Minister of State Guergis announces Women's Trade Mission to San Francisco



    OTTAWA, June 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Helena Guergis today
announced that the first International WEConnect Canada Mission is in San
Francisco to participate in the Women's Business Enterprise National Council
(WBENC) National Conference and Business Fair, taking place there from June 9
to 11, 2009. The Minister of State (Status of Women) made the announcement in
Ottawa.
    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. The WBENC is the founder of WEConnect
International, which promotes the international certification standard for
women-owned businesses and develops new national certification organizations.
    The recently launched WEConnect Canada, 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.
    "I am delighted to inform you that 19 women-owned Canadian companies have
completed the qualification process and received certification by WEConnect
Canada," said Minister Guergis. "Further, leaders of 15 of these first 19
companies to be certified are participating in the First International
WEConnect Trade Mission to San Francisco."
    The Government of Canada, through the Women's Program of Status of Women
Canada, is providing WEConnect Canada with funding over three years to launch
its Opening Doors to Corporate Markets: An Education, Training, Coaching and
Mentoring Program. The program will prepare women entrepreneurs to access
supplier diversity markets made up of small businesses owned by minority
groups and women; this in turn will give them access to large contract
opportunities with corporations and governments.

    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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