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


OWIT-Toronto wants to provide you with current and valuable news and resources on a regular bases. We do this through our site as well as through our monthly newsletter. Sign up today to receive these in your inbox.

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  • Tuesday, January 30, 2024 6:55 PM | Anonymous

    Shamira Jaffer, CEO of Signifi Solutions an OWIT Export Award winner in 2017 for Woman Exporter of the Year, clinched the 2023 RBC Innovation Award  at the 2023 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur. Awards.

    OWIT-Toronto Past President and 2012 OWIT Exporter of the Year, Anita Agrawal, CEO, Best Bargains Jewellery/Jewels 4 Ever has been selected as one of the 2023 top 100 most powerful women in Canada."

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2024 5:27 PM | Anonymous

    In January 2024, we will be looking for new members to join our board.

    This is an exciting opportunity to develop board governance skills for non-profit organizations. New board members will draw on a range of experience, talents and a keen interest in international trade and/or women's economic empowerment. No previous experience needed. 

    There are currently three vacancies including VP Events and  VP Membership.

    You will develop new skills: board management, organizing and hosting virtual/hybrid events, trade policy development, and communications (website design and newsletters).

    Board members will be elected at our AGM on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

    You'll need to be a member of OWIT-Toronto, and can join within ten days of being elected. See our membership page for benefits and rates.

    If you are interested in these roles, email Helen Hemmingsen (Past President) for more information.

    A listing of current board members and their roles can be viewed at: www.owit-toronto.ca/board_members

  • Wednesday, November 22, 2023 7:04 PM | Anonymous

    On November 17Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) and the Ontario government joined Cheryl Graden, of the TMX Group, to open the market and celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. 

    Held annually on November 19, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is a day on which the work of women entrepreneurs is celebrated. OWIT-Toronto Co-President, Audrey Ross, and Board Members, Jessica Horwitz and Susan Baka, attended. 

  • Friday, November 17, 2023 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    The full-house celebration at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre recognized and celebrated the achievements of women in international trade.

    Congratulations to our outstanding award winners and to all nominees for their continued dedicated work in international trade.

    Student of International Trade Award – Oluwayomi Dime

    Oluwayomi is a student at Centennial College, and works for a Nigerian manufacturing company. She has leveraged knowledge from international marketing and innovation lectures to enhance social channels. Oluwayomi has demonstrated a keen understanding of cultural diversity, beliefs, and values. She adapts to cultural norms such as respecting Chinese New Year and observing Islamic prayers in Turkey, for effective community and collaboration.

    Woman Exporter of the Year Award – Patra De Silva

    Patra is the President of NHV Natural Pet Products, and exports veterinarian-formulated herbal supplements to 55 countries. The company has achieved export revenues of over ten million Canadian dollars. 

    Patra has established B2B partnerships with distributors in key markets such as the USA, Japan, UK, France, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. She is the BC Chapter president of the International Women’s Forum, contributing to women’s leadership globally. NHV Natural Pet Products is based in Vancouver.

    Excellence Award for Leadership in International Trade – Dr Wendy Cukier

    Wendy is the Founder and Director of the Diversity Institute Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub at Toronto Metropolitan University. Wendy is an advocate for women and equity-deserving groups in entrepreneurship, international business, and trade.  She is influential in raising awareness about the barriers faced by women in trade and advocating for inclusive trade practices. Wendy is amember of the Global Affairs Gender and Trade Advisory Group, working to include gender chapters in Canada's global trade agreements


    From left to right: Clare Barnett, Brampton Economic Development; Jessica Horwitz, Bennett Jones; Oluwayomi Dime, Centennial College; Patra De Silva, NHV Natural Pet Products; Dr. Wendy Cukier, WEKH; Shay Lowe, WEKH

    About OWIT

    The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is an international non-profit professional organization, with chapters around the world (www.owit.org), dedicated to advancing global trade opportunities for women. There are two Canadian chapters: Toronto (www.owit-toronto.ca) and Ottawa (www.owit-ottawa.ca).

  • Friday, October 20, 2023 6:36 PM | Anonymous

    In support of Small Business Week, OWIT-Toronto hosted a Fall networking events in October 18th in partnership with Entrepreneurs Point for OWIT-Toronto members and non-members. Co-President Audrey Ross and VP Events Aliaa Al Safarjlani organized and attended the event with our hosts at Entrepreneurs Point.

  • Tuesday, October 03, 2023 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    OWIT-Toronto is proud to recognize the achievements of women who, through their careers and personal commitments, foster international trade and the advancement of women in business. 

    We are now accepting nominations for the 2023 Export Awards for:

    - Excellence Award for Leadership in International Trade

    - Woman Exporter of the Year

    - Student of International Trade

    Nominate your favourite leader, exporter and/or student here ! The deadline for nominations is Friday, November 3, 2023 at midnight.

    We are excited to be hosting our Export Awards in person on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre (OITC), 250 Yonge Street, Eaton Centre, Toronto, from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.

    Watch our Events Calendar for further details including our special guest speaker and registration.

    Registration details will be available soon.

    Please contact Helen Hemmingsen if you have any questions or need further information about the nominations for OWIT-Toronto's Export Awards.

  • Monday, July 31, 2023 9:30 PM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    Discover the power of B2BeeMatch new features Trade Missions and Events!

    The Ontario Aerospace Council recently utilized the B2BeeMatch platform to coordinate a highly successful Paris Air Show 2023 at the prestigious 2023 Paris International Airshow. They efficiently managed the entire trade mission process, from creating the mission, sending out invitations, and sharing essential documents, to facilitating one-on-one meetings between participants and tracking attendance.

    In another success story, NGen effectively utilized B2BeeMatch to establish connections between tech and manufacturing firms, fostering productive funding discussions and driving growth within the Electric Vehicle industry.

    Are you planning your next event and in need of assistance? Look no further than B2BeeMatch - the ultimate platform for virtual, in-person, or hybrid events worldwide! For more information, please visit: http://www.b2beematch.com/enterprise.

    What’s B2BeeMatch?

    B2BeeMatch is an AI-driven business networking platform that helps businesses save time, money and effort. The platform facilitates tasks such as generating leads, meeting clients, hiring and offering professional services, outsourcing projects, finding partners, discovering opportunities, and attending industry events and trade missions.

  • Friday, July 28, 2023 12:31 AM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    OWIT-Toronto participated in a spring roundtable with Canada’s Consul General in Turkey, Tara Scheurwater. Organized by the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) and hosted by DMZ, the event highlighted the trade relationship between Canada and Turkey. Here is what the CG relayed about Turkey and about the opportunities there for Canadian exporters:  

    - Canada’s office in Istanbul is trying hard to increase the relationship with Turkey.

    - There is currently $4.4 billion of annual trade between our two countries, with a lot more that can be done. Canada’s exports to Turkey are mostly lentils and metal.

    - Geographically, Turkey has a strategic location to the EU and Asia, and is also a G20 member.

    - Sectors with good opportunities for Canadian exporters include agritech, cleantech, digital education, life sciences, mining, aerospace and infrastructure.

    The Consul General encouraged the roundtable participants to let the Consulate know when visiting Turkey and other countries. They may want to put Canadian women exporters in front of young women to showcase successful role models.

  • Monday, July 24, 2023 4:58 PM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    On March 23, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Commercial Service with Global Diversity Export Initiative and the International Trade Association, hosted Selling to Canada: Insights & Resources for Women Owned Small Businesses. OWIT VP International Susan Baka spoke on the panel to share resources in Canada like OWIT. Other panel members included Diane Farrell, U.S. Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade, who directs the International Trade Administration. Over 300 registrants helped launch the beginning of the relationship with the U.S. Federal government agencies focused on women and exporting.

  • Monday, July 24, 2023 4:53 PM | Arsheen Kaur (Administrator)

    Hello and welcome to the second edition of our newsletter this year. 

    The first half of the year has been an eventful one for OWIT-Toronto with engagements across various sectors, thematic areas, and countries. An engaging Annual General Meeting ushered in new Board Members with tremendous credentials and a robust Strategy Meeting reinvigorated our work, expanding on our vision in light of the global economic outlook with a concrete forward look on advancing women in international trade. 

    We are gearing up for the second half of the year and would like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of our accomplishments. 

    • After a successful Annual General Meeting, we welcomed new Board Members, Clare Barnett as our VP Communications, Jessica Horwitz as our VP Legal and Secretary, and Myra Sable as one of our Directors. We also bid farewell to Aylin Lusi, one of our Directors who has been an integral part of our Board, supporting the success and visibility of OWIT-Toronto. To Aylin, we thank you wholeheartedly. 
    • We were pleased to welcome the newest member of our Trade Policy Committee, Jessica Horwitz, to strengthen our work in supporting inclusive trade policy. 
    • We rolled out key partnerships with Futurpreneur to champion the power of entrepreneurship in Canada and with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, CanCham Monterrey to advance international business success for women entrepreneurs, executives and service providers. 
    • Our Board Members have been busy representing OWIT-Toronto on different platforms and in different countries, continuing to move the dial on advancing women in international trade.
    • An inspiring Strategy Meeting set the tone for our work this year and for advancing our vision of promoting women doing business internationally and enhancing the status and interests of women in global trade.    

    In this issue, you will hear more about our new partners, Futurpreneur and CanCham Monterrey, where we have been, what’s coming up and the impact of our engagements. You will get a glimpse of what it is like to be an OWIT-Toronto Board Member, as well as part of the OWIT-Toronto family. 

    Looking forward, there is still so much work to be done. For the second quarter of 2023, there has been a prediction of a slowdown in global trade growth, pointing to recently downgraded world economic forecasts and factors such as persistent inflation, financial vulnerabilities, the war in Ukraine and geopolitical tensions.

    With these challenges, our dedicated Board of women at OWIT-Toronto are ready to provide more insightful programming; educational talks and policy inputs to help women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to expand their global footprint. 

    We would like to thank you all for your continued commitment and partnership. We believe that together we will achieve a greater impact. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events this year and please, do keep an eye out for all our upcoming events!

    Audrey Ross


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