Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada) held its 11th Annual Conference Supply Chain Innovation <Decoded> November 9 and 10, 2020 in a virtual format to ensure its community remained safe and healthy as the country continued to deal with the Covid-19 Pandemic. This year’s conference, attended by 495 participants, was supported by corporate and government partners from across North America and was made possible thanks to Lead Sponsors BMO, Accenture, RBC and BDC; Champions of Women Sponsors including ABC Technologies, Magna, TD, Sun Life, DCM, Toyota and GM, Champions of Growth Sponsors represented by IBM, EDC, TELUS, Global Affairs Canada and Staples Promotional Products, as well as over 30 other organizations, businesses, Media and Promotional Partners.
While our Conference recognized the challenges and difficulties faced by supply chains around the globe, conversations focused on the inspiring stories of pivot and impact within supply chains along with future outlook for supplier diversity initiatives in Canada and beyond. Attendees were able to hear from 30+ speakers and industry leaders who shared their stories, experiences and expertise.
We were happy to hear multiple speakers confirm their commitment to supplier diversity and purchasing from Canadian Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and encourage other organizations to follow their lead continually confirming that supplier diversity initiatives are not only the right thing to do but also the right strategic decision with strong return on investment.
In line with the theme of this year’s Conference, WBE Canada announced its latest updates and initiatives to enable supplier diversity in Canada. The top announcements included
- Government Membership Pilot Program – More information here
- Supplier Diversity Reporting for WBE Canada Corporate Members – More information to be posted
- Supplier Diversity 101: Supplier Guide – Coming up in December 2020
- Supplier Diversity Toolbox: Buyer – Coming up in 2021
- And many more
Combined with the recent launches of Supplier Diversity Accelerator and WBE Canada Toolbox, WBE Canada is showing a strong commitment to making supplier diversity work in Canada and beyond.
Attendees enjoyed hearing from 7 Canadian political leaders from across the country, including The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, The Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, The Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba, The Honourable Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy, Alberta, The Honourable Rebecca Schultz, Minister of Children Services, Alberta, The Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Ontario and The Honourable Jill Dunlop, Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, Ontario. It is refreshing to see political leaders recognizing organizations and businesses transforming supply chains in Canada and abroad.
As with all WBE Canada events, networking plays a major role as corporate and government buyers come together with women-owned businesses – connections are made, new relationships are forged, doors to new opportunities are opened and business is done. This year, while in a virtual format, was no different as this year’s event also included Virtual Networking Party that included 16 rooms as well as Virtual Trade Show.
As usual, the Conference ended with the 2020 Excellence Awards celebrating outstanding achievements in supplier diversity and significant contributions made by Canadian women-owned businesses. Learn about the 2020 Excellence Awards and meet our 2020 award winners here.
Thank you to all our sponsors and partners for their generous support of WBE Canada’s 11th Annual Conference, helping us ensure that our community remained safe and healthy while still being able to share in the necessary training, networking and business conversations that will continue to drive supplier diversity forward and ensure the growth and success of women-owned business in Canada.
About WBE Canada
Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada) is a Canadian non profit organization with a mission to empower Canadian Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) with equal access to corporate and public procurement. Our role is to certify, promote and develop women-owned businesses while also supporting our 63Corporate Member community with the access to a pool of business-ready suppliers. Since 2009 we’ve been certifying businesses that are 51% or more owned, managed and controlled by women and connecting them to supply chains. More information at www.WBECanada.ca/about