Executive Summary / Introduction
When Race for Opportunity was started almost 20 years ago one of the key foundational pillars of the campaign was supporting ethnic minority owned businesses and entrepeneurs to access supply chain opportunities. Our recent Race at the Top report spotlighted a growing number of of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people who were opting for self=employment either by desire or necessity as a route to employment. One of the key recommendations we made in the Race at the Top report was for ' the government to use its procurement spending power to ensure that businesses who tender for public contracts can demonstrate a commitment to race diversity within their supply chain.'
“ Increased job aspirations must result in more vibrant and economically empowered communities ”
This responsible business action isn't just about engaging with more diverse service and goods suppliers. Members of procurement teams can also act as mentors and coaches to BAME-led SME's in order to share advice and information on their procurement practices, enabling these SME's to more successfully compete for public and private sector contracts in the future.
The factsheet focuses on BAME Women as we believe with all the focus on enterprise it is important that we recognise that all thriving ethnic minority businesses- owned by both men and women - will contribute to increased employment and greater opportunities to utilise skills and talents. Additional benefits to communities will include increased and raised aspirations, an increase in the volume of local job opportunities which in turn must result in more vibrant and economically empowered communities.
Race for Opportunity Benchmarking Survey
The Race for Opportunity campaign has tracked employer engagment and initiatives around supplier diversity for several years. Its network of employers have understood the benefits of ensuring their supplier divesity policies and procedures promote supplier paricipation that reflects the organisation's diverse customer base and the diverse business community. However supplier diversity has been a consistent challenge for companies that have entered the Race for Opportunity annual benchmark survey. The trends captured over the three years demostrate that whilst overall company commitment to supplier diversity remains over 50% , the implementation has been much harder to achieve and outreach even more limited.