We recently published Part 1 of our research into women business owner’s participation in corporate supplier diversity programs (see previous post). In this post, we highlight some of the key conclusions of our initial (and ongoing) research, using the results of the NWBC-sponsored survey:
- The most in-demand program offering was “introductions,” with approximately 75 percent of respondents indicating that they are “likely” to participate in that component of a program. This emphasizes that the entrepreneurial social network is a key component in starting and growing businesses, particularly in regards to securing contracts with large corporations.
- The number one impediment faced was the lack of contacts with decision-makers, closely followed by the lack of relationships with actual buyers. The quantitative results are confirmed by the focus group transcripts: women felt that accessing an individual who could actually execute a contract and hire them was a major impediment and barrier yet to be removed.
- Respondents were less interested in participating in mentorship and training than they were in meeting decision-makers. Approximately 25 percent of individuals surveyed indicated that they were not likely to participate in a mentorship and training program. Respondents noted that actually interacting with the buyers was an essential step to demonstrating capability and securing a contract.
- Women did not feel that they lacked capacity to meet the demand of large corporations. In fact, only 12.5 percent of respondents selected this choice. Women felt more hampered by the complexity and bureaucracy of the contracting process, as over 48 percent of survey respondents selected this barrier.
- A major finding of this work is that the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in supplying large corporations do not vary greatly by revenue. This indicates that the gap in women’s participation as corporate suppliers is not entirely a function of capacity; rather other factors including politics and social networking are at play.
For the full report, click here!