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Virtual Trade Mission to Colombia – Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce

April 7, 2021

When COVID-19 disrupted Canadian LGBT+ businesses, they responded by pivoting, innovating, and identifying new opportunities – including those beyond the border. 

Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce was proud to lead a Virtual Trade Mission to Colombia from March 15 to 19, 2021. This was Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce’s third trade mission, first outside of the United States, and first in a virtual format. This exciting initiative was conducted in partnership with the Canadian Embassy in Colombia and Export Development Canada, with the support of CanExport Associations.

Colombia represents one of the most dynamic and innovative markets in the world. Canada and Colombia enjoy an increasingly diversified bilateral commercial relationship – with over 100 Canadian companies operating in the region and a total stock of direct investment reaching $5.12 billion in 2017. This makes Colombia the fourth largest trade destination for Canada in South and Central America. Businesses and entrepreneurs in both countries also enjoy preferred market access through the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

Five innovative LGBT+ certified suppliers – Growing Greener Innovations, MELLOHAWK Logistics, Prompta, The House of Purpose, and Xennex – participated in the Mission. Throughout the course of the week, these participants collectively attended over 60 minutes with Colombian businesses and corporations, with dozens of opportunities identified and follow-up conversations already underway.

Participants also received professional development sessions in advance of the Mission from trade experts on market trends in the region, facilitated by Export Development Canada, as well as valuable educational content on topics such as Canada-Colombia commercial relations and LGBT+ history in the region. Participants also had the opportunity to connect with one another, exploring business to business partnerships.

And the virtual-only format made the Mission significantly more accessible, allowing these export-ready suppliers to explore the region without sacrificing their business operations at home.

In the words of one participant – this format works.

One in 40 businesses across Canada is owned by a member of the LGBT+ community. This equals 28,000 LGBT+ owned Canadian businesses, who collectively generate 1% of Canada’s gross corporate revenues and employ over 435.000 full and part time jobs – or the population of Halifax. In other words, LGBT+ business is big business – and there’s a significant opportunity for these businesses to even further contribute to the Canadian economy by expanding their international business operations.

That’s where Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce can help.

Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce’s Global Program connects Canadian LGBT+ businesses to a global network of international LGBT+ chambers of commerce, government corporate partner, enterprises, and individuals – enabling entrepreneurs to help access international business opportunities.

We also equip members with practical information about how to do business abroad and insider information about trends in trade and various markets. Our trade missions, government programs, and resources give you the opportunity to speak with the right people and get the right information to expand your earning potential globally.

For more information, visit https://www.cglcc.ca/programs/global-initiatives/