Minority Supplier Networks

This year, GDP became officially certified as a women owned business by WEConnect Europe, and a minority owned business by MSDUK.

Whilst there is no legal requirement for private businesses to diversify their supply base, public sector organisations have to meet statutory equality duties, and networks such as WEConnect and MSDUK provide a platform for diverse suppliers to be there to meet the needs and requirements of these companies. Global Diversity Practice thoroughly recommend our clients look into joining networks such as these in order to maximize the potential benefits of supplier diversity as part of global Procurement and Supply Chain strategies.


MSDUK is the UK’s leading non-profit membership organisation driving inclusive procurement. They promote the ethos of diversity and inclusion in public and private sector supply chains by identifying and introducing innovative and entrepreneurial ethnic minority owned businesses (EMBs).

Their network of over 40 purchasing organisations, 500+ buyers and an extended community of over 3000 ethnic minority owned businesses work together to network, share knowledge and build lasting relationships to achieve growth. Research from the US indicates that companies which focus heavily on supplier diversity generate a 133% greater return on their buying operations. These findings alone provide a compelling case to consider the advantage of supplier diversity.

Global Diversity Practice is an Ethnic Minority Business (EMB), and joining MSDUK is an opportunity to facilitate business growth and development. We leverage the MSDUK network to identify new contacts, new opportunities, business partners, areas for development and demand from potential customers.

SME Development Program

Global Diversity Practice, through MSDUK, were given the opportunity to attend a workshop  on Strategy, Growth and Sales Optimisation within an SME Business. The invitation only, one off session was part of Accenture’s SME Development Program, which GDP are excited to be a part of. The purpose of the workshop was to share the importance of business strategies and how they support the growth of the business. The session was attended by many high profile SME businesses and leaders and was delivered by Accenture’s senior leaders from their management consulting practice in London.

Farrah CEO, of Global Diversity Practice was given the opportunity to share her journey on how GDP, as an SME, developed their business strategy. She also shared the challenges GDP faced with the strategy and how she has kept GDP on track and drove the growth of the business. The session was attended by other SME business who also shared their journey. Farrah found the session insightful and informative, particularly the aspects of understanding how other businesses have built their strategies and their journeys. After attending the event, Farrah had the following to say:

“The session has provided us with an opportunity to chart GDP’s strategy going forwards in line with best practice principles, and audit that process against contemporary approaches to growing and expanding your company’s footprint.”


WEConnect International in Europe is the leading global supplier diversity initiative spearheading the connection of women-owned business and multinational corporations. It is Europe’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to global and national corporations and government bodies.

Their mission is to ensure that:

  • Majority-women-owned businesses (51%+) are given fair and equal access to corporate and public sector procurement opportunities locally, nationally and internationally
  • Corporate Europe and government agencies throughout Europe, understand and are able to benefit from the diversity, innovation and brand value-add that women-owned businesses bring

Their work is about access to contacts; it is not about preferential treatment. They work with:

  • Multinationals and government departments who recognise the benefits of widening access to their supply chains.
  • Women-owned businesses who want to connect with corporates and demonstrate to them just how good they are.

As a fully women-owned business, GDP were officially certified as a WBE from WEConnect Europe. The WEConnect Seal of Certification is a formal guarantee to corporations that they are purchasing goods and/or services from women owned business that meet universal standards. Four criteria considered are ownership, management & control, contribution of capital & expertise, and independence.

The Business Readiness and Certification Assessment includes a one-on-one evaluation of the company and whether it meets the universal standards for certification as a women’s business enterprise. All Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) that successfully complete the process will earn the Seal of Certification.

Through this certification, we have access to WEConnect’s online community, forums, global and local networking events, and training workshops.

Since joining the Supplier networks, Global Diversity Practice has gone on to leverage the opportunities through a series of networking events, ‘Meet the Buyer’ type events and through Strategy Development workshops for SMEs.

WEConnect SME Development Programme – Europe

The WEConnect SME Development Programme for Europe, which was held in London, was arranged from the 2012 WEConnect International Europe conference after it was identified that businesses wanted to share their core expertise with members of WEConnect women owned businesses in order to help them strengthen and grow their business and to increase their opportunities and ability to compete for business. The event was attended by many large corporate businesses including Accenture, Coca Cola, GSK, IBM, Intel and The Royal Bank of Scotland who partnered together to create a comprehensive modular programme. The programme included success stories from the listed companies and Round Table Discussions, Keynote speakers and workshops.

Representing Global Diversity Practice, Farrah took the opportunity to attend and share the GDP success story and her own views on how women in the workplace has a huge positive impact on a business overall.

The second session, which was held on Wednesday 3rd December 2014, brought together 20 female business owners. WEConnect speaker from the IESE Business School, Julia Prats, talked about “Leading Growth: strategies and challenges’”. Scott Jones from Footprint TV, which is also the Media Partner to the RBS Innovation Gateway, also spoke at the event and led the media workshop titled “Once Upon A Time – What’s your story”.

“WEConnect events offer an unparalleled opportunity to learn, connect and reflect on how to leverage experience gained to date and apply fresh approaches to the development of GDP. Apart from delivering excellence for our clients, we are also committed to growing the business to achieve its full potential. The key learning points I gained from the event will help us to progress on that journey.”

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