OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Ms. Brenda vanDuinkerken of Duinkerken
Food Inc., from Charlottetown has returned from the first International
WEConnect Canada Mission in San Francisco after participating in the Women's
Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference and Business
Fair, June 9 to 11, 2009. Ms. vanDuinkerken's business received certification
from WEConnect just prior to this event, announced the Honourable Helena
Guergis, Minister of State (Status of Women).
Ms. vanDuinkerken is the founder of Duinkerken Foods Inc., which has been
providing gluten free products to its customers since 1994 and is known for
its high-quality and health conscious products. Produced in a completely
gluten-free environment, Duinkerken Foods Inc. strives to ensure quality
products to its customers.
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 that 19 women-owned Canadian companies have completed the
qualification process and received certification from WEConnect Canada," said
"I have been working diligently to bring to light the significant
contributions of these business women to our country and it is paying off
through support of this vital organization. I am immensely proud to be part of
a Government that recognizes the important and dynamic role Canada's
independent business women play in contributing to Canada's economy," added
Minister Guergis. "By supporting WEConnect Canada's efforts to certify
women-owned businesses, and by supporting these women as they secure market
access, we help them to establish economic security and prosperity for the
future. In turn, these talented women will inspire future generations of
independent business women through their tenacity, innovation and dedication."
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 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.
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