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Leveraging Public Procurement opportunities for Women’s Economic Empowerment

The project with the support from ‘Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’ is demonstrating and unveiling public procurement as a powerful tool for promoting women’s economic empowerment. PCI through this project envisions at increasing the presence and market share of community collectives in the space of public procurement by successfully exhibiting capable models of women-led enterprises (WLEs). PCI has undertaken an extensive nationwide landscaping of WLEs which are directly/indirectly partnering with government departments & catering to their needs for generating livelihoods. This exercise was objectively designed for collating existing best practices and circularizing the same for enrichment of state missions in promoting livelihoods for women collectives.

There are few existing models of WLEs operating at various states, evidently catering to the requirements of government. The projects technical support at the national level intently works at creating conducive policy environment by emboldening their presence and enabling other states to replicate similar models for economic advancement of rural women through government supplies. For advocating policy shifts and adoption of capable WLE models engaged in public procurement PCI would prepare an aggregated compendium detailing the SRLM-promoted WLEs whose products & services are being procured/availed by the government. By means of this comprehensive document the SRLMs would be able to meticulously analyse the best practices being carried out under enterprise promotion across the nation & draw learnings from them for its replication in their respective SRLM.

Subsequently, the project would work for strengthening & up-scaling existing models in few focused geographies. As a vital part of the project PCI would also prototype and demonstrate newer models for income generation of women collectives by leveraging public procurement opportunities. For showcasing the two different models, the existing proven models of WLEs and the newer ones PCI would develop 2 comprehensive playbooks.

This initiative is distinctive as the project through its design recognises the role of women collective’s market penetration by accessing government contracts which typically is an area dominated by larger players. Additionally, the project strategizes to enable WLEs achieve market expansion, by graduating CLFs to becoming public suppliers and further as open market suppliers.

Therefore, the results of this initiative in distant future would observe a gender inclusive economy growth and development of women-owned businesses. Furthermore, this initiative contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), SDG 5 on gender equality, and SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth. The project through its strategies of creating procurement opportunities for women collectives, lead them to self-creation of decent jobs and income opportunities, which in turn promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth.