: