WEConnect International has been active in Canada since the beginning of 2008 working with strategic partners, government agencies, corporate members and outstanding women business owners.

WEConnect International is proud to be the exclusive global partner of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the U.S. WEConnect International leverages this strong long-term partnership to provide opportunity to the organizations WEConnect International partners with in all target countries, including Canada. Together, WEConnect International and WBENC are responsible for ensuring universal women's business enterprise certification standards and processes are maintained by our respective affiliates and local partner organizations.

Neither WEConnect International nor WBENC are affiliated with WBE Canada.

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AWEAward2015WEConnect Canada Certfied Women-Owned Businesses Nominated for AWE Celebration of Achievement Award

(January 20, 2015) Six WEConnect International certified women's business enterprises have been nominated for Alberta Women Entrepreneurs' "AWE Celebration of Achievement Award." The AWE-Inspiring entrepreneurs include:

· Christina Forth-Matthews, AOG international

· Faith Grant, Rejuvination Health Services Inc.

· Michele Hecken, Alpha Translations Canada Inc.

· Tara Kelly, Splice Software

· Charlotee Larocque, Spirit Staffing

· Elvie Reinson, Ballast Environmental Consulting Ltd.

The recipient of the AWE Celebration of Achievement Award will be honored at the 2015 AWE Celebration of Achievement Award Gala on April 16, 2015. Reserve your seat online.

Learn more about WEConnect International's Seal of Certification and how WEConnect Canada can help you grow your business.

TD Bank LogoCorporate Member TD Bank to Hold Supplier Diversity Workshop


TD's Head Procurement Risk & Performance Management will provide an overview of understanding how to do business in a highly regulated industry. Workshop facilitators will review key levers that influence the selection of supplier proposals based on a risk assessment. A networking session will be hosted after the workshop by representatives from TD.

As space is limited, attendees will be registered on a first come, first served basis.

When: Monday, February 9, 2015 8:30am – 11:00am

Where: TD Creekside – Building 1, Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka, 4720 Tahoe Boulevard, Mississauga, ON L4W 5P2

RSVP: January 30, 2015 to Celina Paulino at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Limit 1 person per company. Include a copy of your certification with your RSVP. Please include that you will attend the Ontario session when responding.

Hosted by: The Supplier Diversity Team at TD Bank Group

**By attending this session you agree to have your company information distributed and shared with all participants at the event.


astridWECI14"How Women are Bridging the Gender Gap and Empowering Other Female Entrepreneurs"

From The Financial Post, December 14, 2014, quotes by Astrid Pregel, Executive Director of WEConnect International in Canada:

"Not only are we trying to figure out how to bring women into our leadership streams, but we need to get these women closer to those people who are trading our products and services."

"[At conferences] people can share stories: 'Ah it's not only me. Ah, this whole group has this issue.' That's going to lead to women doing business with each other."

Read the article.


ChristyCookSuccess Story: Teach My Toddler Inc. Connects with Walmart

Just months after being certified as a women's business enterprise through WEConnect International, CEO and Founder of Teach My Toddler Inc. Christy Cook can expect to see Walmart put her educational learning toys in 2,000 U.S. stores in spring 2015. The Toronto businesswoman's products will be among the very first to be sold with the new "Women Owned" logo developed by WEConnect International and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council with support from Walmart.  

"For us, landing in Walmart U.S.A. is a huge accomplishment," said Cook, "and WEConnect International's certification process was critical to accessing this opportunity." 

Cook is a Toronto native who founded Teach My Toddler Inc. in 2007. Teach My provides parents, grandparents and caregivers with all-in-one learning kits and sets for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Requiring no screens, Teach My kits have everything necessary to teach little ones the basics. From ABC to 123 and everything in between, award-winning Teach My kits give children a head start, encourage one-on-one interaction and create a love for learning.  




Renee Safrata Reflects on Winning WEConnect International's 2014 Women's Business Enterprise of the Year Award

(December 3, 2014) "It’s a fantastic thing to be recognized. Think about it, have you recognized one of your fellow coworkers in the past week? Or have you been recognized by either your leader or one of your peers in the past week? It makes you feel so good.

I’m sitting in reflection after coming home from WeConnect International’s conference and I was privileged and I’m honoured to say that I was recognized as Women’s Business Enterprise of the Year for 2014. I feel fantastic, I feel motivated. I feel like I’ve been recognized by Corporates, by Trade Commissioners, by Government bodies, by Regional Partners and most importantly, WeConnect International."

Watch the video.


WEConnect International in Canada Annual Conference

In partnership with Reséau des Femmes d'affaires du Québec

Nearly 200 attendees gathered in Montreal, Quebec, for WEConnect International in Canada's 2014 annual conference on September 30 - October 1. During the two-day conference women business owners learned why large multinational corporations are actively seeking to do business with women-owned companies in Canada and how they can successfully do business with large corporations. There were also numerous opportunities for attendees to meet with decision-makers and representatives of major multinational corporations and the women business owners successfully doing business with WEConnect International certification. Overall, all attendees left with new connections, expertise, and knowledge from a global network of women-owned businesses, multinational corporations, and government officials.

Read the full agenda.

See professional photos of the by Martine Larose and  photos from the attendess at the event.

Thank you to our many sponsors and a special thanks to our partner, Reséau des Femmes d'affaires du Québec.


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New Executive Director for Canada Announced

Washington, DC, June 22, 2014-- WEConnect International is delighted to announce the appointment of Astrid Pregel as the new Executive Director and Global Advisor for WEConnect International in Canada. 

Astrid is widely recognized in Canada as the “god mother” of supplier diversity and inclusion. In 2008, she co-founded and served as executive director of WEConnect International’s work in Canada to introduce women’s business enterprises to the global supply chains of large multi-national corporations.

Astrid has had a distinguished career as a senior executive in Canada’s foreign service, and for the past 20 years has been a global thought leader in the area of gender, leadership, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. She has also been widely recognized for her leadership in the area of women and international trade. She created the first Canadian International Trade Mission for women entrepreneurs and the first high-level Canada-US Women’s Business Summit. Her consulting company, Feminomics, has worked with organizations around the globe on policy and programs to enhance women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship and expanded leadership. 



WEConnect International Announces Partnership with Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC)

June 4, 2014 - WEConnect International and Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) signed an agreement today to continue to deliver certification site visits to women’s business enterprises based in Canada.

Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International, stated that, “We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with WEOC to help ensure certification site visits continue to be available to Canadian women’s business enterprises.  WEOC is a powerful network and we are very proud to work with them.”

Paula Sheppard, Board Member of WEOC, added, “We are all happy to continue to support WEConnect International and its mission to connect women business owners around the world with market opportunity.  Our goal is to help ensure that women-owned businesses based in Canada can continue to leverage the global platform offered by WEConnect International.”



WEConnect International Streamlines its Women Business Owner Registration Process in Canada

Washington, DC, February 25, 2014 -- WEConnect International, a global non-profit dedicated to helping women business owners succeed in global value chains, is excited to announce a new operating model in Canada designed to increase opportunities for women business owners in the country. The shift in the Canadian model will bring into alignment all of WEConnect International’s global operations including Europe, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. WEConnect International is the exclusive global partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the USA.  

The re-launch of WEConnect International in Canada will make it easier for women business owners in Canada to connect with a global network of peers in over 70 countries as well as with a corporate membership representing over $700 billion in annual purchasing power. 

The model will allow certified companies in Canada that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by one or more women to join the WEConnect International eNetwork directly at  Corporations use the WEConnect International eNetwork to find products and services offered by women suppliers.

Women business owners in Canada who register with WEConnect International will continue to receive the following benefits:

·  Access to global commercial opportunities through the WEConnect International eNetwork, a secure online community of corporate members

   and women-owned businesses

·  Invitations to attend the annual WBENC Conference and Trade Fair in the USA, including the annual WEConnect International Day and Business

   Networking Reception

·  Invitations to forums presented by corporate members, with overviews of their procurement processes and practical tips on sourcing events and

   how to respond to Requests for Proposals

·  Training workshops on how to leverage your certification and grow your company

·  Opportunities to connect with and learn from other certified companies on key success factors and growth strategies

WEConnect International’s global corporate members are industry leaders in supplier inclusion and development. Members include: Accenture, Access Bank, AIG, Alcatel-Lucent, Apple, AT&T, Boeing Company, Cargill, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola Company, Cummins, D.W. Morgan, Dell, Dunn & Bradstreet, EY, ExxonMobil, Full Circle Exchange, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, Hospira, HP, IBM, Intel, Interpublic, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Controls, Manpower, Marriott International, MasterCard, Merck, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, Pfizer, PG&E, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sodexo, Verizon, Walmart, WellPoint, and Wyndham Worldwide.

For inquiries, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tel: +1-202-810-6000

 Click here for the French language version of this press release. 




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Contact Information

astridbioAstrid Pregel
Executive Director for Canada, WEConnect International
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.