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


OWIT-Toronto wants to provide you with current and valuable news and resources on a regular bases. We do this through our site as well as through our monthly newsletter. Sign up today to receive these in your inbox.

  • Monday, July 24, 2023 4:53 PM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    Hello and welcome to the second edition of our newsletter this year. 

    The first half of the year has been an eventful one for OWIT-Toronto with engagements across various sectors, thematic areas, and countries. An engaging Annual General Meeting ushered in new Board Members with tremendous credentials and a robust Strategy Meeting reinvigorated our work, expanding on our vision in light of the global economic outlook with a concrete forward look on advancing women in international trade. 

    We are gearing up for the second half of the year and would like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of our accomplishments. 

    • After a successful Annual General Meeting, we welcomed new Board Members, Clare Barnett as our VP Communications, Jessica Horwitz as our VP Legal and Secretary, and Myra Sable as one of our Directors. We also bid farewell to Aylin Lusi, one of our Directors who has been an integral part of our Board, supporting the success and visibility of OWIT-Toronto. To Aylin, we thank you wholeheartedly. 
    • We were pleased to welcome the newest member of our Trade Policy Committee, Jessica Horwitz, to strengthen our work in supporting inclusive trade policy. 
    • We rolled out key partnerships with Futurpreneur to champion the power of entrepreneurship in Canada and with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, CanCham Monterrey to advance international business success for women entrepreneurs, executives and service providers. 
    • Our Board Members have been busy representing OWIT-Toronto on different platforms and in different countries, continuing to move the dial on advancing women in international trade.
    • An inspiring Strategy Meeting set the tone for our work this year and for advancing our vision of promoting women doing business internationally and enhancing the status and interests of women in global trade.    

    In this issue, you will hear more about our new partners, Futurpreneur and CanCham Monterrey, where we have been, what’s coming up and the impact of our engagements. You will get a glimpse of what it is like to be an OWIT-Toronto Board Member, as well as part of the OWIT-Toronto family. 

    Looking forward, there is still so much work to be done. For the second quarter of 2023, there has been a prediction of a slowdown in global trade growth, pointing to recently downgraded world economic forecasts and factors such as persistent inflation, financial vulnerabilities, the war in Ukraine and geopolitical tensions.

    With these challenges, our dedicated Board of women at OWIT-Toronto are ready to provide more insightful programming; educational talks and policy inputs to help women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to expand their global footprint. 

    We would like to thank you all for your continued commitment and partnership. We believe that together we will achieve a greater impact. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events this year and please, do keep an eye out for all our upcoming events!

    Audrey Ross


  • Sunday, July 23, 2023 11:01 PM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    OWIT-TO’s Trade Policy Committee has completed two submissions to the federal government this year: one on Canada’s engagement in the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (APEP) and a second one on Canada’s economic cooperation engagement with Africa. APEP will not include tariff reductions or new market access, but instead seeks standards and initiative-based commitments. It aims to enhance economic engagement, while supporting Canadian foreign policy priorities and contributing to other commitments.  The Canadian Government is also committed to facilitating increased and diversified trade and investment with African partners in line with Canada’s export diversification strategy.  

    Our Committee also provided input for OWIT Ottawa President Nathalie Bradbury’s appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade in Ottawa on April 27, 2023, where she represented both chapters. 

    Welcome to the newest member of our Trade Policy Committee, Jessica Horwitz of Bennett Jones.

  • Saturday, July 22, 2023 5:20 PM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    During the celebration of International Women's Day, on March 9, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, Capituló Monterrey, held the Executive Leaders, Present and Future Forum, where Jorge A. Arrambide Montemayor, President of CanCham Monterrey, together with Alma Farias, Director of Organization of Women in International Trade - Toronto, signed a Collaboration Agreement to further the partnership of the two organizations. The Agreement will offer members additional contacts and information on CUSMA opportunities through our new partner CanCham Monterrey.

  • Saturday, July 22, 2023 5:11 PM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    OWIT- Toronto is partnering with Futurpreneur to champion the power of entrepreneurship especially for female entrepreneurs kickstarting or looking to expand their businesses internationally. The partnership seeks to leverage existing resources to enhance international business education, mentorship and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs, professionals and trade experts within the context of Futurpreneur’s annual representation at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20 YEA).

    Futurpreneur is the only national, non-profit organization that provides inclusive financing, mentoring and support tools to help diverse young aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-39 launch, grow, and acquire successful businesses across Canada. Futurpreneur’s internationally recognized mentoring program hand-matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,400 volunteer mentors, which OWIT-Toronto members can join.

    Fostering the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise since 1996, Futurpreneur is also the co-founding member and Canadian representative of the G20 YEA. In advance of every G20 Leaders’ Summit, the G20 YEA brings together hundreds of the world’s top young entrepreneurs to advance youth entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth, innovation and social change. The Summit allows young entrepreneurs to become part of a network of champions for youth entrepreneurship, sharing ideas and proposing solutions on issues of importance while advancing their businesses’ international growth and exploring trade opportunities.

    Speaking at the delegation briefing for the 47 bright and young entrepreneurs representing Canada as part of the G20 YEA summit delegation to New Delhi, India, Priti Ruparel, VP Membership of OWIT-Toronto, warmly welcomed this collaboration. “OWIT-Toronto is very pleased to partner with Futurpreneur to champion the entrepreneurship mindset of young Canadians. OWIT-Toronto offers an avenue for young entrepreneurs to network with like-minded successful and established entrepreneurs who can mentor and offer support in their business’ international growth”.  

    Providing more practical insights in doing business with India and how to increase their businesses’ visibility, Anita Agrawal, business owner, Jewels 4 Ever, and OWIT-Toronto member and past President also discussed building relations with Indian stakeholders including the focus on cultural nuances and leveraging support from the Canadian trade office present in India. 

    OWIT-Toronto’s partnership with Futurpreneur includes supporting G20 YEA Canadian delegation activities including delegation briefings, providing thought leadership and support for promoting inclusive trade. The partnership also provides the opportunity for the diverse Canadian G20 YEA to tap into OWIT-Toronto’s global networks, resources and export education to support their businesses going global. OWIT-Toronto and OWIT members can contact info@owit-toronto.ca to provide volunteer mentoring services to young diverse Canadian entrepreneurs and non-members can sign up to be part of a dynamic world-wide organization advancing women in international trade and take advantage of ongoing robust training offers. 

  • Friday, April 21, 2023 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Are you a Canadian tech company primed for global expansion? Join the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) Innovate with Canada B2B Program, which will take place on the margins of Collision 2023, one of the world’s fastest growing tech conferences. 


    In 2022, the TCS and its partners recruited more than 200 qualified foreign companies and VC investors from the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, facilitating 750+ business meetings and many new business connections and leads for our Canadian clients. Last year, international corporations such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Samsung, Siam Cement, and Mitsubishi Corporation, as well as VCs such as Allstate Strategic Ventures, TechNexus, Prosegur Tech Ventures, Sony Ventures and Genting Ventures participated in the TCS Collision B2B Program.


    Date: June 20‑29, 2023

    Location: Virtual and in‑person at the Beanfield Centre, Toronto, ON

    Details: There are two components to our B2B program this year. You are invited to participate in one or both:

    ·       June 20‑22: Virtual B2Bs between Canadian companies and international delegates

    ·       June 27‑29: In‑person B2Bs between Canadian companies and international delegates at the Beanfield Centre*


    This program is open to Canadian tech companies across Canada. There is no cost to participate in the TCS Collision B2B Program. If you intend to take part in in‑person meetings from June 27‑29, you will need to purchase a Collision Conference ticket to access the B2B meeting site (Beanfield Centre). You do not need a Collision Conference ticket to take part in the virtual B2Bs from June 20‑22.

    Interested companies must apply by April 28, 2023. Apply now!

    To qualify for TCS services and programming, companies must demonstrate:

    • Meaningful economic ties to Canada
    • Capacity for, and commitment to, internationalization
    • Potential to contribute significantly to the Canadian economy

    Please note: International companies with only sales offices in Canada do not qualify for TCS services.

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    In Toronto on March 20, The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub presented the key findings from WEKH’s 2023 State of Women’s Entrepreneurship Report.

    "Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for almost 90% of private sector employment in Canada. Entrepreneurs play a critical role not only in job creation and driving innovation and growth, but also in advancing social development and sustainability. Women entrepreneurs often face heightened barriers and have borne a disproportionate burden of the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact; however, government, industry and other stakeholders worldwide are committed to advancing their success.

    New research this year highlights the importance of rethinking how we assess the economic impact of SMEs generally and women entrepreneurs in particular. Additionally, there is continued evidence of broader contributions to the United Nations sustainable development goals and net-zero priorities. Canada’s unique Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) has provided a “whole of government” approach to support diverse women entrepreneurs. The strategy focuses on three major components: access to capital; strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem; and knowledge and research, which includes the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) to provide evidence to shape policy and practice."

    Above:  OWIT Toronto Board Members, Cathy Williamson, Jessica Horwitz, Justine Namara and Audrey Ross, with Minister Mary Ng.

  • Tuesday, March 21, 2023 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    A special OWIT International Women’s Day panel highlighted the voices of OWIT leaders and Chapter Presidents from Africa, the Americas and Europe. The panelists shared their perspectives and experiences on the theme of this year's International Women's Day in the context of their work in international trade and business.


    Panel discussed:

    - Shared experiences of women in international trade and business in your region in alignment with the IWD theme.
    - Proposed strategies for adoption by Governments and policy makers in your region and explore ways in which the international trade landscape could be made level so as to create a more equitable space for women to trade and do business.
    - Amplified the voices of women leaders in international trade.
    - Showcased the contribution of OWIT Chapters


    Moderator was Kyesubire Greigg, Vice President of OWIT International and the Panel included: Audrey Ross, Co-President of OWIT Toronto, Achu Blessing Ebere, Vice President OWIT Nigeria and Noreen Burroughes Cesareo, President of OWIT UK.

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 7:18 AM | Anonymous

    To mark International Women’s Day, OWIT Toronto Board Member Susan Baka participated in a Roundtable with Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development with Isabel Hudon, President of the Business Development Bank of Canada, in Ottawa.  

    Also on March 8th, Minister Ng announced the recipients of funding under the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Nearly $7 billion is to help remove systemic barriers women face in accessing the financing, resources and networks they need to start up, scale up and reach international markets.

    Above:  Isabel Hudon BDBC, Nathalie Bradbury, OWIT Ottawa President, Susan Baka, Jenna Stubbs, MP Kanata-Carleton, Parliamentary Secretary for Women, Gender Equality and Youth.

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2023 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    In honour and celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, Casa Foundation hosted the 4th edition of Women in Business and Leadership Women Inspire Forum.

    This Annual Forum was created to support women-owned businesses while empowering women to run businesses through connecting resources (social, capital, human) to ideas. The theme of this year’s edition was “Embrace Equity: Enabling aspiring leaders for the future”.

    Attending OWIT Board Members Aliaa Alsafarjlani, Priti Ruparel, and Casa Foundation’s Olutoyin Oyelade.

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023 2:38 PM | Anonymous

    In recognition of International Women's Day, Canada's Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, the Honourable Mary Ng, will lead a women-focused Canada Trade Mission to the United Kingdom, March 13-16, 2023. 

    The United Kingdom is Canada’s largest export market in Europe, founded on a broad and extensive relationship built on shared history, values and strong economic ties. In March 2022, Canada and the UK announced the launch of negotiations towards a Canada-UK free trade agreement (FTA) that is inclusive and sustainable and ensures that everyone benefits from trade, including women, Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized entrepreneurs, 2SLGBTQIA+ and youth.  

    Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service is seeking women-owned and women-led businesses in technology-based sectors to join the business delegation.  If you are a women-owned or women-led business in the technology space looking to expand in the United Kingdom, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

    Date:  March 13-16, 2023

    Market:  United Kingdom

    Sectors: Technology-based sectors – Clean technologies, ICT, Life Sciences

    Target audience:  Women in technology


    • While the FTA is being negotiated, Canadian exporters continue to have preferential access to the UK market through the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA). The TCA preserves the main benefits of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), including the elimination of tariffs on 98% of products exported to the United Kingdom.
    • The United Kingdom is Canada’s most important science, technology and innovation (STI) partner in Europe. This importance is underscored in the comprehensive Canada-UK Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate further bilateral STI cooperation. 
    • Technology (ICT) businesses are at the heart of the UK economy with a turnover of $312.8 billion while sustaining 1.6 million jobs. There are significant opportunities for Canadian exporters, especially for innovations in: artificial intelligence; internet of things; enterprise software; e-commerce; cloud/edge computing technologies; cybersecurity; and health technologies.
    • The U.K. ranked second globally for start-up investments in the first half of 2022, after the U.S.  During that period, the U.K. had raised double the funding of any other European market. 


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