New Report Provides Recommendations to Increase Women Business Owners’ Access to Private Markets Through Supplier Diversity Programs

National Women’s Business Council report analyzes U.S. corporate
supplier diversity programs and points to key areas in which suppliers,
corporations and policymakers can work better together to scale-up and
grow women-owned businesses

Women’s Business Council (NWBC)
today unveiled a new report
highlighting strengths and challenges of U.S. corporate supplier
diversity programs and revealing areas for suggested policymaker
support, as well as recommendations for women business owners and
corporations. Supply and Demand Perspectives on Women’s Participation
in Corporate Supplier Diversity Programs
, prepared for NWBC by Premier
Quantitative Consulting, Inc.
, details findings from three
complementary studies to further women’s access to the corporate

“There are more than 10 million women-owned businesses in this country,
but while women-owned businesses make up more than a third of the
nation’s privately-held businesses, only 3.4 percent of women-owned
firms generate $500,000 or more in annual revenues,” said Carla Harris,
Chair of the National Women’s Business Council. “This report presents a
multi-dimensional look into the supplier diversity programs that support
women-owned businesses to scale up and grow, and outlines key areas in
which suppliers, corporations, and policymakers can work better together
to open up this vast private market.”

The report is comprised of three separate studies that provide a
snapshot of current corporate supplier diversity programs from the
perspectives of supply and demand: a statistical analysis of a survey of
women business owners, a review of the public-facing side of S&P 500
corporations’ supplier diversity programs and a synthesis of in-depth
interviews with 15 corporate supplier diversity managers. Several areas
demonstrated high potential for improved collaboration between
policymakers, corporations, and women-owned small businesses. In
particular, these groups can work together to:

  • Improve transparency about supplier diversity program offerings and
    contract requirements
    –Corporations that publicly share
    contracting expectations and requirements, and supplier diversity
    program offerings, will improve efficiency in the contracting process,
    for both themselves and the diverse suppliers seeking contracts.
    Government can play a role in encouraging this increased transparency,
    including through sharing best practices learned from federal
    procurement successes.
  • Engage “growth scaffolding” opportunities, particularly for
    women-owned businesses
    – Corporations and suppliers benefit
    from interim “scale up” steps, such as Tier 2 contract opportunities.
    Government can encourage the “growth scaffolding” of women-owned
    businesses by developing and promoting capacity assessments for
    business owners and by publicly celebrating, along with encouraging,
    well-developed Tier 2 corporate supplier diversity programs.
  • Increase corporations’ purchasing commitment to women owned
    –Government can support the expansion of supplier
    diversity efforts towards women entrepreneurs by creating incentives
    to do more business, not only with small businesses in general, but
    with women owned businesses specifically.

By following these recommendations to encourage corporations’ efforts to
contract with a diverse pool of suppliers, policymakers can support the
success of women-owned businesses nationwide and improve opportunities
for women to access the corporate supply chain, thereby strengthening
the overall U.S. economy.

About the National Women’s Business Council

The National
Women’s Business Council
(NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory
council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel
to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress and the White House
on issues of impact and importance to women business owners, leaders and

About Premier Quantitative Consulting, Inc.

Premier Quantitative Consulting, Inc. (PQC) is a small economic,
valuation, and quantitative research consulting firm. PQC provides
consulting services to corporations, small business owners, law firms,
and governments at the local, state, national, and international levels.


Julie Walsh, 202-518-6489