Unlocking the global potential of Canadian women-owned businesses

Women-owned businesses account for almost one-fifth of all private sector businesses in Canada. But they are still underrepresented in terms of export activity, which creates a huge opportunity for growth.

What is the Women Exporters Program?

In partnership with UPS Canada, Startup Canada is proud to present the Women Exporters Program (WEP). This global initiative helps to bridge the gender gap in education and export participation by providing targeted assistance to women-owned small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). As of January 2023, the WEP has trained over 107,000 women and small business owners around the world.

What can you expect?

The WEP will provide tools, training and networks that help women-owned businesses connect with potential customers globally, through international trade and e-commerce. As part of this program, women-owned SMBs will have the opportunity to:
• Gain valuable knowledge about exporting from market access to regulatory considerations.
• Receive advisory support from Startup Canada mentors and advisors and connect with UPS Ambassadors.
• Be eligible for in-kind shipping credits and special shipping discounts from UPS.


Applications for our 2023 cohort are now closed. Webinars will be hosted from September 19, 2023 and February 27, 2024. We will also conduct annual follow ups for two years after your completion of the program to follow your exporting progress.

Program Overview

This cohort-based program will engage women-identifying entrepreneurs and include a series of five webinars focused on foundational aspects of exporting essentials. The webinars will be structured to provide a comprehensive overview of the key aspects involved in exporting, including the benefits of exporting, how to prepare for exporting, the actual process of exporting, leveraging e-commerce to export, and focusing on customer experience.

Upon completion of all five webinars, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion along with a chance to receive free in-kind shipping credits from UPS. Participants will also have access to connect and engage with Startup Women and Startup Global Leaders.

After each session, participants will complete a follow up survey and their participation will be tracked through completion of all five webinars.

Webinar 1: Why Export?

Covers the importance of exporting for small businesses and highlights the benefits of expanding into new markets, including increased revenue, access to new customers, and diversification of income streams. Additionally, the potential risks and challenges that businesses may face when entering new markets are also reviewed.

Webinar 2: How to Prepare for Export

Focuses on the steps that small businesses need to take before they can start exporting. Covers the importance of researching potential markets, understanding local regulations and customs, and developing a strong export plan. Tips on finding the right market, right partners, and resources to support the export process are also reviewed.

Webinar 3: Exporting Your Products

Covers the actual process of exporting products. Provides an overview of the different modes of transportation, such as air, sea, and land, and discusses the logistics involved in exporting products. Additionally, it will deliver guidance on how to handle documentation and navigate customs procedures.

Webinar 4: Leveraging E-commerce to Export

Focuses on the role of e-commerce in exporting. Discusses the benefits of using online platforms to expand into new markets and provides tips on how to optimize e-commerce platforms for export purposes. It also offers tips on pricing strategies and shipping options.

Webinar 5: Keeping Your Customers Happy

Strategies focused on customer lifetime value, customer service, and retention. Examines the importance of creating a positive customer experience and building strong relationships with customers. Tips on how to measure customer lifetime value, and customer satisfaction and provide some strategies to improve customer retention, are also presented.

Applications are now closed for 2023

Stay tuned for our next cohort launch in 2024. Sign up for the Startup Global newsletter to be the first to know!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Email us at global@startupcan.ca

You are still welcome to attend the sessions, however the material covered will be largely focused on exporting products.

The Women Exporters Program leverages the expertise and knowledge of UPS’s employees and harnesses their global network to help women-identifying entrepreneurs unlock new opportunities. Through this program you will:

  • Gain valuable knowledge about exporting from market access to regulatory considerations.
  • Receive advisory support from Startup Canada mentors and advisors and connect with UPS Ambassadors.
  • Be eligible for free UPS Shipping Credits, plus a special shipping rate discount from UPS. 

We will keep applications open until October 13, 2023. If you apply to participate after the first session has happened (September 12), we will send you a link to the recording and any materials that were shared.

We welcome all folks to attend the sessions. However, please note that the content will be largely focused on women-identifying entrepreneurs and only women-identifying entrepreneurs will receive a certificate of completion.


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