Follow Us

Upcoming events

United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business.

Event listing


    • Wednesday, May 27, 2020
    • (EDT)
    • Friday, May 29, 2020
    • (EDT)
    • Vancouver, BC

    OWIT International is collaborating with GroYourBiz to be a partner in its annual conference - EXCELerate 2020 - that will be held in Vancouver May 27-29, 2020. This will replace OWIT International’s stand-alone conference.

    Reserve your seat now to be part of what will surely be an exciting event in our own country. Early-bird pricing in effect til February 28.

    OWIT members are eligible for a discounted rate.

    Get the details here.

    • Wednesday, May 27, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EDT)

    Please join us for a presentation on Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Times, by Lesley Marks, Chief Investment Officer, BMO Private Wealth. Lesley will review the situation in the economy today and the economic outlook post-Covid-19.

    Lesley is a 20 year BMO veteran who established her career at BMO as a portfolio manager in our asset management business with a specialty in investing in Canadian small and mid- size companies. As Chief Investment Officer for our Private Wealth business, Lesley’s acumen for analyzing macro-economic trends and implementing these trends into asset allocation portfolios has helped our Private Wealth clients achieve their investment objectives. Lesley is also a frequent commentator on business news in the media as a regular guest on BNN Bloomberg.

    This presentation will be approx. 30 minutes with 15 minutes for Q&A. We hope you are able to join us.

    Please RSVP to: by May 26th.

    Join the conversation #BMOforWomen

    • Thursday, May 28, 2020
    • 10:00 AM (EDT)

    Franchising Webinar

    by Speakers Wambugu Wa Gichohi and Linda Onyango

    Thursday, May 28th at 10:00 a.m. EAT


    Franchising has been used by indigenous businesses in the USA, Asia, Europe, Australia and other markets to create massive wealth for themselves, their governments and everyone in the franchising ecosystem. A large number of multinationals use franchising as the chosen model when entering foreign markets. Franchising can be applied to almost all types of businesses, hence its ability to create high impact to the economies of countries where it has taken root. IT COULD BE A BOOST

    Many business owners around the world struggle to open own outlets, ignoring the massive benefits of adapting the franchise model. In this session, you will engage the facilitators in the following areas:

    • What is franchising
    • How does franchising work
    • Why should you as a business owner consider franchising your business?
    • Why should you consider investing in a franchise instead of setup up a business from scratch?
    • Why should governments consider promoting franchising?
    • Interdependent roles of the franchisor and the franchisee
    • Global trends in franchising
    • What financing options are available when rolling out your franchise network or investing in a franchise?
    • What challenges are there in franchising and how are they mitigated?

    Who should attend?

    • Owner Managers of businesses that have strong brands seeking fast and inexpensive growth
    • CEOs of corporates, and SMEs that have strong brands seeking fast and inexpensive growth
    • Board Members of corporates struggling to grow on the traditional growth models
    • Individuals and senior business executives seeking to acquire franchises
    • Product Development Managers in banks seeking to develop franchise-specific products for their customers.
    • Commercial lawyers specialized in IP law and seeking to understand franchising end to end.

    Wambugu is a fully-fledged franchise consultant. He leads a team of regional and international franchise consultants under the Worldahead brand, offering a unique one-stop shop for businesses wishing to franchise their local brands, to re-align/turnaround their struggling franchise operations, to acquire franchises, settling in international brands seeking to franchise in Africa and helping governments to mainstream franchising as a strategy for long-term growth.

    Mr. Wambugu has singled out franchising as the next big thing for SMEs in Africa. He spearheaded the formation of the Franchise Association of Tanzania (FATA) aimed at providing a center point for all franchising activities in Tanzania.

    Wambugu has extensively researched franchising in the East African Community region. He is Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) student at the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and a member of the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA). Since 2017, he runs a weekly column on franchising in The Citizen newspaper (in Tanzania) and has contributed franchising articles in The New Vision (Uganda) and in The East African. He has also discussed franchising on national TV channels in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and has presented on franchising in many entrepreneurship conferences across East Africa, including Kenya National Assembly's Speakers Forum. He has also researched extensively on franchising in East Africa and represents Kenya and Tanzania in the Pan African Franchise Federation (PAFF).

    Over the years Wambugu has successfully delivered numerous leadership development and entrepreneurship consultancies for leading corporates, MSMEs and organizations such as the World Bank, UNIDO, UNHCR, UNDP, SIDA and EAC among others, including the Government of Tanzania and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. He has also carried out leadership and change management training for many organizations and governments across East Africa since 2001.

    In the early days of his career, Wambugu worked with Diners Club, Visa and McCann Erickson franchises in Kenya. He is an Education graduate in Economics and Business Studies from Kenyatta University (Kenya), a Certified Public Secretary (not practiced) in Kenya, a holder of a Post-Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development from the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and has attended numerous short courses in entrepreneurship, franchising and enhancing consultancy skills.

    Linda Onyango is the C.E.O. of SME Support Centre Limited. Until April 2019, she was also the Associate Partner for East Africa for MN Capital Partners a capital raising firm based in South Africa .She previously sat in the African Investment Committee Berkeley Middle East Investor Club and is currently in the Boards of the Association of Startups & SME Enablers Kenya(ASSEK) and the Association of Sustainability Practitioners Kenya(ASPK) Some of the highlights of her experience include:

    In March 2019, awarded by Berkeley Middle East Holdings during the Sub- Saharan Africa Investment Forum as the "most effective local supporter" for her role in mobilizing capital for SMEs in Africa

    In 2018 appointed as an SDG Influencer to represent Kenyan SMEs at first Heads of States Partnership for Green Growth Summit in Copenhagen. In 2017 appointed as an UNLEASH Global SDG Talent Shaper because of her contribution in ensuring the adoption and scale of RE technologies.

    Lead SME Advisor, Energy 4 Impact, Climate Innovation Centre. Linda has led the design and implementation of investment readiness programs and business advisory support to over 100 renewable energy and agribusiness entrepreneurs over the last 3 years.

    Strategy and operations consulting manager, KPMG . Through her position, Linda led and facilitated the development of strategic plans and business plans to government and corporate clients mostly in the agriculture sector in East Africa. In her role ,she managed projects worth USD 1 million each year.

    Linda started the early years of her career working for PWC and Olympia Capital Holdings where her notable achievements included support in launch of the new PWC Advisory strategy and support the successful launch and listing of Olympia in the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

    • Wednesday, June 03, 2020
    • 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM (EDT)

    The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) – known as USMCA in the U.S. and T-MEC in Mexico - is set to go into effect on July 1, 2020, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It will create a modernized free-trade system among the three countries.

    The implementation of CUSMA during the COVID-19 pandemic year will bring some challenges …but also opportunities… for businesses engaged in North American trade. Are you ready?

    Get ahead of the game and join OWIT-Toronto, in partnership with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, for this CUSMA webinar to help exporters conduct business in the North American region and plan ahead. Introduction of the topic and background will be presented by one of Canada’s negotiators for NAFTA and our panel will feature two knowledgeable Canadian trade representatives based in the US and Mexico. Their regional perspectives will showcase how the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – now more than ever - is a valuable, on-the-ground resource to tap into at a time when travel by exporters to the US and Mexico is restricted due to COVID-19.

    Why should you participate? You will:

    • Find out how CUSMA is an enhanced version of NAFTA.
    • Hear insightful, first-hand perspectives of the markets and local economies.
    • Learn key opportunities and sectors in the current unsettled times.
    • Discover how to navigate the challenges of transition during the pandemic.
    • Get advice on how to maintain trading relationships in order to recover faster when the crisis is over.

    CUSMA Overview:

    Cristina Popovici, Deputy Director Trade Negotiations – North America (TNP)

    Ms. Popovici has worked with Global Affairs Canada since 2008. She is currently Deputy Director in the Trade Negotiations-North America Division of the Trade Branch. During her professional career, she has worked on several free trade agreements, including the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Ms. Popovici holds a Master of Arts degree in international trade from the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs.

    Panel Speakers:

    Susan Harper, Canadian Consul General in Miami, Florida, USA

    Prior to moving to Miami, Ms. Harper held two consecutive positions in Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa: Director General and Senior Arctic Official (2013-16) and Director General, Trade Controls and Technical Barriers (2009-13). In 2004, she had been posted to the Embassy of Canada in Washington DC, where she became Minister (Economic) in 2008. She had previously been Ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay (2001-04), after having held trade positions in Yaoundé, Paris and Buenos Aires.

    Frederick Caldwell, Commercial Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner in Monterrey NL, Mexico

    Frederick Caldwell graduated from McGill University with a major in Political Science and Latin American Studies. He hold a Master's Degree in International Public Policy from Wilfrid Laurier University.

    Currently, he serves as Commercial Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Monterrey. Previously, Frederick served in the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) Secretariat where he was in charge of stakeholder relations, and promotion of the agreement to Canadian businesses. He has also served in the Canadian embassies in Bogotá, Colombia and Lima, Peru, as well as in the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Canada-Ecuador Chamber of Commerce in Guayaquil, Ecuador.


    Aylin Lusi, Director, OWIT-Toronto, and VP, Public Affairs, UPS

    This is a complimentary webinar. Register here now to reserve your spot. Please submit your questions in advance.

    Thanks to our Supporters


    Program Development and Management: Alma Farias, Trade Partners

    Program Advisor : Susan Baka, Bay Communications & Marketing Inc.

    OWIT- Toronto celebrates the 125-year anniversary of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

    • Thursday, June 04, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)

    COVID-19 has had a significant impact on business and the economy. Despite the reduction in international travel and disruption to global supply chains, there are still ways to grow your business. To help you adapt to this new economy, the Government of Ontario is organizing a free webinar on programs and resources available to exporters interested in the Latin American market.

    The webinar will highlight:

    • Export programs and resources available provincially, through the Ministry and export partners, to help your company recover post COVID-19.
    • Programs and resources available at the federal level through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), specifically CanExport, a funding program available to help identify potential markets, partnerships, and opportunities to achieve your international business needs.
    • Services, resources and financing programs, that are in place and working during COVID-19, provided by EDC and Elevate including sharing successful case studies in the region.

    Apply by: June 1st, 2020

    Please note: after filling out the form, you will receive an automatically generated email confirming we've received your registration. You will receive an email from WebEx with details about your webinar after the "apply by" date above (check your spam folder).

    Contact: Fabiola Sicard

    Mexico Area Director

    Tel: (647) 205-7133


Past events

Thursday, May 21, 2020 REVITALIZE your Attitude, Commitment and Game
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 Share Your Voice! Virtual Roundtable for Women Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 BMO for Women: Managing Your Business Finances Through COVID-19
Thursday, May 14, 2020 Webinar: Accessing Investors and Capital during COVID-19
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 Trade Recovery Series: A New World – My Trade Team is Your Team
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 COVID-19 Marketing Strategies
Thursday, April 30, 2020 Can Force Majeure Save Your International Transactions?
Thursday, April 16, 2020 How to Thrive in the Age of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Tuesday, April 07, 2020 Blockchain: The Next Big Disruptor is Here
Thursday, March 26, 2020 Young Professionals in International Business: March Social 2020 - cancelled
Thursday, March 12, 2020 OWIT Chapter Leadership Webinar
Thursday, March 05, 2020 Women in Business & Leadership Forum - A Celebration of International Women's Day!
Thursday, February 27, 2020 Mixer for Trade Professionals
Thursday, February 27, 2020 JOIN OUR FREE WEBINAR: 3 Reasons why you must attend #OWITConVancouver
Thursday, February 27, 2020 Women-Only Business Mission to South Korea - Register Now !
Monday, February 10, 2020 Doing Business in Vietnam
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 The Collective Wisdom of High-Performing Women: Leadership Lessons from The Judy Project
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 Kicking Off a New Era of North American Trade: Canada & the US East Coast and Great Lakes Regions
Monday, January 27, 2020 BWIT Trade Mission to Paris and Brussels - Register Now!
Thursday, January 23, 2020 Young Professionals in International Business: January Social 2020
Monday, January 20, 2020 Trade Accelerator Program: Women-Only Cohort
Thursday, December 12, 2019 Webinar - Assessing the Impact of Trade Agreements on Women’s Economic Empowerment
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 OWIT-Toronto AGM & Holiday Reception: Year-End Reflections
Wednesday, December 04, 2019 RBC - Schulich Enterprise Forum V - Complimentary Registrations
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 Webinar - Leadership: Strength, Service and Strategies - For Your Success
Thursday, November 07, 2019 Virtual Discussion Event - OWIT Member Highlight
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Year of the Woman!
Wednesday, October 09, 2019 Gender Inclusiveness in Trade in Services
Tuesday, October 08, 2019 WEBINAR: BLOCKCHAIN 101: THE BASICS
Thursday, August 29, 2019 #OWITCONTAMPABAY WEBINAR
Monday, August 12, 2019 OWIT International - Webinar on Trump Administration's Use of Section 232 National Security Tariffs
Tuesday, August 06, 2019 WEEmpower Webinar: Achieving Gender Equality through Diversity and Inclusion in the 21st Century Workplace
Tuesday, June 25, 2019 CAWEE Women’s Empowerment Summer Gala
Monday, June 24, 2019 Water Sector Opportunities in India - Webinar Hosted by Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
Sunday, June 23, 2019 BWIT Trade Mission to WBENC National Conference
Friday, June 14, 2019 Breakfast Event on Doing Business in Japan
Thursday, June 06, 2019 Volunteering with OWIT International - Webinar
Friday, May 31, 2019 Webinar: Why Trade Matters
Thursday, May 23, 2019 Webinar: Start small. Think big. Test then Scale. Lean Methodology and the Business Model Canvas
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 Doing Business in the UK: Today and Tomorrow
Tuesday, May 07, 2019 Cross the border faster – and get NEXUS faster! Expedited NEXUS enrollment with U.S. CBP
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 Mongolia-Canada Business Forum, April 30, 2019 - CHANGE OF VENUE
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 Mongolia-Canada Business Forum: April 30, 2019
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 SIAL Toronto, April 30-May 2, 2019 - Visit TFO Pavillion!
Thursday, April 25, 2019 Doing Business in the US - What you Need to Know - Virtual Discussion
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 EVENT POSTPONED: OWIT Members Only: Women & International Trade: A reception to welcome a delegation from the Islamabad Women's Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Monday, April 15, 2019 Harnessing Data to Advance Women and the Canadian Economy - A Panel Discussion
Tuesday, April 09, 2019 Join the Conversation - Multi-Chapter Event - Free for All Members
Tuesday, April 09, 2019 Leverage your Competitive Edge as a Diverse Business - Webinar hosted by Magnet Export Portal
Thursday, February 21, 2019 Canadian Mining Companies in Peru - Political and Social Risks
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Webinar: Learning from Failure
Monday, February 04, 2019 Businesswomen's Trade Mission
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Webinar - Meet your OWIT International Partners: FITT
Thursday, January 24, 2019 BCBC's Fine Wine & Food Tasting - Welcome to 2019
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 For the Love of Wine…a Holiday Event with International Flavour!
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 OWIT Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Monday, November 19, 2018 From Export to Investment: A Discussion on Entering the UK Market
Thursday, October 25, 2018 Bridging the Gap - Empowering Businesses to go Global
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Reserve now! 14th OWIT-Toronto Annual Gala Celebrating Women’s Economic Empowerment
Thursday, May 24, 2018 Discover Opportunities in Pacific Alliance
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Webinar: Global Opportunities for women-owned businesses
Friday, May 18, 2018 Business with Belgium – It’s all About CETA

organization of women in international trade-toronto

P.O. Box 715
31 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2J8

General Inquiries:

© 2020 OWIT-Toronto. All rights reserved.   Litmus Design

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software