Early October, in partnership with Moody’s Corporation and organized with the support of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, WEConnect International offered a training program titled "Financing Your Growing Business". Participants worked through financial planning, practiced their pitches, capital planning, accessing funding, and additional resources that are out there to support women entrepreneurs. This pilot program was tested in three cities globally: Toronto, Frankfurt, and Lagos. It was a hit in all three! Stay tuned for information about 2020 programming as we look to expand to more cities. Here's a video recap of the Toronto session: https://vimeo.com/mediaface/review/368303997/cf4aa7e2d6


On November 20, 2019, we participated in the Diversity Inclusion Now Conference at Ryerson University. The panel entitled Matching Discourse with Dollars: Procurement Strategies to Support Diverse Entrepreneurs - featured representatives from WEConnect International (Stephanie Fontaine), Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (Cassandra Dorrington) and Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (Paul-Emile McNab) who spoke about the successes and challenges of supplier diversity programs. The panel also included a corporate perspective, from Patience Adamu of Aecon Group Inc.

WEConnect International is an advisory partner to the Global Compact Network Canada. Launched in June 2013, as the Canadian network of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), the Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is dedicated to assisting Canadian organizations with the advancement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 10 Principles of the UNGC. On November 14, 2019 Stephanie Fontaine participated in the Gender Equality Leadership in the Canadian Private Sector Year-End Workshop. Stephanie shared supply chain expertise with the group and advocated for the importance of moving forward on supplier diversity activities in corporations. To learn more or get involved, please visit: https://www.globalcompact.ca/about/gcnc/ 

WEConnect International in Canada was proud to partner with #MovetheDial on their Summit, which happened in Toronto on November 14, 2019. With nearly 3,000 people in attendance, plus a livestream that was accessed globally, the Summit challenged attendees to be agents of change, to be intentional about moving the dial for women in tech. The day featured a diverse range of speakers, including Spencer West, Raia "Coach" Carey, Randi Zuckerberg, Angelica Ross, and more. This event embodied inclusion & diversity, not only through it's design (childcare was available, a variety of food options, phone charging stations, as well as massage and wellness stations) but also through the cross-cultural speakers representing a range of narratives, demographics, and experiences. Panels included "Raising Her" featuring a father, Armughan Ahmad of KPMG, and his innovator teen daughter as well as Rola Dagher, President - Cisco Canada, and her daughter talking through the challenges of moving in the tech world as a female and how to best support girls and women in this space. The overarching message to businesses, not only in the tech world but across industries, was that inclusive businesses are stronger, more innovative, and resilient. The future is inclusive! For more information on the #movethedial go to www.movethedial.com or subscribe to their podcast.

On November 8, 2019, WEConnect International was among the 400 attendees at the CGLCC's 4th Annual Black & White Gala. This annual event is a celebration of Canada’s LGBT+ business community. Advancing supplier diversity efforts in Canada is an objective that we share with the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

On December 3, 2019. WEConnect International was in Montreal at the ConnectIN event, organized with CAMSC, CGLCC, RFAQ and hosted by EY. The morning event included networking, a great panel discussion "Winning in Innovation" moderated by Anne-Marie Hubert, Eastern Canada Managing Partner at EY with Jean Manasse Theagene, 360 Medlink (certified with CAMSC), Julie Magnan, M2C2 Communications (certified with WEConnect International), Christiane Laurin, Boutique 3e Age (certified with CGLCC). It was an excellent way for suppliers to make new connections with buyers during our one on one corporate matchmaking. Joining us were: TD Bank Group, Desjardins, Scotiabank, CDPQ, Telus, Ville de Montreal, BDC, CAE, Sodexo, EY and Bell.


WEConnect International in Canada hosted its annual Power the Economy conference on Oct 25th in Toronto. Attendees included multinational corporations, senior government officials and partner organizations ready to celebrate women-owned businesses and the growth of women’s entrepreneurship across Canada.