Supplier diversity was recognised at the outset of Expo2020 Dubai as a key requirement for the project. As a result the procurement team developed a plan to achieve this, including market research, targeted outreach, and a communications strategy to engage small businesses owned by minorities, women and UAE nationals. The work included reassessing how procurement packages were bundled to see if opportunities could be increased for diverse suppliers, setting goals, reporting on spend, and reviewing standard contract language in case it was a barrier for small firms. A target was set that 20% of contract value should go to SMEs, and up to March 2019 AED2.4bn worth of contracts had been awarded to small businesses. An online marketplace (OMP) was built especially for Expo 2020 with one of the largest ecosystems of buyers and suppliers – more than 35,000 – in the MENA region. The OMP allows businesses in the Expo2020 supply chain and beyond to connect, collaborate and compete for tender opportunities globally, as well as enabling buyers to track and measure goals.
This is an outstanding example of how to execute a clear strategy to leverage upon supplier diversity. They have converted their objectives with some useful best practices and focused efforts successfully. A great example of ethical purchasing.