Country Director, Canada
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 across the country.
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 opportunities to the organizations WEConnect International partners within 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.
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(November 17, 2015) The International Trade Minister and WEConnect International in Canada shone the spotlight on growth-oriented women entrepreneurs from across the country at the “Power the Economy” Conference and Trade show.
“There is enormous potential for Canadian women-owned businesses to thrive and succeed in international markets, especially with certification bodies such as WEConnect International in Canada,” says International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“We are delighted Minister of International Trade Freeland joined us to celebrate women-owned businesses. Her participation confirms the significance women business leaders play in the economy,” says Astrid Pregel, Executive Director of WEConnect International in Canada and President of Feminomics. “The unique networking and mentoring opportunities, resulting from the supplier diversity programs of our corporate members, help women business owners land concrete business leads and deals.”
The “Power the Economy” conference hosted by Feminomics and presented by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and women's business enterprise HCM Works offered targeted education for business owners seeking to grow their businesses as well as a rich environment for corporations interested in creating or improving their inclusive sourcing programs. The agenda included world leaders in supplier diversity and inclusion, inspirational keynote speakers, successful women business owners, valuable networking opportunities, concrete business leads, and the high-powered energy and enthusiasm of impassioned advocates for powering up women’s contributions to economic growth.
Lise Déziel was named a WEConnect International in Canada WBE of the Year on Nov. 13, 2015!
Mme Déziel had been in the field of electrical wiring for 20 years before creating her own enterprise in 2010. Cordé Électrique has grown from 4 employees in 2010, to 45 employees in 2014.
In June 2015, Mme Déziel was invited by the Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec and WEConnect International in Canada to attend the largest American supplier diversity conference for women business owners in Austin, Texas. She hesitated but decided to join in at the last minute. In just a few days at the conference, through the introductions made by WEConnect International, a non-profit that connects women entrepreneurs to market opportunities in global chains. Ms. Déziel met with GM, FCA, Toyota, and others. These multinational corporations encouraged her to seek the certification from WEConnect International in Canada which certifies and trains women owned businesses to do business with large corporations which have supplier diversity and inclusion programs.
Country Director, Canada