Buy from Women, Change the World

Buy from Women, Change the World

Of the world’s 1.3 billion people living in poverty, 70% are women, and women earn only 10% of the world’s income. The most frustrating thing about these statistics is that they stand in direct contrast to the amount that women contribute to work. Indeed, across the globe, women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours and produce half of the world’s food.

Why do women have such a hard time achieving economic success, despite how much they work? Plenty of reasons: They have less access to credit; they are under-represented in education and training programs; and they are often solely responsible for domestic and family caretaking. Persistent discrimination in businesses, both conscious and unconscious, also plays a big role.

The good news is that several MNCs are taking big steps to support women in the Indian economy. Last year, for example, IBM sourced products and services worth as much as 360 crore from women entrepreneurs in India. IBM is a member of WEConnect International, a nonprofit that helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. Its corporate members harness approximately $700 billion in annual purchasing power and have committed to diversity policies that encourage them to source from women vendors.

Studies show that including women in the economy will not only benefit women, but also the companies they work in and the countries in which they live. In a recent McKinsey & Company survey, 34% of senior executives reported that a company’s efforts to empower women in emerging markets increased profits. These profits, in turn, leads to economic growth: UN Women reports that the growth rate in India could jump by 4.2 percent if women were given more opportunities. Added to our current growth rate, this would once again make India one of the world’s fastest accelerating economies. It’s a win-win-win scenario.

WEConnect’s certification tool helps enterprises that are at least 51% owned by women get connected to big buyers and participate in their RFP processes. Learn more about the application and benefits here.