Econet triples women-owned businesses in supply chain

31 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Econet triples women-owned businesses in supply chain

The Sunday Mail

Business Reporter

The country’s biggest telecommunications company, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, says it is taking bold and practical steps to empower women and create a more equitable world by tripling the number of women-owned businesses in its supply chain within the next year.  

The company’s deputy chief executive officer, Mr Roy Chimanikire, said the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company is cultivating resilience within its supply chain by increasing the number of women business partners three-fold. 

“This year, we are targeting a total of 15 percent women-led businesses within our 400-strong supplier base,” said Mr Chimanikire.  

“The commitment really goes beyond just numbers; it’s about intentionally creating opportunities, dismantling barriers and creating a diverse and inclusive environment where women entrepreneurs can flourish.” 

The initiative, he said, was part of Econet’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy, which aims to empower women entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as cultivate a resilient and thriving ecosystem of diverse suppliers.  

Econet recently signed a supplier diversity and inclusion partnership agreement with the Women-Owned Business Trust (WOBT), a trust dedicated to helping women access markets and scale their businesses.  

The telecommunications and technology company said the SDI was intended to increase its procurement expenditure on women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs. 

Mrs Sharon Marufu, Econet’s chief supply chain officer, said collaborating with and engaging diverse suppliers, including women-led businesses, will strengthen communities across the value chain and lead to greater long-term economic growth. 

“Diversifying your supply chain can lead to increased innovation and competition. A diverse supply chain encourages competitive bidding among suppliers, resulting in cost savings and higher-quality products as suppliers strive to meet industry standards. Embracing diversity not only fosters equal opportunities but also drives excellence in quality across the board,” she said. 

Earlier this month Econet, in conjunction with the WOBT, hosted a first-of-its-kind breakfast meeting aimed at exploring areas of greater partnership between Econet and female entrepreneurs.  

Mrs Marufu said supply chain diversity and inclusion promote social equity and economic development by creating job opportunities for marginalised communities and promoting fair and ethical practices throughout the supply chain.  

“By implementing diversity and inclusion into our supply chain strategies, Econet can contribute to building a more sustainable and equitable future,” she said. 

 

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