Elizabeth A. Vazquez
Vazquez is the CEO & Co-founder of WEConnect International and co-author of Buying for Impact: How to Buy From Women and Change Our World
The full economic impact that women-owned businesses can have on our global economies has not yet been realized. More money in the hands of women will have a positive impact on how we invest in our communities.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are about 187 million women entrepreneurs worldwide. However, organizations and individuals who should be buying from women do not generally know how to buy from women. And the women who should be selling into larger markets do not generally know how to sell into larger markets.
For example, according to Deloitte, women make over 85% of the purchasing decisions at the household level, and yet WEConnect International has discovered that most large corporations spend only 1% of their global purchasing power on women-owned businesses. This huge gap is resulting in lost opportunity costs and profits for corporations seeking to anticipate and meet the needs of their markets.
More women empowered to offer better solutions will change our world because women selling more products and services will help:
- Meet critical unmet product and service needs;
- Create much needed jobs when more companies compete and grow; and
- Build economic prosperity since women spend a majority of their income on their families and communities.
Why Women Should Buy from Women
Women control $20 trillion in consumer spending, and that could rise to $28 trillion by 2014 according to the Boston Consulting Group. If women make a conscious decision to leverage just 10% of their spend on other women, over $2 trillion will go to women business owners. This is critical for women who globally perform 66% of the world’s work, but only earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property, according to the United Nations Development Programme.
WEConnect International is a corporate-led nonprofit that helps to empower women business owners to succeed in global markets. The organization works with Canadian partners such as the Newfoundland & Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) to identify growth-oriented women business owners who want to compete for larger contracts. WEConnect International educates and certifies women’s business enterprises seeking access to a global network of women business owners and corporations committed to sourcing more from women business owners.
Women in the WEConnect International network are not only doing business with our global corporate members, but more and more of the women are also doing business with each other. Many of the women are actively mentoring other women and participating in events and trade missions together in Australia, Canada, India, China, Europe, Latin America, the United States, and soon Africa and the Middle East.
Buying for Impact is a new WEConnect International book that offers specific examples of buyers and women suppliers who have cracked the code and have learned how to do business with each other.
It also outlines how the public sector, the private sector and civil society can work together to create a more enabling environment for women seeking an equal opportunity to compete.
Now is the time to get involved and build your own WEConnections at www.weconnectInternational.org.
Buying for Impact: How to Buy From Women and Change Our World by Elizabeth A. Vazquez and Andrew J. Sherman is a new inclusive-sourcing “how-to guide” for visionary corporations, governments, multilaterals, non-governmental organizations, and consumers that want to buy from women business owners.