Partnership with World Trade Centre Toronto to deliver award-winning program empowering
women-led small and medium-sized businesses to export

[Barrie, ON, January 27, 2021] – Sandbox Centre is pleased to announce the launch of the first Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) women-led cohort, commencing Monday, March 8, coinciding with International Women’s Day. The cohort will be delivered virtually to bring a dynamic, five-week workshop to Ontario that is designed to develop and grow export strategies for women-owned and/or led small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the province.

Operated in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s World Trade Centre Toronto, TAP is a series of innovative, dynamic workshops that give companies the training and support they need to scale up, develop and execute an export plan. This women-led cohort is open to participants across the province.

“Women-led small and medium-sized enterprises represent over $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada,” says Ronda MacPherson, Assistant Vice-President of Commercial Financial Services at RBC. “RBC supports women-led enterprises by providing access to export markets, mentorship and professional networks. Opportunities like TAP via the Sandbox Centre are a powerful example of how
we can help propel the success of women-led SMEs in Ontario.”

This TAP cohort will support qualified Ontario SMEs that are either female-owned or operated through in-depth digital workshop sessions with trade and industry experts to succeed in export markets faster. Companies will move through a cohort that consists of an educational workshop, creating a formal market entry strategy, and finalizing the strategy through implementation with a one-on-one
mentorship session.

“The impacts on our local economy have seen great detriments due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. However, the resilience of entrepreneurs during this time has been remarkable. SMEs are the backbone of our community and will need increased supports coming out of the pandemic, like the Trade Accelerator Program, to reignite opportunities for economic development throughout our region,” says Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “Increasing gender equality in the workplace, including getting more women into sectors where they are underrepresented, is more than just a ‘nice to have’… it’s an economic imperative.”

TAP graduates report an average growth of 33 per cent in export sales one year after participation, and more than 90 percent of participants are exporting in international markets since completing the course.

TAP is part of the Government of Canada’s Export Diversification Strategy , a $1.1-billion initiative to increase Canada’s overseas exports by 50% by 2025. The Strategy is part of the Government’s plan to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) start up, scale up and access new markets.

TAP is supported by its National Partners: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Export Development Canada (EDC), Air Canada Cargo, and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

To learn more about the first TAP women-led cohort, visit


About Sandbox Centre
Sandbox Centre opened its doors in April of 2019 with the mission of connecting people & their ideas to business resources; where guided collaboration and sharing of collective knowledge support their journey to success. As the pre-eminent connector of people and their ideas to business resources within Central Ontario, we take pride in uniting people and companies to grow through a culture of
sharing. We strive to create collisions within our space to spark ideas and shift mindsets. From startups, scale-ups, and large enterprises to idea generators, leaders and change makers – SBX supports all stages of business.


About World Trade Centre Toronto
The World Trade Centre Toronto (WTC-T) is the trade services arm of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. As a member of the World Trade Centers Association, WTC-T creates unparalleled global access for the Toronto region’s business community with its connection to 323 branded properties and trade services associations in 91 countries. WTC-T provides targeted international trade advisory services and expertise through comprehensive research, trade education, strategy building workshops, outbound and inbound trade missions and valuable connections to experts and networks. Learn more at and follow us at @WTC-TO.


For more information:

The Sandbox Centre is located on the second floor of 24 Maple Avenue in Barrie, Ontario. For more information about TAP and other programs visit, and join the Sandbox community on FacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.