Be Prepared

This week, just about everyone on our team took part in First Aid Training. As an organization that welcomes the public into our office, we believe that having first aiders on staff is not only good customer service, it is also about being prepared.

Two weeks ago we hosted a Supplier Diversity Canada luncheon event to help women entrepreneurs prepare for opportunities that may result from some large sporting events that will be taking place in Manitoba over the next few years. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is first up next June and July. Grey Cup 2015 will take place in November and the Canada Summer Games are scheduled for Winnipeg and the surrounding area in 2017.

Supplier Diversity is is a business program that encourages the use of women-owned, aboriginal-owned, minority-owned, LGBT-owned businesses and historically underutilized small business vendors as suppliers. Its goal is to encourage corporations and government agencies to include these businesses in their supply chain. Firms that have declared their commitment to supplier diversity see it as a way to enrich their pool of suppliers which in turn helps to solidify their own competitiveness and resilience.

While some things are bound to catch you by surprise, there is certainly lots of time to consider the opportunities that may arise from these sporting events and assess whether your business might be a great fit to deliver a product or service.

Step 1: Add your information to the Supplier Diversity database. There is no fee to do this and it is a great starting point for building relationships not only for the FIFA Women’s World Cup but also the other major sporting events that will be taking place in our region over the next few years. The greatest opportunities may result from the supporting events and activities that result from games and not necessarily directly with FIFA. It will be important to think about where your business would fit into the overall picture.

Step 2: Learn more about Supplier Diversity programs in Canada such asWBE Canada and WEConnect International.

Step 3: Contact the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba if you would like to brainstorm potential opportunities for your business or to learn more about what it takes to ensure you are prepared to take advantage of opportunities that arise.

– Alison Kirkland