NLOWE champions women suppliers as untapped resource for global business

Posted on July 01, 2021 | Sponsored Content | 0 Comments

Jennifer Bessell, CEO, NLOWE


Though Canadian women entrepreneurs are starting businesses at twice the rate of men, women-owned enterprises are greatly under-represented in procurement contracts. Women are involved in 80 per cent of purchasing decisions, but globally they comprise less than five per cent of suppliers to – and receive only one per cent of the total dollars spent by corporations and governments.  

The Newfoundland & Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) means to change all that. Supplier Diversity NL aims to connect competitive, world-beating companies with smart, entrepreneurial women business owners to deliver powerful and proven win-win connections. 

“Not only is the growth of women-owned businesses inhibited, but corporations are missing out on the innovative approach taken by women-owned businesses and the quality products and services that they provide to the marketplace,” says NLOWE CEO Jennifer Bessell.

NLOWE’s goal is to diversify the pool of suppliers that corporations choose from and to encourage more women-owned businesses to put themselves forward for larger contracts. Encouraging more women-owned businesses to interact with corporations, says Bessell, offers more flexibility, access to a broader range of talents, and opportunities for greater participation.

“Organizations can delegate specific aspects of their supply chain to specialist businesses, meaning they have more choice in how they get goods and services to market. By doing this, they also encourage more small businesses owned by women to access contracts that help them to expand and employ more staff.”

Supplier Diversity NL stages a full calendar of events throughout the year, offers a library of white papers and checklists that give senior company decision-makers the arguments and tools to rethink how they procure, and maintains a website that enables corporations and women-owned businesses to connect.

Says Bessell: “Building relationships and connections is the key. Women-owned businesses plus corporations equals better business for all. It’s that simple.” •

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