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A Buying Shame

The number of companies buying from women-owned businesses is disgraceful.

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This story appears in the August 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Fifty percent of American corporations still spend less than 3 percent of their purchasing dollars with businesses owned by women, according to a Center for Women's Business Research study. Will things ever change? "It's going to take a general education campaign," says Susan Phillips Bari, president of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and sponsor of the study, "We all live within comfort zones. Most purchasing offices-in business and in government-tend to do 'business as usual.'"

To help educate corporations, Bari says, "every single woman business owner should be aware of what is going on in the [subcontracting] market and do what she can to provide information to clients she deals with about the benefits of buying from women and minority-owned businesses." WBENC does this through its annual search for "America's Top Corporations," which recognizes corporations that do business with women-owned companies.

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