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globe Business Matching
Designed to encourage and assist business development with like-minded women, you can learn about OWIT members from other chapters here.

globe Ask the Experts
Tips and advice from our sponsors to tackle export challenges.

globe E-Commerce Tips
Hot tips from members.

globe General Trade Resources
Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals.

globe The SME Toolkit
The SME Toolkit, a project of the International Finance Corporation, offers free business management information and training for small business and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Ask the Experts

Q: I have just started the process of exporting my goods and would like to participate in several trade shows in the United States. I need advice on which shows would be best suited to my products. I would also like to know if there are any programs to tap into to help offset the higher costs of shows in the U.S.

A: (From Team Canada) Trade Officers in International Trade Centres across the country would be pleased to assist you with advice on trade shows and marketing your goods and on the mechanics of getting your goods across the border. The trade officers are familiar with many of the trade shows. In addition, they can access the expertise of the Canadian Trade offices around the world.

For more information: please email to Candice Rice: Candice.Rice@international.gc.ca

Q: Is export insurance really necessary if I am only exporting to the United States?

A: (From Export Development Canada) Many exporters believe that sales to their U.S. customers are less risky than other foreign sales simply because they take place in neighbouring country that is very similar to ours. The reality is that the risk of non-payment by buyers south of the border is just as great as not being paid by companies overseas. Indeed, the bankruptcy rate in the U.S. is surprisingly high. In 1999, for example, almost 45,000 companies filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Act. In addition to insuring the risk of insolvency, EDC also insures against failure of the buyer to pay by the due date all or part of the gross invoice value of goods delivered to, and accepted by, the buyer. In 1999, U.S.-related claims paid to our customers totalled more than $34 million and this accounted for 64% of the total number of EDC's accounts receivable insurance claims. To anticipate your follow-up question - Where in the U.S. is your customer most likely to go bankrupt? - the answer is probably New York, both in terms of number of claims paid and total value of the loss. But by no means is New York alone. The top U.S. states for the number of insolvency claims paid out by EDC in the first half of 2000 include: California, Maine, Virginia, and New Jersey. Most of us have heard the expression 'Buyer Beware!' But if you are a Canadian exporter shipping goods or services into the U.S. market, I suggest 'Seller Beware' might be more appropriate.

For more information: please contact Mary Palmer. mpalmer@edc.ca

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E-Commerce Tips

Develop Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on your internet site as part of your e- strategy. There are programs to help you qualify customers and communicate live while they are browsing at the merchandise either through e-mail, video or phone.
Betty Penny, Penny & Associates Inc.

Have your web page designed by experts in the field, not by your children or relatives; efficiency and maintenance of the site are very important and all the legalities must be addressed and the right links connected.
Evnur Taran, Northern Legacy Inc.

When building virtual alliances, focus on the business opportunity first; the structure of your relationship will follow. Look for an alliance partner who energizes and empowers you, not controls you, someone you can trust and with whom you can do things together that you couldn't do before. Nurture the relationship through good communication.
Diane Girard, Global Links Network

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General Trade Resources

MacRae's Blue Book (US)
America's original industrial directory since 1893, MacRAE'S is where today's industrial buyers go to find the exact product or service they need, when they need it. Using its powerful search features, users unlock the power of MacRAE'S by instantly accessing information on over 500,000 North American industrial companies with more than 2 million product listings indexed under more than 50,000 product headings http://www.macraesbluebook.com/

Canadian Trade Index (CTI)
The Canadian Trade Index (CTI) came into existence in the year 1900, to promote the interest of Canadian industry, commerce and foreign trade. Today, the Canadian Trade Index is distributed and used extensively throughout Canada and worldwide, and now contains detailed information on over 30,000 Canadian companies, featuring nearly 100,000 product listings under more than 20,000 headings. http://www.ctidirectory.com/


Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professional
Get a free subscription to FITA's "Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals" A bi-weekly e-mail newsletter highlighting 4-5 web sites that are useful or enliven your business day - from FITA's International Trade Web Resources.

Go to www.fita.org/usefulregister.html to subscribe (over 100,000 subscribers worldwide).

As a small business, you face a lot of challenges, especially if you want to get involved in international trade. However, there are many resources on the web to help you get started.

The SME Toolkit, a project of the International Finance Corporation, offers free business management information and training for small business and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

  • Marketing and Sales
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Planning
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Operations
  • Information Technology (IT) The SME Toolkit offers how-to articles, hundreds of business forms, free business software, online training, self-assessment exercises, quizzes, and resources for entrepreneurs, business owners and managers in emerging markets and developing countries.

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    Business Matching

    This feature introduces you to an OWIT member from another chapter. It is designed to encourage and assist business development with like-minded women across chapters.

    Check out the profiles here and contact the individuals directly if you find a good match and want to explore how you might do business together.


    Name: Cheryl Lockhart  

    International Strategies Ltd.
    Suite 211, 3825 Bow Trail SW
    Edmonton, AB T6E 0Y8

    Contact Info:

    Phone: 780.777.6777

    Chapter: OWIT-Alberta, www.owitalberta.org

    Cheryl Lockhart is the owner of and principal consultant for International Strategies, which was established in 2003. She has worked in international trade and international development since 1999. Cheryl is also the President of OWIT-Alberta.

    Business Description:
    International Strategies Ltd. is a Canadian consulting firm that works with small- and medium-sized enterprises to develop and implement international business development plans.

    Undertaking an international venture requires specialized knowledge (or large quantities of good fortune). Too often businesses make the same costly and time-consuming mistakes. In working with International Strategies, clients are able to avoid many of the errors commonly made by first time exporters, and more objectively evaluate and pursue international business opportunities. International Strategies’ clients are successful in new markets more quickly and with a more immediate payoff, while requiring less management time and resources.

    Companies that could benefit from the services of International Strategies include those that:

    • Have received interest from a foreign buyer or partner through their web site but are not sure how to proceed;
    • Are confused by the myriad of government agencies and services;
    • Know that there are opportunities outside their local market but aren't sure where;
    • Have been dabbling in international trade for a number of years but haven't really been successful yet;
    • Are intimidated by the cultural differences they anticipate; or
    • Lack time to commit to international market development.

    Cheryl Lockhart is the owner of and principal consultant for International Strategies. She has worked in international trade and international development since 1999. Cheryl is also the President of OWIT-Alberta.

    Services for Export:
    Cheryl also offers her services to non-Canadian companies and has worked on CIDA projects in several developing countries including Ukraine, Indonesia and Botswana. At the moment, she is the Gender Equality Consultant for the Canada-Ukraine Grain Quality and Rural Credit Systems Project. From 2004 – 2006 she travelled to Indonesia seven times to work with garment manufacturers in Bali and increase their marketing and export capacity.

    Competitive Edge: Firms collaborating with International Strategies benefit from a practical and proven approach to international business development. As an independent consultant with a global approach, Cheryl has the ability to research and recommend any number of global strategies, rather than focusing on a specific region or country or market development opportunity.

    What I'm Looking For:

    • Clients that are interested in expanding their business internationally and looking for export development plans, coaching or an export manager.
    • Introductions to individuals working in other aspects of international business (i.e. customs brokers, freight forwarders, other consultants) to build my network.

    What I Can Offer: The best way to illustrate what International Strategies can offer is to provide examples of previous consulting assignments completed since the company was established in 2003.

    • Coaching and mentoring assistance to a small manufacturer in British Columbia to encourage and develop export sales networks, including the formation of a partnership in South Africa. Provided a customized dealer application and dealer agreement to formalize those partnerships.
    • Assessment of existing North American dealer program for a forestry equipment manufacturer, with an emphasis on a dealer survey, which was used as the baseline for the development of a more effective dealer program.
    • Evaluated manufacturers and suppliers of manicure/pedicure products in South Korea, China and Pakistan, reducing wholesale costs up to 60%.
    • Developed a full U.S. market development plan, including identification of top prospects, for a specialty manufacturer of mail room equipment.
    • Conducted an export readiness assessment for an inventor of a machine to be used in the construction industry; including a U.S. market brief specific to the product.
    • Compared and analyzed five European markets for a Canadian manufacturer of chef's apparel, allowing them to identify the country with the best immediate prospects.
    • Created a marketing strategy for the newly established British offices of a Canadian consulting firm specializing in asbestos abatement.
    • Organized and participated in an exploratory trade mission to Botswana with an Alberta college, resulting in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Botswana Ministry of Agriculture.
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    Name: Leann Hackman-Carty, CEO  


    Concrete Global Ventures
    Suite 211 , 3825 Bow Trail SW
    Calgary , AB T3C 2E8

    Contact Info:

    Phone: 403. 214.0224
    Fax: 403.214.0224

    Chapter: OWIT-Alberta, www.owitalberta.org

    Leann has expertise in community economic development. Prior to starting her own business, she served as Vice-President of Calgary’s economic development group and also as Executive Assistant, Community & Economic Development to the Mayor of Calgary. Leann is a founder and Past President of OWIT- Alberta and also Past President of OWIT International. She currently serves as Advisory Chair. She is the winner of this year’s OWIT Member of the Year Award.

    Business Description
    For the past five years, Leann has been utilizing her marketing, international trade and business development expertise in growing her own companies, Concrete Global Ventures and Groovy Global Trading. Concrete Global Ventures is a private consulting firm that works primarily with small to mid sized companies. Its services include: strategic planning, business development, fundraising and marketing. Its work with philanthropic groups is carried out under the trade name of Blue Heart Consulting. Groovy Global Trading builds international networks for "groovy" products, ideas and services.  This includes providing marketing and sales support, business development tactics, market entry strategies and other export/import consulting advice.

     Products/Services for Export
    1. International trade consulting services: market entry strategies, product positioning and development, distribution channels, marketing and network development. We also provide support to incoming trade missions (ie. meeting identification/support,) and special event management (ie. conferences, workshops etc.)

    2. Business/organizational development strategies: creating practical, achievable strategies to develop your business/organization, based on research and company assets, with a focus on women

    3. Fund development plans: creating plans that identify how your organization has been doing in its fund development efforts and recommending changes that will enhance it. This may include implementing new fundraising techniques, identifying resources or organizational changes required to implement a successful fundraising strategy, improving donor relations, increasing staff training, or developing a Marcom plan, to mention a few. We also provide donor prospecting and grant writing services.

    Competitive Edge
    1. Professional experience in public, private and non-profit sector

    2. Broad international network of contacts

    3. Ability to help clients think outside the box

    What I'm Looking For
    1.  Introductions to companies looking for trade consulting services, in particular small- to mid-sized companies led by women

    2. Introductions to companies looking for business/organizational development services, with a focus on women

    3.  Introductions to companies or non-profit organizations requiring a fund development strategy

    4. Opportunities to work with groups/organizations developing programs/initiatives for women in trade, specifically from emerging markets

    What I Can Offer
    My professional and personal background has given me an extensive database of contacts in both the private and public sector. In addition, I continue to be involved as a volunteer with OWIT-Alberta, OWIT-International, the Premier’s Council for Alberta’s Promise, Room to Read and CESO. All of this work has resulted in a wide variety of contacts in many sectors. It has also fuelled my personal passion for helping women in emerging markets become active participants and beneficiaries of international trade. One way in which I have tried to do this is through working with groups like CIDA, the ITC and most recently the Trade Facilitation Office of Canada.

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