November 6, 2020 – Toronto, Ontario – The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada), with support from the Government of Canada, concluded a successful two-day Canada’s First Women-only Virtual Business Mission to South Korea on November 4, 2020.
Canada’s first-ever virtual business mission dedicated to women entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprise (SME) leaders drew more than 300 participants. It featured 24 business pitches and made more than 70 B2B connections between Canadian and South Korean stakeholders who will continue to meet through the end of November.
The mission focused on promoting women entrepreneurs in STEM sectors that provide care services, products, and solutions to support the care and lifestyles of children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. It was activated by APF Canada to help Canadian women business owners and entrepreneurs start up, scale up, and access new markets in South Korea, the only economy in the Asia Pacific with which Canada has a bilateral free trade agreement.
“I am very proud to have chaired this delegation of Canadian women entrepreneurs,” said Mission Co-Chair Dr. Songyee Yoon, President, NCSOFT and CEO, NCWEST. “Being able to directly share our collective experiences, challenges, and opportunities as women business leaders is incredibly impactful. As a technology executive in South Korea, it was very encouraging to see Canada’s commitment to support diversity and inclusion and I look forward to working with Canada to continue to build robust business partnerships and to advance gender equality in both countries.”
“Encouraging and providing support to women-owned and women-led businesses to scale their businesses through expansion into growth markets like South Korea’s will help Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery efforts,” added Project Director Christine Nakamura, Vice-President, Toronto Office, APF Canada. “The brilliance and talent demonstrated by our Canadian women entrepreneurs during the innovation pitch sessions clearly indicates that with a little bit of help, they have the potential to scale and help grow Canada’s economy. I hope that the many Korean companies that witnessed the presentations will seize the opportunity and engage our delegates in commercial partnerships to the mutual benefit of Canada and South Korea.”
A companion virtual trade mission with South Korea was hosted on November 5, 2020 by The Hon. Minister Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. It brought together Canadian entrepreneurs and small business owners across different sectors – particularly information and communication technology, life sciences, and artificial intelligence – to explore emerging opportunities in South Korea.
Minister Ng participated in APF Canada’s mission to support women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their businesses into the South Korean market.
“I am proud to have taken part in and supported Canada’s first women-only virtual trade mission,” said Minister Ng. “It was amazing to witness first-hand these impressive and innovative Canadian entrepreneurs promote their businesses, make new connections, and gain valuable insights into the vibrant South Korean market. Our government will continue to support women entrepreneurs through our whole-of-government Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and will ensure they are at the forefront of our economic recovery from COVID-19.”
- South Korean Women’s Business Mission Webpage
- Women’s Business Missions News & Notifications
- News Release: Minister Ng Concludes Successful Virtual Trade Missions to South Korea for Canadian Entrepreneurs
- Government of Canada Virtual Trade Mission to South Korea
- Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement
A.W. Lee, Program Manager,
Diversity and Inclusive Growth Strategy for Women Entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific,
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Michael Roberts, Communications Manager,
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada