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WBENC 2018 in Detroit, Michigan is the place to be!

Written by: Nancy Brommell, Business Advisor, Women’s Enterprise Centre Manitoba


You will want to attend this year’s annual WBENC Conference and Business Fair if you are a woman business owner and you have:

1.    Visions of growing your business via export

2.    Interest in or already had experience selling B2B and/or

3.    Capacity to manufacture in larger volumes

The WBENC Conference and Business Fair is the perfect opportunity for women business owners in all industries to connect and talk with buyers and supplier diversity specialists of Fortune 500 companies about how your business could become one of their suppliers. Many U.S. corporations are interested in buying from women-owned companies. This year’s WBENC is being held in Detroit, Michigan. To take in all of the events, you will want to arrive in Detroit by late afternoon on Sunday June 17 and head out on Thursday June 21. The Business Fair is on Wednesday June 20th

To register for WBENC 2018, it’s as easy as 1…2…3.

1.    Get on with booking your hotel room and paying your WBENC registration. Hotel rooms book up fast and registration is limited so do it sooner rather than later. Here’s the link.

2.    Also sooner rather later, connect with BWIT. BWIT is the federal government’s Business Women in International Trade program. Let them know you will be attending WBENC 2018. For the 10th year in a row, BWIT and the provincial women’s enterprise centres (WEC-BC, AWE, WESK and WECM) are working collaboratively to provide you with opportunities to find potential export markets. The sooner they know you’re attending WBENC, the more connections they may be able to find for your business.

3.    Let your provincial women’s enterprise initiative (WEI) staff know you’re attending. If you’re in:

WEC – Women’s Enterprise Centre in British Columbia  

AWE – Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

WESK – Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan

WECM – Women’s Enterprise Centre Manitoba

You do not need to have supplier diversity certification to attend the WBENC Conference and Business Fair. However, it can be helpful to know what supplier diversity certification is before you go to this event as you will hear the term mentioned many times and you will probably be asked if you are a certified diverse supplier. Don’t know what that means, talk to your WEI staff; they will explain this “strange but true” opportunity. 

Finally, if you’re interested in growing your business via export but this whole blog post is super-confusing to you, start with point #3. Contact your provincial women’s enterprise centre; they will answer all your questions and help you decide what’s best for you and your business.

This blog post was written by Nancy Brommell, Business Advisor with the Women’s Enterprise Centre Manitoba. The western Canadian women’s enterprise initiative (WEI), funded by the federal government’s Western Diversification program, works collaboratively each other and the Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) to support women business owners interested in growing their businesses via export.

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