As the modern procurement division advances to become a part of the whole organisation innovation process, so does the expectations around supply chain and procurement professionals’ performance.
More than ever before, the business case for buying and sourcing from women's business enterprises today is made perfectly clear.
It’s clear that women represent the largest market opportunity in the world. According to a recent Boston Consulting Group survey, women globally control USD20 trillion in annual consumer spending. In the next five years, it is expected this number will rise to USD28 trillion. How much is that? It is more than the markets of China and India combined — the largest growth markets in the world.
Around the world, increasingly corporations are reaching out to women business owners. WEConnect International can add value to such initiatives.
A global corporate-led non-profit entity established in 2009, WEConnect international is committed to helping build sustainable communities where women business owners have equal opportunity to sell their solutions to large corporations so they may create prosperity. ISO 9001 certified and operating in many parts of the globe outside the US, WEConnect holds its stringent certification process as critical in the support of these businesses.
The WEConnect International Business Readiness and Certification Assessment includes a one-on-one evaluation of businesses seeking certification to ensure they meet the universal standards for certification as women’s business enterprises. Once certified, these businesses are well positioned to network with multi-national corporations and take advantage of resources offered by supplier diversity programs.
Critical to certification is ownership. WEConnect International certification requires a business to be at least 51% women or woman-owned. While some may argue that 50% ownership enables participate in all decisions, the fact is that 1% does make a difference.
The defining characteristic of the standards is control. Control of the company’s management and finances, day-to-day and long term operations, and future direction rests with the majority shareholder(s) of the company.
If the woman/women do not have the authority to make these decisions, then company control is not achieved. The 51% ownership, management, and control criterion ensures that the risks and profits of the company are in the hands of women.
The benefits of keeping to this standard reach beyond women's economic empowerment.
For corporations, putting financial control and income into the hands of women means investing in the purchasing power of women. For governments, it means increasing their GDP and economic stability. It also means support for local communities, since women reinvest their money into healthcare, education, and other social programs.
It is not enough to only include women in business. If women are to generate wealth and build sustainable communities globally, we must invest in businesses that are owned and controlled by women. The clear, universal standard delivered by WEConnect International guarantees more money is in women’s hands.