Nov 19, 2022 News
…Focus placed on greater inclusion for women owned businesses in the value chain
Kaieteur News – Fourteen local companies benefited from a series of sensitisation workshops to raise awareness of the need for greater inclusion of women owned businesses (WOB) in the value chain. The virtual workshops, which were facilitated by WEConnect International, are part of the recently launched WE3A “Strengthening Access to Value Chains for Women Entrepreneurs” Initiative.
The participants of the workshops included 23 representatives from 14 companies. The sessions were split across three modules focusing on Supplier Diversity & Inclusion (SD&I), Creating the SD&I Business Case, and Building the momentum for SD&I. The participants were treated to topics centered on recognising bias, common objections to buying from WOBs, defining and exploring SD&I, advocating for policy change and top 8 actions to gain momentum for SD&I.
According to a Press Release issued by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Guyana the workshops stemmed from a roundtable held on September 14 to discuss women’s participation in Guyana’s business ecosystem. The roundtable provided an opportunity to hear results from research about the business ecosystem in Guyana for women entrepreneurs and the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, challenges, and needs and understand programmes and practices implemented by large corporations to make their supply chains more inclusive and diverse and identify opportunities in Guyana to connect with women entrepreneurs and include them in procurement value chains. During the event, procurement experts from large corporations explained the process they followed, the challenges faced and how they addressed them, and the lessons learnt from including women entrepreneurs in their procurement processes.
Providing feedback about their experience, participants lauded the initiative and the exposure that they gained by attending the sessions.
Trevolta Chance, Procurement Officer at the National Data Management Authority, expressed, “It was very informative, and it highlights the importance of having equity and fair distribution of wealth across all gender, race and religion…I would strongly recommend from a Government position that legislative power and policies should be guided more to having at least seven percent of all contracts given to small women owned businesses, especially in specific areas like catering, arts and craft, housekeeping jobs. While at the same time not being biased towards other small business owners. Even those top managers can start by implementing their own SOP in their respective ministries, agencies etc.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Operating Officer of Silvie’s Industrial Solutions added that her greatest takeaway is the importance of companies having a supplier diversity and inclusion policy implemented in the company. “This would ensure others in the company understands the importance of having a diversified supply chain, which includes women owned businesses. Such a policy would help curb some of the challenges women owned businesses face. The policy would enable women owned businesses to have a fair chance of competing without any biases. When women prosper, an entire country prospers. My advice to other businesses would be to review your supply chain to see how many of your suppliers are women owned businesses and implement a policy that would allow women owned businesses to have a competitive chance in your organisation.”
This is just one element of the WE3A Initiative which provides WOBs access to capacity building and networking activities to increase their access to procurement opportunities. Since its launch on August 31 by the national implementation partner- WCCIG, the first cohort of WOBs has commenced training. A call for applications was recently made for WOBs in Region 3 to apply to be part of the second cohort.
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