Womennovator organises stakeholder roundtable discussion on Gender Responsive Procurement
Womennovator is a global incubator for women supporting women entrepreneurs organised a stakeholder roundtable discussion hosted by the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) on the topic of Gender Responsive Procurement.
is a global incubator for women supporting women entrepreneurs in scaling operations domestically and internationally and creating distribution networks, empowering women leaders, and professionals to become job creators.
Recently, Womennovator organised a stakeholder roundtable discussion hosted by the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) on the topic of Gender Responsive Procurement.
GRP seeks to expand benefits to all women in value chains to address gender inequality, moving beyond the "buy from women-owned" approach as a consumer to “procure from women-owned" approach, to offer equal opportunities for women's enterprises to access markets.
This results in a broader perspective on GRP that prioritises gender-responsive businesses regardless of ownership, potentially enabling both women and men to gain access to business and employment prospects.
In April 2018, World Bank had set a goal to achieve $160M by 2030 from women-owned enterprises, although they achieved more than double by 2023 which was $115M through process changes, outreach, capacity building and technology leverage. The share by the end of FY20 was 4.5%, an increase from FY18 (3.7%) with FY17 baseline (3.1%).
Harkesh Kumar Mittal, Chairman, Startup India Seed Fund Committee, DPII and Senior Advisor, EDII-Ahmedabad said that the first order is always paramount. He shared an anecdote that during a science conference in Guwahati, one of the ideas was to make something for the disabled. One of them created a bionic arm. Despite the huge cost difference, he didn’t get orders. He made it in just Rs 3 lakh as opposed to big corporations of Rs 60 lakh. He approached corporates to give 100 arms for free.
The chief guest, Ram Mohan Mishra, Executive Chairman, State Investment Promotion Board, Government of Meghalaya shared that “Tripti (founder of Womennovator) was the frontrunner in enabling implementation of mandatory 3% procurement from women by government of India in their Public Procurement Policy.
"There are a set of rules, and guidelines, and we have seen multiple times, there are huge expectations when we take procurement orders in government. Corporates' involvement is significant. We need to contribute towards economic development and therefore, I would like to mention the collaboration with people who are able to move and empower. Many times, these requirements, especially from women to make this actionable, we must bring minimum energy power. Right quality, right design, right price which corporates can appreciate," he said.
Sugandha Shinghal, Vice President - Head Treasury, SRF Limited pointed out, “For chemical firm giving corporate gifts can be one way where we can contribute in smaller way if not large orders. We need to bring this issue at a higher level. Everyone is willing but they don’t know the right way to do it”.
Praveen Kant, Womennovator Advisor, stated, “We cannot handhold the women, but we can give them training. We can select some quality products and make a team of women, give them raw material and source from them.”
Tripti Somani added to his point and asked corporates to come forward with easy and achievable targets, where Self-Help Groups (SHGs) a do match making. What’s also important is to create a market for women and equip them with mentorship.
“This will create a great market for women, but they must be incubated and accelerated to be able to supply high quality goods at the right price to the corporates to meet the opportunity. This is where Womennovator will come forward, support and match make corporates with women entrepreneurs. Moving a step ahead, we encourage corporates to come forward and contribute; we will be able to create huge market potential for women of the country as the biggest challenge for women is market access,” said Tripti Shinghal Somani, founder, Womennovator.
Corporates who joined the stakeholder meet included Tally Solutions Pvt Ltd, Yes Bank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Adani Digital Labs, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Banswara Syntex Ltd, BrookField properties, Anand Rathi Group, Sangam Group, Capital India, KEI cables and wires, DS Group, Cisco, HSBC India, Mott Mac Donald, Oracle financial services software ltd, SRF Ltd, Indus Tower, Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh, Styleworks, Resonance Global, Ebix, ICICI Bank, LG Electronics, Jai Bharat Maruti who came forward to show their interest in a pledge for this initiative.
Foundations and institutions that also showed their interest were the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Shikhar Dhawan Foundation, Amity Education Group, and Shri Ram College of Commerce-Delhi University.
Preeti Rathi, Managing Director, Anand Rathi Group suggested access to capital (debt capital or equity) is a piece, which is completely missing and one of the challenges faced by women.
Tripti Somani stressed on the importance of partnership with corporates for the incubation and acceleration program by Womennovator. Incubatees would get mentorship and guidance from Womennovator and there will be relevant match-making with CSR corporates to fund them.