Global supplier diversity programs saw an increase from 17 percent in 2021 to 20 percent in 2022. (supplier.io, 2022) We know what drives supplier diversity in the United States, but what drives supplier diversity in European countries?
Supplier diversity legislation was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2000 under the Local Government Act. (Suarez, 2022) The goal of the legislation was to “promote the social, economic, and environmental “well-being” of their communities through diverse procurement practices”. (Suarez, 2022)
The French passed legislation in 2006 that mirrored the legislation in the UK when they passed the Socially Responsible Public Procurement practices (SRPP). Sweden followed in 2007 by passing legislation to prohibit discrimination based on nationality. The Swedish act included full process transparency in the procurement process to ensure equality. (Suarez, 2022) The European Union published Buying Social: A Guide to Taking Account of Social Considerations in Public Procurement in 2010 to help businesses understand SRPP actions and examples in case studies.
Several European organizations have helped promote supplier diversity and economic inclusion in the global supply chain. The Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) seminars have aided in educating businesses on supplier diversity and in learning to adapt programs to various industries. (Suarez, 2022)
Due to immigration and migration, The European Union has become more diverse. The Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK), a nonprofit organization, has been instrumental in supporting Ethnic Minority Owned Businesses (EMB) through networking, match making suppliers and global corporations, and education. (Motley, 2022) According to MSDUK research, there are more than 300,000 EMBs in the UK alone. (Motley, 2022)
Two other nonprofits that have aided international firms with diversifying the supply chain are WEConnect International for Europe and European Migrant Entrepreneurship network project (EMEN). WEConnect International for Europe works to identify, educate, register and certify women run businesses outside the United States. The group can provide a list of nonprofit organizations in the European Union that are actively involved in migrant and refugee entrepreneurship, integration and procurement. The goal of EMEN is to build support for Europe’s migrant entrepreneurs. In kind, the migrant entrepreneurs will support local economies and reinforce integration
The number of global supplier diversity programs are increasing. A survey by CVM Solutions in 2019 of supplier diversity professionals found that 29 percent of the organizations had a global supplier diversity program. (Motley, 2022) Of the companies in the survey, 44 percent planned to start a global program. In 2022, The Hackett Group issued the results of their recent study on European countries with supplier diversity programs. The UK led the results, but many others are not far behind like, Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands (The Hackett Group, 2022).
Supplier diversity in Europe is a wonderful way to increase the economic power of Europe’s economy and support inclusion. The Hackett Group study showed that supplier diversity top performers outperformed their peers when it came to external economic impact, local community impact, innovation from diverse suppliers, brand enhancement, and diversity program savings (The Hackett Group, 2022).