Trump-Trudeau Council Seeks Support for Women Entrepreneurs

(Bloomberg) -- Women entrepreneurs in Canada and the U.S. face persistent barriers to expand their business and policymakers should take steps to “level the playing field,” according to a new report form a council launched by Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau.

The Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders was created during a Trudeau visit to Washington last year, in a session attended by Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and others. The council included executives such as General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, TransAlta Corp. Chief Executive Officer Dawn Farrell and Linamar Corp. Chief Executive Officer Linda Hasenfratz.

In its first report published Wednesday, the council called for the enhancement of a U.S. program for federal contracts given to women-owned businesses and the creation of a similar program in Canada. It called for expanded "private sector supplier-diversity programs" and for professional networks to track the number of women they help. Finally, it called for governments to consider updates to childcare benefits.

“We believe this is a unique moment in time when investing in women entrepreneurs is both an economic imperative and an opportunity to create a more inclusive business environment for future generations of women," the report said.

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