Canada's inclusive approach to trade

Trade works best when everyone benefits. As part of its Trade Diversification Strategy, Canada is advancing an inclusive approach to trade that seeks to ensure that the benefits and opportunities that flow from trade are more widely shared, including with under-represented groups such as women, SMEs, and Indigenous peoples. By providing more opportunities for more hard-working Canadians to succeed, Canada is creating wealth and jobs for the middle class.

Inclusive trade and free trade agreements

Canada is committed to pursuing an inclusive approach to trade in recognition that trade policies and agreements need to respond and contribute more meaningfully to broader economic, social and environmental policy priorities.

Overview: Inclusive trade and trade policy

Find out how Canada is making its trade policy more inclusive, including by integrating under-represented groups into its trade policy.

Trade policy and gender

Learn how Canada has made gender equality and women’s economic empowerment a top priority and how it is reflected in its trade policy.

Trade policy and Small- and medium-sized enterprises

How Canada is creating the conditions for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to compete and succeed through trade agreements and policy.

Trade and Indigenous peoples

Learn more about what we are doing to help Indigenous peoples and Indigenous-owned businesses further benefit from and participate in international trade.

Inclusive Trade Action Group

Find out how Canada, Chile and New Zealand are advancing inclusive trade initiatives through the Inclusive Trade Action Group.

Inclusive trade export programs and services

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) is committed to providing businesses identifying as women-led or owned by women, Indigenous, Black, racialized, youth and/or LGBTQ2 entrepreneurs, with the resources and tools they need to successfully access global markets.

Women entrepreneurs

Learn how the Business Women in International Trade program works to help women entrepreneurs grow globally.

Indigenous business

Find out about programs, funding and services to start or expand a business.

LGBTQ2 entrepreneurs

Learn how the Government of Canada is facilitating business opportunities for Canadian LGBTQ2-owned and -controlled companies looking to expand or start trade relationships globally.

Youth entrepreneurs

See the tools and services available to the next generation of business leaders.

Women entrepreneurs

The Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) program of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) is the only national program that offers products and services to assist women-owned businesses in the area of international trade.

Did you know?

In 2018, BWIT supported three businesswomen’s trade missions: two to the United States and one to Europe. Upcoming Trade Missions and Webinars!

LGBTQ2 entrepreneurs

LGBTQ2 business people play an important role in Canada with more than 100,000 LGBTQ2-owned businesses adding billions of dollars each year to the economy.

Resources

  • Free to be me
    • Provides information and resources related to the Government of Canada's work to advance LGBTQ2 inclusion.
  • Special Advisor to the PM on LGBTQ2 issues
    • Learn about the work of the Special Advisor to the PM on LGBTQ2 issues
  • CanExport
    • Financial support for your small or medium-sized firm’s development of new export opportunities.
  • Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce
    • Established in 2003, the CGLCC is a trusted partner linking LGBT+ businesses in Canada to the wider business community.

Trade diversification success:
First-ever Canadian LGBTQ2 trade mission

"If you continue to use the same suppliers, are you bringing the most efficient and innovative solutions to your company? By diversifying the supplier base, companies can achieve both top and bottom line benefits.”

- Darrell Schuurman, CEO of the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC).

Youth entrepreneurs

The Government of Canada is committed to listening to the issues that matter most to young people, in particular supporting youth entrepreneurs and the challenges inherent to growing a business abroad.

The TCS encourages and supports young entrepreneurs as they get ready to do business abroad and wants to ensure that SMEs, including those led by youth entrepreneurs, benefit from the opportunities that flow after trade agreements are signed and the TCS networks of international contacts.

Associated links

CanExport

CanExport is a multi-year Government of Canada program that provides direct financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) registered in Canada seeking to develop new export opportunities and markets.  The program has recently broadened its eligibility criteria. Learn if your business is eligible.

Futurpreneur

Dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time through financing, mentorship & helpful resources.

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