Follow Us

Upcoming events

United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business.

OWIT International Newsletter

Monday, April 22, 2019 1:21 PM | Anonymous


WASHINGTON, DC – The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual awards. Presented at OWIT’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, the awards recognize outstanding contributions to the organization and showcase how the winners leverage their passion and dedication to advance women in international trade and business.

“The 2019 award recipients are all outstanding contributors to OWIT and the broader global trade and business community,” says OWIT International President, Jennifer Diaz, “We celebrate the accomplishments of our annual award winners. They are stellar examples of what makes OWIT such an extraordinary global organization.”

2019 Woman of the Year – Susan Baka, President, Bay Communications & Marketing Inc., and VP International, OWIT–Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Susan Baka’s passion for trade is deep and palpable. An energetic advocate for women exporters and for OWIT, she is a prolific writer and global speaker on trade, women’s entrepreneurship and diversity. She has represented OWIT on panels at the World Trade Organization and in free trade stakeholder consultations. Susan is a founder of the first Canadian chapter of OWIT – in Toronto – and has served on the international board for almost 20 years. As a start-up expert, she has spearheaded countless communication initiatives as well as trade missions to Mexico, Australia and the US, and has mentored the start-up of chapters in other countries. In her own business, Susan works with financial institutions, governments and organizations to help companies go global. She served on the Canadian Minister of International Trade’s SME Advisory Board from 2008–11 and, most recently, participated in the Canadian government consultations on the NAFTA renegotiation. “Whether mentoring other chapters, grooming young women to take on leadership roles in OWIT or speaking passionately to elevate the image of OWIT at local, national and international events, Susan is a strong role model,” says OWIT–Toronto advisory board member Gail Morris. “She nurtures her contacts in many countries, always promotes OWIT during the course of her own work, and feels strongly about showcasing other role models to inspire women to pursue international trade and business.”

2019 OWIT Chapter Member of the Year – Deborah “Debbie” Fallucca, CPA, Treasurer, TBOWIT (Tampa Bay, Florida, US)

A principal and CPA with the Tampa firm, Gregory, Sharer & Stuart, Debbie Fallucca is entering her third year as TBOWIT’s Treasurer. During this time, she has not only adm

irably accomplished this role, but contributes in myriad ways to the chapter. No task is too big or too small as she helps with all that is asked. She makes connections at every networking event the chapter hosts, and has even hosted her own TBOWIT events and promoted TBOWIT at external events. “Debbie is truly passionate about the mission of TBOWIT and OW

IT–International,” says TBOWIT’s President C

hristyna Doege. “She is a pillar and brings her extensive expertise as a CPA to our organization and a level of seriousness and professionalism from which we all benefit. Quick to compliment and support, we would be the poorer if we did not have Debbie on our team! She makes it all look easy!”

2019 OWIT Chapter of the Year – OWIT–Nairobi, Kenya

OWIT–Nairobi is committed to raising the awareness and advancement of significant trade-related issues. It conducts trade missions that serve as a platform to inform different stakeholders about OWIT and its mission. In 2018, OWIT–Nairobi organized a trade mission to Rwanda in partnership with the Embassy of Rwanda that saw a number of entrepreneurs do business with that country. In addition, it proudly hosted the 18th Annual OWIT Conference, bringing together different trade experts, entrepreneurs and corporates for a three-day, highly-successful event which helped build partnerships with numerous stakeholders. It illustrates its leadership as a chapter by mentoring other OWIT chapters and sharing organizational management experience, processes and procedures.

OWIT–Nairobi is recognized locally as a leader on international trade issues. It enhances professional development of its members through mentoring, sponsoring programs and activities to support the development of personal and professional skills and establishing educational programs, conferences, and other activities to promote international trade employment. “OWIT Nairobi is passionate about empowering women to transform communities through global trade and this award is an affirmation of the work that we are currently doing on the continent,” says its President, Mucha Mlingo, “Thank you to OWIT–International for recognizing the work that went into hosting the 2018 conference, OWIT’s first international conference outside of North America.”


CALL FOR PAPERS: MAY 29 – 30, 2019.


TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth (UoP) and the Centre for International Trade and Investment Law – India invite researchers and policy practitioners to participate in a research and policy symposium through submission of innovative and high-quality applied research and policy papers that explore the effective participation and empowerment of women in trade for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.

The submitted papers can be applied or conceptual. While conceptual papers are encouraged to be of direct policy relevance; applied papers must contain empirically tested approaches. Both papers should include examples and experiences, particularly in Africa (papers with practical examples from other parts of the World are also welcome), of the different trade facilitation measures and their associated benefits, opportunities and challenges for effective participation and empowerment of women in trade.

The organizing committee will accept papers from the following thematic topics that relate to participation and empowerment of women in trade:

  1. Legal and institutional barriers

  2. Inclusion and exclusion in global markets

  3. Trade policy advocacy

  4. ICT for trade

  5. Data and measurement of participation and empowerment of women in trade

  6. Socio-cultural enablers and limiters, climate change

  7. Regional and continental economic integration.

Of interest too will be papers that focus on a south-south comparative analysis on these topics.

Submit your complete paper to by April 30th, 2019.

Visit for more details on thematic topics, and symposium registration and logistics.

Limited logistics sponsorship shall be made available to facilitate presentation of selected papers at the conference.



OWIT–Dominican Republic participated in the second edition of Mujeres Empresarias y Emprendedoras on March 27th, 2019 by Emprende SDQ. The conference, “Dominican Republic in International Trade”, by Mabel Báez, president of OWIT–DR, was a great success, with the attendance of more than 150 people, including women entrepreneurs and influencers from different sectors. Support came from several recognized companies in the country.



TORONTO, ON – A group of 11 Canadian business women representing multiple industries who participated in a trade mission to Monterrey, Mexico this month returned to Canada with some immediate business and leads. Spearheaded by the Toronto chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT–Toronto), the mission provided opportunities for female business owners and professionals to export and expand globally, as well as to showcase the contribution of women in international trade, in historically male-dominated industry sectors, in both Mexico and Canada.

“This was one of the best organized trade missions I have ever experienced because it was all about entrepreneurs,” said Myrna Bittner, CEO and Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, “This mission’s spirit was to make things happen, to connect people and to progress things. It was not just political or diplomatic. I gained amazing contacts that would have taken me a long time to find and I had incredible meetings. I might go back to Mexico next month.”

Participants’ sectors included auto-manufacturing, IT, education, transportation, legal, international trade services and government. Coordinated by OWIT–Toronto Co-President Alma Farias, the initiative was facilitated by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service from Monterrey’s Canadian Consulate, in cooperation with the OWIT–Monterrey Chapter, the Ministry of Economy and Labour of the State of Nuevo Leon, and the Cluster TIC Nuevo Leon.

“The trade mission led to a better understanding of the business potential for Canadian companies and has already resulted in business for some,” says Farias. “It also inspired local amazing women entrepreneurs who are now planning a potential Mexican women trade mission to Toronto next year. I am so proud that OWIT–Toronto has fostered a two-way inclusive trade deal with Mexico in this special year when both countries celebrate 75 years of bilateral relations. And it could not have happened without the collaboration of our Canadian and Mexican partners.”



Carolina Rendeiro: Chief Marketing and

Development Officer, Connect2Global

Carolina Rendeiro, OWIT South Florida VP, has been involved in workplace innovation, international trade, and Coral Gables for more than three decades. Most recently she was president of the World Strategic Forum (2016 – 2018) and VP of International Development for eMerge Americas (2013 – 2016). She previously founded the first co-working space and incubator program in Coral Gables, and was president of the Global Workspace Association. She sits on the boards of BB&T, Sister Cities International, the Coral Gables Economic Development Department, and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce (she was chairman 2007 – 2008). Rendeiro is also executive director of Sister Cities of Florida, the incoming president of the Miami Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade, and lives in downtown Coral Gables.

Latest Achievement

Rendeiro recently returned from her native Portugal, where she is working to establish a sister city for Coral Gables, and to encourage investment in both directions. She is also consulting on technology for schools and government services in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, and working to attract a fashion institute from London.

What She Says

“People are so close to what we have here, that they don’t actually understand what we have here,” says Rendeiro. “The EU uses us as a launch point for businesses [in the US and Latin America] because we have the diversity, the melting pot of cultures. We also have the people with knowledge that have been in this market a very long time and know how to interconnect it.”

Rendeiro wants to see more US investment in Europe because it will come back to us. “This is how we differ [from Europeans]. We want everything as direct investments into us. The EU looks at it as a two-way street that will benefit us all in the long run.

Click here to read the article in the March 2019 issue of the Coral Gables Magazine



Starting or growing your own business is tough. For women, there are even more challenges that come into play. The numbers tell the story about the challenges women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses face.

  1. Approximately 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada are majority women-owned.

  2. Only 10% of high-growth firms are owned by women.

  3. Globally, women are less likely to be entrepreneurs and face more disadvantages starting businesses: In 40% of economies, women’s early stage entrepreneurial activity is half or less than half of that of men’s.

And yet, there is a growing understanding that when women succeed, everyone succeeds. It’s estimated that promoting gender equality could add $150 billion to Canada’s GDP.

Now is a good time to focus on supporting the advancement of women in business. With a growing understanding across the globe that a balanced world is a better world, International Women’s Day 2019 generated new heights of conversation, inspiration and celebration. We decided to join the conversation and asked ourselves, how do we advance the success of women-led business and women’s entrepreneurship?



The NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI) invites all OWIT members to consider authoring an export-focused case study for their Certified Export Specialists! Each year, NEI designees need to earn 20 continuing education credits, and to assist them the NEI offers four free online case studies so that designees can meet their credit requirement without cost or travel. The case studies are based on pertinent industry topics – past topics include export compliance, ZTE, and license determinations.

Authoring a case study is not only a great way to flex your brain muscles and share your expertise, but it is a great way to promote yourself to thousands of students! The case study will be branded with your name and company logo (if applicable), as well as link to your website which will be seen by any NEI student who completes the case study.

While you can author the content for a case study from scratch, you can also opt to base it off a regulation or trade document. We then need 15-20 questions and an answer key with citations. That’s it! The NEI provides templates and will format and edit the case study before loading it into the system.

If you are interested and would like an example or more information, please contact NEI Director Cecilia Ferrara at

organization of women in international trade-toronto

P.O. Box 715
31 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2J8

General Inquiries:

© 2020 OWIT-Toronto. All rights reserved.   Litmus Design

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software