Memorandum of Understanding among the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy of the United Mexican States and the Department of State and the Department of Commerce of the United States of America promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship and the Growth of Women-owned Enterprises in North America

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, or its successor, and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy of the United Mexican States and the Department of State and the Department of Commerce of the United States of America, hereafter referred to as “the Participants”,

Determined to enhance their cooperation for the mutual benefit of their people;

Recognizing the importance of women entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as creators of employment and drivers of economic prosperity and a factor contributing to North American competitiveness;

Interested in ensuring that their commitment to gender equality is reflected as a cross-cutting issue in the trilateral relationship;

Considering the importance of supporting the full economic engagement of women in the North American region;

Bearing in mind international efforts regarding women’s economic empowerment and gender equality;

Welcoming the opportunities for women-led SMEs to grow and prosper through increased opportunities under the North American Free Trade Agreement;

Desiring to strengthen the Canada-Mexico-United States trilateral commercial and economic relationship through the North American Competitiveness Workplan and the North American Leaders Summit;

Committed to the goals of the Mexico-United States Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC), particularly with respect to fostering trilateral promotion and identifying new areas for cooperation,

Have reached the following understanding:

1. General Objectives

  1. The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to provide a collaborative framework among the Participants to address barriers to North American women’s economic participation by advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in support of the growth of women-owned enterprises in North America.
  2. The Participants intend to strengthen their collaboration on activities to promote women-owned SMEs under the umbrella of MUSEIC’s Women's Entrepreneurship Subcommittee.
  3. The Participants intend to pursue the arrangements reached at the First Trilateral Meeting of Women Entrepreneurs held in Austin, Texas, on 23 June 2015 by:
    1. Advancing the pillars that guide all efforts of the MUSEIC Women’s Entrepreneurship Subcommittee;
    2. Promoting partnerships among Canadian, Mexican and American women entrepreneurs and increasing their participation in international trade, particularly among the community of free trade partners in the Americas;
    3. Encouraging cooperation to share best practices, to partner on trade missions and to collaborate on joint projects of mutual benefit;
    4. Creating an inventory of resources, programs, platforms and activities to promote women entrepreneurship;
    5. Encouraging participation in web-based platforms for business entrepreneurs to share best practices and to help women-owned business link with international partners, including, buyers and suppliers;
    6. Providing assistance to women entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them;
    7. Bolstering mentoring relationships and other connections within and among networks of Canadian, Mexican and American women entrepreneurs; and
    8. Fostering initiatives to create awareness about the importance of women‑led entrepreneurship.

2. Implementation of the Collaborative Activities

In order to achieve the objectives of this MOU, the Participants intend to develop annual work plans that include objectives and activities; work schedules; roles of each Participant; allocation of human and material resources; evaluation mechanism, and any other information deemed necessary.

3. Competences

The Participants intend to carry out the modalities of cooperation under this MOU with full respect of their respective powers, regulations, institutional directives and national laws.

4. Coordination Mechanism

To oversee and coordinate the activities of cooperation under this MOU, each Participant may appoint a representative.

5. Financing

This MOU does not involve disbursement of financial resources among the Participants. The Participants accept that all costs arising from the cooperation activities under this MOU may be met by the Participant who incurs them, unless otherwise indicated by written mutual consent.

6. Consultation

The Participants may consult one another at any time to address any matter related to the interpretation of this MOU.

7. Final Clauses

  1. This MOU is intended to become operative on the date of signature by the Participants.
  2. This MOU may be modified by the Participants at any time by written mutual consent.
  3. Any Participant may discontinue its participation under this MOU, at any time, by providing written notice to the other Participants thirty (30) days in advance.
  4. The discontinuation of this MOU does not preclude the completion of the cooperative activities decided by the Participants prior to discontinuance.

Signed at Ottawa, on this ____________________________ day of June 2016, in six originals in the English, French and Spanish languages, each version being equally valid.


For the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada

Chrystia Freeland
Minister of International Trade




For the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada

Bardish Chagger
Minister of Small Business and Tourism


For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Mexican States

Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas
Minister




For the Ministry of Economy of the United Mexican States

Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal
Minister


For the Department of State of the United States of America

John Kerry
Secretary


For the Department of Commerce of the United States of America

Penny Pritzker
Secretary

For more information please email BWIT.

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