(TORONTO, Canada) October 23, 2019 - On October 25th, 2019, WEConnect International in Canada will host its annual Power the Economy conference in Toronto, Canada for women-owned businesses, multinational corporations, senior government officials, and partner organizations supporting the growth of women's entrepreneurship across Canada. This conference expands opportunities for women-owned businesses in Canada while also providing the business case for gender-inclusive sourcing and business connection opportunities for all attendees. WEConnect International in Canada is proud to partner with presenting sponsor BDC to amplify the impact of public-private partnerships throughout Canada and globally.

“The number of women-owned businesses is growing but not fast enough. Women entrepreneurs represent enormous untapped potential and continue to fuel the Canadian economy. At BDC, we are relentless in our efforts to helping them grow, scale and be successful, locally and abroad. By collaborating with a global organization like WEConnect International, together, we create greater impact” says Laura Didyk, BDC’s National Lead for Women Entrepreneurs.

Supplier Diversity and Inclusion leaders EDC, Walmart, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, Marriott International, Global Affairs Canada, EY, Johnson & Johnson, MediaFace, and TD Bank Group also join the conference as sponsors with nearly 150 additional corporations and women business owners in attendance to share best practices and business opportunities.

Country Director for Canada, Stephanie Fontaine, says: “Today, less than 1% of corporate spending by multinationals globally is currently directed to women-owned businesses. Despite major advances in female entrepreneurship, accessing market opportunities remains a major challenge, not only for women but also for entrepreneurs representing a range of minority groups. Our goal, with Power the Economy, is to connect corporations with diverse suppliers who are ready to do business!”

About WEConnect International
WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. It identifies, educates, and certifies women's business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with member buyers. WEConnect International members represent over US$1 trillion in annual purchasing power and a commitment to supplier development and inclusive sourcing. The result is a network of corporate buyers working with women business owners based in over 120 countries that are learning, collaborating and winning new business.

About BDC
BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It promotes Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its 123 business centers from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers equity, venture capital, and flexible growth and transition capital solutions. BDC is also the first financial institution in Canada to receive B Corp certification. To find out more, visit bdc.ca.


For further information and media inquiries contact:
Stephanie Fontaine
Country Director for Canada
WEConnect International
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