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Funding programs help entrepreneur expand to Europe

Overlap Associates is a strategy firm that conducts qualitative research to help clients solve problems. The business has adopted the motto “better is absolutely possible”. It’s this ambitious approach – coupled with support from Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) – that fuelled the company’s international growth.

Entrepreneur: Lisa Grogan, President and co-founder
Company: Overlap Associates
Founded: 2011
Industry: Professional services
Location: Kitchener, ON
Services used: Business Women in International Trade, women-focused trade missions, CanExport

In 2018, President Lisa Grogan sought support from BWIT as she prepared to open a U.K. office. The entrepreneur joined a BWIT women-focused trade mission to Europe. On BWIT’s advice, Grogan applied for and secured CanExport funding for her travel expenses.

Grogan was pleased to find that the mission included presentations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). This free trade agreement eliminates 98% of tariffs between Canada and the European Union.

“I feel a lot more informed and excited about the opportunities it offers,” she says.

She also appreciated the chance to network with other Canadian women entrepreneurs. “It was a great dynamic. We all really bonded and shared knowledge.”

Entrepreneur Lisa Grogan, President and co-founder of Overlap Associates
Entrepreneur Lisa Grogan, President and co-founder of Overlap Associates

Grogan’s advice to women entrepreneurs

“There’s tremendous value in understanding Canada’s place in the global market. BWIT really understands what it’s like to embark on trading outside of Canada. They can connect you with funding programs like CanExport, which I never would have heard of otherwise.”

Lisa Grogan, President and co-founder

Find funding for your business’ international growth

BWIT is a great source of information about financial assistance to help your business diversify, expand and innovate. You can browse national and regional programs on our financing and funding page.

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We’re always looking to feature accomplished business women who have received help from Business Women in International Trade (BWIT) and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS). Email us at to share your stories.

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