Research & Advocacy

Exploring the Support, Promotion and Access of Women Entrepreneurs in Advocacy and Competitiveness on Government Procurement

Through preliminary research conducted, the BWA previously identified that one of the key challenges women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs face in South Africa is accessing government procurement opportunities.

As government procurement can have broader social and economic implications, and thus be used to promote social, industrial or environmental policy goals, it has implications for promoting greater women participation in the South African economy, and closing the gender gap. On the onset of the research conducted, it was hypothesised that women-owned businesses face certain barriers or are potentially less competitive and familiar with regards to tendering for and receiving government contracts.

As part of the three-year programme entitled Exploring the Support, Promotion and Access of Women Entrepreneurs in Advocacy and Competitiveness on Government Procurement – a programme aimed to increase knowledge, skills and ability for women in business to better engage with the government supply chain – the research report entitled “The Current Status of Policies, Practices, Measures and Barriers regarding Women-owned Businesses in Government Procurement” was commissioned. As the first empirical research in this field, the report provides initial background research on the international experience of women-owned businesses in public procurement, an environmental scanning of the greater legislative and regulatory framework of public procurement with specific reference to women, as well as insights into the status of women-owned businesses in public procurement spending, relevant barriers hindering greater participation of women, as well as measures to address these challenges.

The research included information collection from relevant stakeholders through two survey tools, including engagements with organs of state [on the demand side] as well as women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs that have experience with the government procurement system [on the supply side], to inform a fact-based research approach that will support a well-informed, relevant and strategic campaign of the BWA towards necessary policy and legal recommendations for greater women participation in government procurement.

South African Women in Leadership Census

Exploring the Support, Promotion and Access of Women Entrepreneurs in Advocacy and Competitiveness on Government Procurement

The Census represents a real head count of women in leadership positions [Executive Managers, Directors, CEOs and Chairperson] in all companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange [JSE], their subsidiaries and State Owned Enterprises [SOEs]. The data is also bench marked against data from government departments which highlights the participation of women within the public service. An international comparative analysis is also included.

The Women in Leadership Census may be purchased from our 2004 – 2012 can be purchased from the online store.

EWEP (Economic Women Empowerment Program)

The BWA has long pledged its support to strengthening the role and recognition of women engaged in economic activity. Taking this commitment to the next level, the BWA is now spearheading Gender Advocacy, specifically linked to developing the content of the new Women Empowerment and Gender Equity (WEGE) Bill and to creating a Charter for Women’s Empowerment (CWEP) to be adopted by economic actors, committing them to developing a pipeline for women, through fast tracking programmes, growth and promotional opportunities that will level the workplace playing field.

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