Canada’s Minister of International Trade meets IDRC-supported researchers in Colombia

July 17, 2017

Photo credit: Canadian Embassy in Colombia

Fostering entrepreneurship, discussing how trade can benefit women and their families, and creating job opportunities for the most vulnerable was at the heart of the roundtable discussion with Canada’s Minister of International Trade, the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, and IDRC grantees from Universidad de los Andes and WEConnect International.

The June event in Bogotá, Colombia, also included Canada’s Ambassador to Colombia, Donald Bobiash, researchers, and representatives from international cooperation, government, and civil society organizations. The meeting was an opportunity to build connections and discuss the impact of trade on women’s economic empowerment through production chains that include low-income women and other vulnerable groups in Colombia.

IDRC is supporting organizations and initiatives working on financial and market inclusion, especially among women and youth. The Universidad de los Andes leads research on inclusive distribution models in Latin American and the Caribbean such as micro-franchising and door-to-door sales. 

WEConnect International is a global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers around the world. IDRC recently supported WEConnect International to generate data about growing women-owned businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean.

IDRC also supports policy-oriented research to inform Canada’s progressive trade agenda through programs like Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW).  GrOW researchers are analyzing how trade policies impact women’s employment and empowerment at the macro-level. In Latin America, the University of Goettingen is studying the impacts of trade liberalization in Brazil, while the Urban Institute’s research explores how to make growth work for low-income women.