Minister Guergis receives International Luminary Award



    SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Helena Guergis
today received one of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council's
(WBENC) first two International Luminary Awards for her work with WEConnect
Canada. The Awards were presented at WBENC's National Conference and Business
Fair, being held in San Francisco, June 9 to 11, 2009.
    "I am honoured and deeply humbled to accept this award on behalf of the
many individuals and organizations involved in launching WEConnect Canada,"
said Minister Guergis. A second luminary award is also being presented to the
Honourable Lorely Burt of the United Kingdom for her work with WEConnect UK.
Ms. Burt is a Member of Parliament for the riding of Solihull in the West
Midlands of England.
    The recently launched WEConnect Canada chapter, a member of WEConnect
International, is a non-profit organization that certifies firms that are at
least 51 per cent women-owned and connects them with the growing corporate and
public sector demand for diverse suppliers. The first 19 certified Canadian
business women are on their first International Business Trade Mission in San
Francisco this week.
    "As Canada's first Minister to have sole responsibility for the status of
women portfolio, I am proud that our Government recognizes the economic
potential that women's full and equal participation represents for our country
as whole," says Ms. Guergis.
    "It is an absolute honour for me to be part of a Government that
understands the importance of providing market access to global supply chains
for Canadian business women. This is a significant commitment to their
success. Our partnership with WEConnect underscores our belief in women and
demonstrates yet another concrete action towards improving women's overall
economic security and prosperity."
    From November 23 to December 5, 2009, the Government of Canada will
participate in an interactive Canadian Women Entrepreneurs' Mission to China
and Hong Kong. It is designed to help women learn more about the world's most
dynamic economy and discover first-hand the business potential of the Greater
China area.
    Founded in 1997, the WBENC is the United States' leading advocate of
women-owned businesses as suppliers to U.S. multinational corporations,
working to foster diversity in the world of commerce and eliminate marketplace
barriers to women business owners.

    WEConnect Canada promotes the international certification standard for
women-owned businesses and develops new national certification organizations.
WEConnect International is a corporate-led initiative of Quantum Leaps, Inc.,
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes women's enterprise development globally.

    Status of Women Canada is a federal government agency working to promote
equality for women and their full participation of women in the economic,
social and democratic life of Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Sherine Mansour, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women), (819) 956-4000; Nanci-Jean
Waugh, Director General, Communications and Strategic Planning, Status of
Women Canada, (613) 995-7839; Ce texte est également disponible en français.
For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to
www.swc-cfc.gc.ca.


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