Small and minority businesses are often at a disadvantage in finding and negotiating contracts, competing with much larger companies with more resources and better access to the market.
We benefit from awarding contracts to diverse suppliers. Small companies work in different ways, can be more flexible and creative and they respond quickly when our requirements change.
Our supplier diversity programme helps small businesses understand our requirements and build their capabilities. Most of our work in this area is in the US where we are legally required to allocate a percentage of our spending to small businesses and those run by women, war veterans and other disadvantaged groups.
We support individuals and small companies by:
- Partnering with organisations that represent small or minority owned businesses to provide targeted training and advice to their members.
- Mentoring and coaching individuals on our programme, helping to improve their business planning and marketing capabilities
- Giving presentations at events aimed at small businesses. We give practical tips for working with large companies and advice on meeting AstraZeneca’s procurement requirements
- Introducing individuals on our programme to people in our procurement team
- Working with AstraZeneca employees, particularly those involved in procurement decisions, so that they understand the benefits of working with small and minority businesses
- Encouraging small and disadvantaged businesses to work together to strengthen their capabilities and meet the requirements of contracts that would otherwise be too big
- Supporting and encouraging small and diverse businesses until they are successful enough to leave our programme
What are you doing to support small and diverse businesses in countries other than the US?
We know that supplier diversity is an important issue in other countries. We are in contact with organisations that represent small and diverse businesses in Canada, Brazil, South Africa and China to understand changing legal requirements and build new partnerships to expand our supplier diversity programme.
Do small and diverse businesses meet the same quality and ethical standards?
Yes. Small and diverse businesses must meet the same global quality and ethical standards as any other business in order to win work with AstraZeneca. The aim of our supplier diversity programme is to help business owners understand and meet these requirements. But we will only award work to those that can prove their business has the necessary capabilities.
What's next in this section
Read details of our 2012 performance.Read more