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Canadian Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) Get Connected To Automotive Industry Supply Chains

On March 26th  WBE Canada held its first virtual Automotive Industry event  connecting certified Canadian women-owned businesses with select OEMs and their Tier 1 suppliers.

Due to the on-going COVID-19 situation, WBE Canada transformed its traditional Breakfast with BrandsTM: Automotive Industry event, originally planned to be hosted in Windsor, ON, to an on-line event. Twenty-eight certified women-owned businesses were able to pitch their products and services to GM, Toyota, Ford, ABC Technologies and Flex N’Gate over the video conference line.  Due to operational commitments, meetings with Magna and FCA have been moved to a later date. WBE Canada is the first diversity council globally to host such an event. 

“When we realized that we would not be able to host our Auto industry event in Windsor, we were faced with a decision – to cancel or restructure.” said Silvia Pencak, President of WBE Canada.  “We realized that with the COVID-19 situation changing daily, we were presented with a unique opportunity to still bring Canadian WBE suppliers in front of the buyers in the auto sector, capitalizing on the commitments made by both sides, and do it on-line. So, we set up our first virtual networking event to connect our community.“

WBE Canada’s efforts paid off. Five out of seven scheduled meetings took place on Thursday March 26th, providing connections between Canada and the US in a safe environment. 

“We are very happy that we could introduce and connect our Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) to the automotive companies in spite of the chaos that is disrupting not just this industry but the entire globe and we appreciate the leadership and adaptability of our corporate partners.” said Silvia Pencak. “The sales cycle in the automotive industry is long and every opportunity for a conversation is welcomed by suppliers. For the buying organizations this presented a unique opportunity to introduce their supplier diversity program to Canadian WBEs and meet new and seasoned businesses who might be a good fit for their supply chains.” 

WBE Canada’s Breakfast with BrandsTM events are designed to be educational and informative, providing greater access to procurement networks for women-owned businesses looking to succeed in corporate supply chains. Each event targets a specific industry sector, introducing WBEs to corporate leaders and procurement professionals creating a unique opportunity to create relationships and do business. 

“The WBE Canada Team is highly innovative and committed to supporting our WBE Community,” said Pencak. “We are already working on utilizing what we learned from yesterday’s event and connecting WBEs to buyers in other industries during  these unprecedented times.”  

This event was sponsored by

Breakfast with Brands Automotive 2020

About WBE Canada

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WBE Canada is a Canadian non-profit organization that is opening doors for women-owned businesses to supply chains across North America. It certifies Canadian firms that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and introduces them to opportunities with corporations. To learn more about how we support women-owned businesses, click here. If you are a mid-size or large company looking to support women-owned businesses through procurement opportunities, we want to hear from you. Click here to learn more how you can get involved.

For media inquiries: 

Sharon Ferdinands, Communications & Marketing Coordinator, WBE Canada – marketing@wbecanada.ca

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