Minister Guergis attends meeting of "ACCESS" - the first Pathways to
Prosperity in the Americas Women Entrepreneurs' Conference

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister of State (Status of Women), will attend the "Welcome Meeting" of "ACCESS," the first Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Women Entrepreneurs Conference, being held in Washington, October 7 to 9, 2009. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues, which is hosting the Conference, invited the Minister of State to attend the opening banquet.

"The key to the success of women entrepreneurs is support. We must stand behind our women business owners and ensure they have the tools they need to prosper in the increasingly competitive global marketplace," said Minister of State Guergis. "Our Government is supporting WEConnect Canada in helping women entrepreneurs to access markets and contract opportunities, and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Women in Technology (CATA WIT) to advance women in technology."

The ACCESS Conference grew out of the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas (PPA) initiative, involving Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Uruguay. The goal of the Conference is to launch a network of entrepreneurial mentors who will, in the coming years, support activities that provide access to markets, finance, technology, and information and training for women throughout the Americas. Specifically, the Conference aims to connect aspiring women entrepreneurs with successful women entrepreneurs, who will develop valuable mentoring relationships over time.

"Women are an essential part of the economy and when women prosper, everyone prospers," Minister of State Guergis added. "The cooperation between the women's business communities in Canada, the U.S.A. and other nations of the Americas is truly extraordinary. I am convinced that our work together can serve as a role model for women's business communities around the world."

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

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SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For further information: Semhar Tekeste, Special Assistant, 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

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