August 8, 2021

New Collaboration with de Sedulous Women Leaders to Support Black Entrepreneurs

TORONTO, August 3, 2021—WEConnect International announced a collaboration with de Sedulous Women Leaders, an organization committed to empowering, mentoring, supporting, and educating immigrant women in management and entrepreneurship throughout Canada.

De Sedulous Women Leaders developed the iLaunchHERproduct program, a new growth opportunity for Black Women, Women of Color, and Immigrant Women entrepreneurs that are at the stage of retail-readiness to connect with buyers from different industries. Within the year-long program, participants will receive the necessary training, support, and tools that would help them transition growth into retail stores – all at no cost.

iLaunchHERproduct is a national program to democratize product visibility, product accessibility and product shelf-presence by empowering diverse women entrepreneurs across Canada to create great products worthy of big-box retail stores shelves and supporting them to scale up business to the benefit of the Canadian economy where they can be employers of labour and add profitably to the national GDP.

The program’s primary aim is to build a more inclusive and diversified connection between buyers and women-owned businesses by connecting Black Women, Women of Colour and Immigrant Women with retail opportunities. The secondary goal is to help channel money into the hands of women-owned business owners by enabling them close deals and to compete in the Canadian marketplace as well as Global marketplaces.

“One of the barriers faced by Black Women, Women of Color, and Immigrant Women in business is the inability to scale up business growth which manifest in several ways like not having access to finance to boost production, inability to build business credit to have access to bigger funding opportunities, not having access nor networks of buyers in big box stores, and lack of information on how to expand their products beyond their online or brick and mortar stores.” said Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo, Founder of de Sedulous Women Leaders. “iLaunchHERproduct aims to bridge that gap but we cannot do this alone, that is why we have partnered with WEConnect International to access their valuable and proven expertise, resources and buyer connections to help get more money into the hands of our target women entrepreneurs. WEConnect International is an essential partner to the success of iLaunchHERproduct.”

Throughout the program, WEConnect International will contribute its leadership, expertise and resources, along with that of key partners like BDC, EDC, TD Bank and Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. The initial phase of the program will include training and support in business readiness, concluding with the selection of the top 50 businesses who will be invited to phase two in 2022. These top businesses will receive additional workshops before they meet the buyers to pitch their products and services. The program will also bring global visibility to the women business owners with the most impactful success stories.

“From the first conversation I had with Ejibola, I was impressed with her vision and enthusiasm for this program.” said Stephanie Fontaine, Regional Director at WEConnect International. “It’s a good fit to work together because our organizations share the mission of getting more money into the hands of women businesses. As a global organization supporting women businesses in over 125 countries, WEConnect International understands and appreciates the value that women from diverse backgrounds and experiences can offer our community. Partnering with de Sedulous Women Leaders to increase connections between buyers and businesses owned by Black Women, Women of Colour and Immigrant Women will create a stronger and more diversified economy in Canada.”

About WEConnect International

WEConnect International is a member-led, global non-profit that brings motivated, large corporate, multilateral and government buyers together with qualified women-owned suppliers around the world. It works with over 130 multinational buyers, with over $1 trillion in annual purchasing power combined, that have committed to sourcing more products and services from women-owned businesses based in over 125 countries. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers 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. For more information, visit www.WEConnectInternational.org.

For more information or media interviews, please contact, Rebecca Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer, at rpearson@weconnectinternational.org or +1-703-297-5113.

For corporate membership, contact Michael Tobolski, VP of Member Development, mtobolski@weconnectinternational.org, or online at https://weconnectinternational.org/en/corporate-membership/membership-opportunities.

For details on Registering your Women-Owned Business or becoming a certified Women Business Enterprise, please contact Melanie Oliver at registration@weconnectinternational.org.


About de Sedulous Women Leaders

de Sedulous Women Leaders (dSWL) is a Social Enterprise on an ambitious drive to grow more women leaders and drive change by empowering women through entrepreneurship. dSWL has grown to become a major player when it comes to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Canada within its 3years of establishment. dSWL creates a safe space where black women, women of colour, immigrant women entrepreneurs (whichever way they self-identify) meet, connect, network, learn, collaborate and find meaningful business resources to help them grow, scale and expand their business venture.  dSWL is passionate about being on a mission where “#NoWomanShouldBeLeftBehind”, a slogan behind the SDG Goal #5 Gender Equality de Sedulous Women Leaders is built on. Read more about their work at www.sedulouswomenleaders.net

For more information or media interviews, please contact, Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo, de Sedulous Women Leaders at connect@sedulouswomenleaders.net