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

President’s Message

2019 was a phenomenal year! 

OWIT-Toronto marked 20 years of promoting women doing business internationally.

In 2019, we expanded the depth of our initiatives, starting off with a business women’s trade mission to Monterrey, Mexico, in February 2019, in the advanced manufacturing sector. Mission participants have since been reporting business wins.  In the spring, we partnered with the Asia Pacific Foundation on Doing Business in Japan and participated in Export Development Canada (EDC)’s Stakeholder Forum in Ottawa for national business and industry associations.

In the Fall, we hosted our 20th Anniversary Gala and Export Awards which attracted a record number of nominations. We didn’t envy the judges in their tough task of selecting winners. We also engaged in an innovative one-day “Professional Membership Showcase” at the University of Guelph Humber encouraging young women in international trade to join OWIT-Toronto. We continued to participate in forums advocating for gender inclusion in Free Trade Agreements, including the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) event in Ottawa. We also joined our colleagues across in Tampa, to celebrate the “Year of the Woman”, an OWIT International event.

We ended our extraordinary year marking a 20-year operational period with our 20th Annual General Meeting and a Holiday Reception hosted by Bennett Jones, where three outstanding women entrepreneurs gave us tips on export success including insights on successfully building their businesses, accessing and expanding into global markets.

Our engagement and involvement in the different initiatives was made possible with many thanks to our partners and sponsors including the Government of Ontario and OWIT Monterrey, Bennett Jones, Jewels4Ever, EDC, Global Affairs Canada and the Diversity Institute/Ryerson University.

In 2020, a five-year milestone will be reached towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 2020 is therefore a pivotal year to continue to shine a light on women entrepreneurship, women economic empowerment and an inclusive role of women in trade agreements to advance women doing business globally.

We look forward to working with our partners and sponsors on events and initiatives that bring these themes to fruition.  Thank you to everyone for a fantastic year!

Helen Hemmingsen




organization of women in international trade-toronto

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

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