Step Up: Uncover Growth Opportunities

Many big corporations support diversity in their supply chain. This means that these companies encourage procurement of their supplies from minority or women-owned businesses. Supplier Diversity opens a door of opportunity for women entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level. Getting certified as a Woman Business Owner, or, WBE (pronounced Wee-Bee) is the first step in this process and can connect you to new supply chains. WEConnect Canada certifies women-owned businesses in Canada.

How do you access corporations once you are certified?

The WBENC (Women Business Enterprise National Council) (pronounced Wee-Bank) Conference and Business Fair provides an opportunity to access companies that are looking to purchase from diverse suppliers. This year’s conference will take place in Minneapolis on June 25, 2013. This is the largest WBE event, connecting more than 3,000 WBENC and WEConnect certified –WBEs to Corporate and Fortune 500 companies.

Tips on how to get the most out of the conference:

In a presentation last month, professional speaker, author and WBE, Julia Hubbel spoke about preparing your value proposition and capability statement in preparation for the conference.

  • First, you need a value proposition. It should be short, about 7-10 words. It should express what you do, and invite the question – Tell me more! This opening earns you the right to do your capability statement.
  • Talk about what you DO, not what you ARE. When you talk about what you ARE, you are being ego centric, when you talk about what you DO, you might be able to help someone.
  • Know your limits, and be realistic. Are you ready to ramp up your growth and supply to a major corporation?
  • Don’t use the word ‘help’ in your value proposition. Other words you can use include: build, develop, craft, transform, assemble, synthesize, strengthen, create, organize, produce.
  • To differentiate yourself, you need to answer the question ‘we are the only ones who…’
  • People do not want to take home collateral. You need to send it virtually afterwards.
  • What solutions do you offer? What problem do you solve? How do you improve their market value?
  • What are you best at? Once you are in the door you can cross sell other products and services.

If you are thinking about business growth opportunities, becoming a WBE and accessing the Supplier Diversity program can catapult you to the next level.

Be bold and grow your business!

Kath Britton

Kath Britton is a Contract Business Advisor for Women’s Enterprise Centre. Kath assesses loan applications and works directly with women business owners to provide one-on-one complimentary business guidance.

See all posts by Kath

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