Centre for Internet & Society

Procurement policies, both public and private, can play a significant role in determining inclusive market participation, particularly for informal women workers and their collective enterprises.

Executive Summary

Various factors, including pricing, compliance and transparency in systems, can determine how and upto what extent women are able to utilise procurement platforms. With the emergence of a new, digital economy, procurement platforms (public and private) too have adopted technology-enabled systems. For informal women workers and their collective enterprises, the ability to engage with these interfaces also determines if and to what extent they can link with the supply chain.

In this report, we map the experiences of women’s collective enterprises (owned by informal women workers), particularly their capacities to use digital procurement platforms and the concurrent challenges that they face. The challenges highlighted in this report present an opportunity for procurement policies to deliberate and adapt, so that women workers can also utilise these platforms.

As a Women’s Enterprise Support System, SEWA Cooperative Federation was able to study eight women’s collective enterprises - owned, managed and used by informal women workers - with respect to procurement.

We interviewed board members, managers, and members of these collective enterprises, across sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, services, transport, and were able to understand key issues that emerged.

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