June 16, 2023 —
Paul D. Larson, Asper School of Business Professor in Supply Chain Management, along with Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada) and Jack D. Kulchitsky at the University of Calgary, have secured $893,000 in funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) for their “Fast-Track to Supply Chains” project.
The project builds on Larson’s earlier collaborations with Kulchitsky and WBE Canada, which yielded two 2021 reports on supplier diversity from suppliers’ perspective and buyer’s viewpoint. It also draws on a 1998 Larson and Kulchitsky article in Industrial Marketing Management, “Single Sourcing and Supplier Certification: Performance and Relationship Implications” that looked into performance and relationships in industrial supply chains.
The project aims to understand the barriers preventing women-owned businesses from accessing supply chains and to create tools to address those barriers. With an overarching goal of supporting local, regional and Canada-wide economic growth, Larson hopes to address practical gaps identified by previous research.
“I am tremendously inspired by this opportunity to merge traditional supplier certification, which focuses on capabilities, with diversity certification, which focuses on empowering women and other important communities, such as Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ+ people and visible minorities,” says Larson. “While diversity opens doors, capability closes deals.”
The grant was announced in March 2023 by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, who highlighted the hard-work and dedication of Canadian women entrepreneurs. She expressed her hope that the funding will mark a positive step toward ending gender bias and helping women from all walks of life bring their talents and skills to market for the benefit of all Canadians.
Working with Larson and Kulchitsky, WBE Canada, a national nonprofit organization connecting Canadian women-owned businesses to corporate and government supply chains, will engage its community and partner organizations to facilitate the research.