ESG   |   Social   |   Human rights   | 
 Inclusive trade   |   Inclusion, diversity and equity  |   Our communities

ESG  |   Social   |   Human rights   | 
 Inclusive trade   |   
Inclusion, diversity and equity
  |   Our communities


Support for exporters from equity-seeking groups

Exports create jobs, promote innovation and grow industries. When exporting is inclusive, it can advance the interests of groups who have faced barriers to trade to help their businesses grow and succeed, positively impacting our economy and our communities. 


Championing an inclusive approach to international trade

EDC’s solutions are available to all Canadian exporters. However, we recognize that some segments of the Canadian population face unique challenges in the business world. We want to ensure all Canadians, no matter their gender, race, disability or sexual orientation, have the same opportunities to dream big, be daring and take on the world. 

Through our inclusive trade efforts, we offer targeted support for companies owned and/or led by women, Indigenous Peoples, Black and other racialized Canadians, persons with disabilities and those from the 2SLGBTQI+ community. We believe that improving access to EDC’s financial and knowledge solutions is essential to our goal of helping more Canadians realize their international growth potential.

Inclusive trade pillars

EDC’s approach to inclusive trade focuses on five pillars of action:

  • Awareness—working with partners to build awareness about the benefits of exporting
  • Education—helping to build the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to enter new markets
  • Connections—linking business owners to trade programs, supporting organizations and international opportunities
  • Financial solutions—enabling growth by providing access to the right financial tools
  • Community—demonstrating broad support for economic empowerment and inclusive trade

The evolution of EDC’s inclusive trade strategy

Image of Native American artist representing EDC’s inclusive trade strategy.

The scope of our support for inclusive trade has progressed from its initial focus on women, to now include businesses owned and led by Indigenous Peoples, Black and other racialized persons, persons with disabilities and the 2SLGBTQI+ community. While facing unique challenges, there are many commonalities across the different equity-seeking groups. Business owners who identify with multiple dimensions of diversity face even greater barriers. We’re committed to continually evolving our approach to ensure we’re serving these companies.

Learn more about how we’re working with business owners from equity-seeking groups to support their global ambitions. 



Inclusive Trade Investments Program (ITIP)

EDC has committed $200 million to invest in companies founded or led by Canadians from equity-seeking groups. 

For Canadian exporting businesses owned and led by people identifying as women, Indigenous, Black or members of other equity-seeking groups, one of the main barriers to growth is lack of equitable access to capital. This program helps address that challenge and create more opportunities for growth.

Learn more about ITIP

Supplier diversity

Buying from companies owned by members of equity-seeking groups is another way to fuel their growth. That’s why we created a Supplier Diversity Program in 2020 and continue to build it out. We partner with organizations that certify diverse-owned businesses, so we can ensure validity and share procurement opportunities more widely.

Summary Report: Trade Barriers for Black Businesses in Canada

We engaged with Black entrepreneurs and Black business-serving organizations to gain a thorough understanding of the barriers Black exporters encounter. We’re very grateful to participants who shared their personal perspectives and experiences. This summary report shares an overview of the wealth of information and insights that we gathered into the Black exporter community and some of their central concerns. 

See the report

Inclusive trade in action

Icon outline of women to represent women-led and owned businesses.


Women-led and owned businesses served

Icon of hands shaking to represent business facilitated with indigenous exporters


Business facilitated with Indigenous exporters

Icon of paper being signed to represent procurement with diverse suppliers


Procurement with diverse suppliers


Meet the inclusive trade team leaders



Policies & reports

Explore our policies, reports and other reference materials related to inclusive trade at EDC.

Continue browsing

ESG   |   Social   |   Human rights   | 
 Inclusive trade   |   Inclusion, diversity and equity  |   Our communities

ESG  |   Social   |   Human rights   | 
 Inclusive trade   |   
Inclusion, diversity and equity
  |   Our communities



Date modified: 2024-06-07