ABBOTSFORD, September 21, 2017—“ Tapping into the export market is like breaking through another glass ceiling for many women business owners,” says Barbara Mowat, President and Founder of GroYourBizTM “That’s why we’re creating an exciting new way for women entrepreneurs to help each other access foreign buyers.”
Coinciding with the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on September 21, GroYourBizTM along with partner Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is creating a Virtual Global Export Board for interested women business owners to join. This initiative will provide a monthly peer business advisory group of 16 or more women to draw upon the skills, expertise, inspiration and energy of like-minded entrepreneurs offering practical solutions to utilize the opportunities created in Canada and the EU under CETA.
“CETA is a progressive free trade agreement which covers virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-EU trade in order to eliminate or reduce barriers,” explains Sanjeev Chowdhury, Director of the Free Trade Agreement Promotion Task Force of Global Affairs Canada. Prior to CETA, only 25 percent of EU tariff lines on Canadian goods were duty-free, but when CETA is provisionally aplied, 98% of Canada’s exports to the EU will be completely duty free. CETA will increase Canadian-EU trade by $8 billion a year. Chowdhury congratulates GroYourBiz’s new approach: “Kudos to them for paving the way for women entrepreneurs to take advantage of this new trade agreement.”
GroYourBiz is building on its successful approach to using advisory boards to help small business owners expand their operations and be more successful. Its advisory boards exist all across Canada with boards in the UK and the US and plans to expand elsewhere. “The critical difference with the new board is to utilize TELUS Business Connects technology and create virtual boards,” states Mowat. “This will assist women entrepreneurs in different countries to reach out to each other and share experiences and strategies.” TELUS has been a strategic alliance supporting GroYourBiz since its inception. Suzanne Trusdale, Vice President of TELUS Small Business Solutions, “I’m a strong advocate for diversity and I’m passionate about helping women entrepreneurs succeed. Using technology for global growth breaks down barriers.”
Andrea Ewart, International President of OWIT stresses the advantages of supportive networks: “Many of the women we work with find that building a global enterprise is very difficult to achieve. Guided by an expert facilitator, peer advisory boards are especially suitable for businesses wanting to move to the next level. This virtual advisory board will focus on ways that OWIT’s women entrepreneurs in Canada and the EU can package, present and pitch to take advantage of the export opportunities created by the CETA.”
Mairead Lavery, Senior Vice-President of Business Development at Export Development Canada, agrees: “I commend this initiative for helping to support women in business to become more successful exporters. This is great for our economy.”
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) makes a new chapter in the relationship between the European Union and Canada. This deal will increase jobs, strengthen economic relations and promote new economic opportunities for Canadian and European business.
GroYourBiz Ltd., headquartered in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, is an initiative that brings a tactical and proven approach to meeting the needs of women business owners who want to take their business to the next level. GroYourBiz provides monthly peer business “Advisory Board” meetings to women, engaging top experts, business analysts, and presenters and a ‘practical approach’ training guide. The program known as MyBusinessMyBoard™ has 25+ Advisory Boards active in Canada, USA, and UK, with the intent of global expansion. Entrepreneurs draw upon the skills, expertise, inspiration and energy of like-minded entrepreneurs offering practical solutions to attracting tomorrow’s customers and expansion needs. For more information, visit www.GroYourBiz.com
The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is a global association for women in international trade and business. Our 2,000-plus members impact hundreds of millions of dollars in trade and business transactions annually. OWIT’s focus is on adding value to our corporate, mid-sized, small business and individual members around the world. The OWIT network is comprised of Local Chapters situated across Central, North and South America, Western Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as a Virtual Chapter for professionals involved in international trade without an OWIT local chapter where they reside or work. OWIT’s mission, “United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business,” provides members with a collective forum to enhance personal and professional development, exchange business contacts, and drive global policy initiatives. For more information, visit www.owit.org.
About our Global Chair and Advisors
Betty Wood, Chair
GroYourBiz Virtual Trade Advisory Board
Betty Wood is Principal Consultant at W Consulting – initiatives focused on improving the success of women entrepreneurs. Betty is known for her distinguished career in supplier diversity, international development consulting, women’s business market leadership, and commercial banking. Her professional career of 32 years with RBC enabled success as a founder of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, a consultant with the IFC and World Bank, and a founding leader with WBE Canada. She has received multiple awards for her work from RBC, The International Alliance of Women (TIAW); Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT); and the Global Business Women’s Network (USA).
Manager, Technology Strategy, Procurement & Supply Chain
Maddy has had a broad and exciting career within the Procurement & Supply Chain field. Within TELUS, Maddy and her team are responsible for leading the future state strategy, processes and policy within the function, in addition to operational management of compliance, risk, offshore support, Supplier Diversity, technology, and data intelligence. She is a strong advocate for expanding the profile and impact of Supplier Diversity within Canada, and sits on the WBE Canada Board of Directors, and GroYourBiz Vancouver Board. Prior to joining TELUS in 2016, she held progressive roles within GlaxoSmithKline in Europe and North America, ultimately holding the position of Head of Procurement, United States, including responsibility for delivering the organisation’s Supplier Diversity commitment. There is a strong commitment within TELUS towards Supplier Diversity, and a recognition that our programme delivers an improved and innovative customer experience by taking proactive steps to provide equal access to a supply base that reflects the diversity of where we live, work, and serve.
Angela Marshall Hofmann, President
World Strategies, LLC
Angela Marshall Hofmann is President of World Strategies, LLC, a certified, woman-owned government affairs and policy consulting firm that provides strategic, innovative solutions to accelerate global investment, manage risk, enhance reputation and drive significant cost savings by responsibly leveraging the chain. For over 20 years, Angela has served as a trusted advisor to members of the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch as well as to CEOs and senior executives in complex, multi-national organizations for over two decades. Previously, Angela was Vice President, International Corporate Affairs, at Walmart Stores, Inc. where she led the company’s external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce and sourcing countries around the world. She also launched innovative public-private chain capacity building projects focused on transparency, building safety, agricultural development and women’s economic empowerment in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Angela joined the company in 2002 as Director of International Corporate Affairs in the company’s Federal Government Relations office in Washington, D.C. In 2005, she moved to company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas where she led corporate affairs engagement in the Americas as well as gained operational experience in the supply chain when she was promoted to Vice President, GNFR (indirect spend) and Sourcing Services in Walmart Global Sourcing. Prior to Walmart, she served as International Trade Counsel on U.S. Senate Finance Committee under Chairman Max Baucus. Angela joined the Senator’s staff in 1989 as a congressional liaison in the State of Montana and in 1997, after receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana, was his legislative counsel for agriculture and trade in Washington, D.C. Angela is a staunch advocate for women’s empowerment and continues to be active in the Organization of Women in International Trade (“OWIT”) a voluntary, non-profit association of professionals interested in international trade. She joined the organization in 1997 and in 2005 served as President of the Washington, D.C. chapter. From 2010-2013 she served as President of the organization which included 25 chapters and 2000+ members around the globe.
Teresa Guillén Zulueta, Founder
Mujer Exportadora (Export Woman), Spain
Teresa’s 20 years of professional experience include exporting industrial and consumer goods, services and food products to more than fifty countries covering all five continents. She has extensive practical experience with the systems and tools of international trade intelligence and international trade promotion, both from the institutional point of view as well as providing specific assistance to the SME.Teresa is the author of the following books: Export Guide; Practical Export Guide for Agro-Food Distribution; Practical guide for Agro-Food Distribution: Country Sheets; and Agro-Food Distribution Channels in the EU. Her professional work is also complemented by the participation in various forums and seminars on issues related to Foreign Trade, such as: Opening New Markets, Customers Search, International Negotiation, Trade Barriers, Distribution Channels, Promotional Actions, Intercultural and Gender.