President’s Message: 2019 In Review

Silvia Pencak
Silvia Pencak, President, WBE Canada

2020 is just around the corner and I wanted to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for your support and partnership in 2019. WBE Canada had a great year and I want to pause for a few minutes to celebrate and share a couple of important achievements with you. 

WBE Canada marked its 10th anniversary this year. We celebrated our first decade at our 2019 Annual Conference & Gala: Celebrating Success this November with over 250 joining the festivities.  As part of this auspicious celebration we recognized six corporations who showcased their commitment to supporting women through supply chains over the past 10 years – Accenture, BMO, IBM, Nokia, RBC and TELUS – our Procurement Champions. We couldn’t have done it without their support and dedication they put into guiding the organization in the right direction through good times and tough times. 

In 2019 WBE Canada welcomed new Corporate Members – Federal Fleet Services, Government of Canada (OSME), BASF, BGIS and SHI Canada. Our database of Certified WBEs (Women Business Enterprises) grew to its new height making Women Business Enterprises Canada Council the largest certifying council for Canadian women-owned businesses. 

In our commitment to continuous improvement we further solidified internal certification policies and processes. In January 2019 we launched our new database to ease access for our Corporate members to certified businesses. In September 2019 we issued our official Certification Policy and Procedures document to help businesses navigate through the process.

This past year also brought lots of new support for Canadian women-owned businesses. In alignment with our focus on developing and promoting Canada’s women suppliers, we introduced virtual Meet the Buyer training provided directly by our Corporate Members to help WBEs understand corporate supply chains, supplier diversity programs, procurement policies and more. Newly Certified WBE Onboarding calls continued to be a big hit helping women-owned businesses get familiar with the opportunities available through supplier diversity programs much faster. We also kick started WBE Spotlight – a showcase of Canada’s B2B Women Owned Businesses who are crashing the barriers in supply chains across North America. 

WBE Canada organized or co-organized events across Canada – we met communities in Vancouver, Halifax, Cape Breton, Montreal, Toronto and even connected Canadian WBEs to the buyers in the US. We worked across industries connecting business women to financial, automotive and tech/telecom sectors.

We continue seeing corporate commitment to supplier diversity in more contracts being awarded to our WBE community and in more WBEs being successful in bidding opportunities. 

As we close 2019, I want to personally thank our community, partners, supporters and friends for making it a truly wonderful year of celebration. We look toward 2020 and a new decade with optimism and great excitement. 

From our families to yours, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a very successful 2020!


Silvia Pencak
President, WBE Canada