Unilever, SupplierGATEWAY launches social procurement initiative to support female businesses

Unilever Nigeria has partnered with SupplierGATEWAY to launch its social procurement initiative aimed at increasing investment in female and disability-owned businesses in Nigeria.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of our Social Procurement in Unilever Nigeria as part of the global commitment to invest in diverse businesses worldwide. We class businesses as diverse if they are at least 51percent owned, managed, and controlled by groups underrepresented in business, such as women, people with disabilities, ethnic and racial or other minority groups,” Carl Cruz, managing director, Unilever West Africa stated.

According to Cruz, Unilever is collaborating with SupplierGATEWAY to provide Enhanced Digital Certification to Nigeria’s diverse business owners, as part of its equity diversity and inclusion journey in contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world.

“SupplierGATEWAY will aid in the certification of businesses owned by women and people with disabilities in Nigeria. We are also pleased to have WIMBIZ, United Nations Global Compact Nigeria Network and Nigeria Business Disability Network as our support partners on this initiative,” Cruz stated.

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Ade Solaru, CEO, SupplierGATEWAY, commended Unilever for its support and vision on sustainability to make a positive socioeconomic impact through the initiative. “Unilever’s vision has enabled us to deliver on our equity, diversity, and inclusion objectives by engaging with more diverse suppliers than ever before. Unilever is actively improving their capabilities in delivering on their corporate objectives,” Solaru said.

According to Solaru, SupplierGATEWAY is a provider of globally recognised Enhanced Digital Certification (EDC) that ensures everyone, including women and people with disabilities are exposed to new opportunities to fly high in their business without any gender or disability barricade.

On Unilever Nigeria’s resolve to empower women and people with disabilities, the Procurement Director, Obinna Emenyonu said the company will continue to take deliberate steps to ensure its supply chain is more diverse and inclusive.

“Through this initiative, we want to break the biases against women and people with disabilities in business. These biases are stopping them from maximising their full potential,” Obinna said.

Various speakers at the panel discussion session during the event applauded Unilever and SupplierGATEWAY for this initiative aimed at ensuring the inclusion of female and people with disabilities owned or led businesses in their supply chain. They described this as a major game changer in Nigeria’s business ecosystem.