The Real Impact of Supplier Diversity: How The City of Toronto is Helping Canadian Women Business Enterprises Scale Up and Succeed

The City of Toronto continues leading the way in supply chain diversification proving that change is possible in spite of restrictions in public procurement structures. Their Social Procurement Program was approved by the City Council in 2016 as a tool to reduce the poverty and improve wellbeing of diverse communities throughout the City. The City of Toronto became a WBE Canada Corporate Member in 2017 and has since then given remarkable procurement opportunities to certified Canadian Women Business Enterprises ultimately helping them grow and scale-up.

One of the businesses that has benefited greatly from City of Toronto’s Social Procurement Program is Robinson Global Management Inc. – a boutique multidisciplinary firm certified with WBE Canada in 2018, specializing in procurement consulting, advisory and training services.

The partnership between City of Toronto and Andrea Robinson, Robinson Global Management Inc., is one that is truly inspiring and exemplifies the business relationships and collaborations stemming from WBE Certification. It speaks volumes of the City’s strong focus on supporting women-owned businesses and giving them access to numerous procurement opportunities; it highlights Andrea Robinson’s courage and determination to grow her business – the barriers she faced as not only a young woman entrepreneur but also a visible minority and the need to keep fighting and keep moving forward despite the challenges.

At this year’s Annual Conference WBE Canada had an opportunity to have both, Mike Pacholok, Chief Procurement Officer, the City of Toronto and Andrea Robinson, President and CEO, Robinson Global Management Inc. on Hot Seats to talk about their partnership, give actionable strategies to women-owned businesses looking to doing business with the City of Toronto and some key tips to organizations considering starting their own supplier diversity initiative. Interviewed by Tony Chapman, host of the Chatter that Matters podcast.

Supplier Diversity is indeed a triple win – your organization wins by the inclusion of incredible and innovative diverse suppliers in your supply chain, diverse suppliers win by getting the opportunity to do business with larger buyers and grow their businesses, and lastly, the community wins by the number of jobs that are created by diverse supply chains!

WBE Canada is a Canadian nonprofit organization working closely with corporations and governments advocating for inclusion of Canadian WBEs in supply chains across Canada and abroad. To ensure diversity in supply chains WBE Canada works closely with its Corporate and Government members to provide necessary training and support to help establish and develop supplier diversity initiatives. Explore our Corporate/Government membership here.

Is your business majority owned, managed and controlled by woman/women? Learn how to certify your business as WBE (Women Business Enterprise).