AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/
- New program supports economic empowerment of women-owned businesses
- Developed in partnership with Great Lakes Women’s Business Council
- Nine women-owned businesses part of initial nine-month cohort
- Special celebration event featured Stellantis brand and purchasing executives
- More than 12 million women-owned businesses in U.S., representing 40% of all businesses, yet significant revenue and capital disparity exist
Stellantis marked the start of March and Women’s History Month with a special event to celebrate its new MentorWE development program.
Developed in partnership with the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, the MentorWE program is designed to prepare women-owned suppliers for future contracting and procurement opportunities while further expanding Stellantis’ support of initiatives to empower diverse suppliers.
“A key competitive differentiator of Stellantis’ commitment to diversity continues to be our leadership in providing new opportunities to grow diverse suppliers,” said Lisa Clark, Stellantis North America vice president of supplier risk management. “Modeled after our acclaimed National Black Supplier Development Program, this program brings together like-minded women who bring fresh ideas to advance the automotive industry in a way that only women can.”
MentorWE kicked off in the fall with an initial group of nine women-owned businesses (listed below) from diverse industries, including construction, transportation and marketing. The program offers business development modules taught by Stellantis executives and leading women entrepreneurs, with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
More than 12 million women-owned businesses help drive the nation’s economy, representing 40% of all U.S. business. Yet only a quarter of women business owners seek business financing and just 7% receive venture funds for their startups. In 2022, Stellantis sourced more than $1.7 billion to certified women-owned businesses.
“This program represents the next generation of business development, elevating Women Business Enterprise (WBE) businesses to new levels by combining peer group support, successful WBE and corporate group mentoring, and executive business education and counseling,” said Michelle Richards, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council founder and director. “Stellantis is a valuable partner in this initiative, which will assist WBE businesses to go from incremental to exponential growth as a result.”
The March 1 event, hosted by the Women of Stellantis business resource group and the supplier diversity team at the company’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, campus, marked the fifth business module of the nine-month development program, focused on leadership. Chrysler Brand CEO Chris Feuell delivered the keynote, titled “Unleash the Leader in You,” followed by a special panel discussion with key purchasing and supply chain leaders and networking.
The Women of Stellantis business resource group is one of 11 unique groups at the company. They represent a range of affinity communities and provide leadership on many staff networking and development programs, as well as engagement with diverse communities and issues.
For more information about Stellantis’ supplier diversity programs, visit www.supplierdiversitystellantis.com.
AW Preservation, LLC, Carmall Askew, CEO (Detroit): Waste management and remediation services
Freedom Construction and Consulting, Inc., CEO Carrie Wilson (Byron Center, Michigan): Construction
Swint Logistics Group, Inc., CEO Cherris Harris (Detroit): Transportation and warehousing
Nail-Rite Construction Company, Inc., CEO Kimle Nailer (Detroit): Construction, drywall finishing
Pure Visibility, Inc., CEO Linda Girard (Ann Arbor, Michigan): Digital marketing
Marshall Sales Inc., CEO Nancy Marshall (Detroit): Distributor of automotive and standard fasteners and installation tools
Jarvis Handling Equipment Co., CEO Susan Smith (Grand Rapids, Michigan): Material handling and industrial equipment distributor
Onyx Enterprise, Inc. CEO Tarolyn Buckles (Detroit): Civil engineering and construction firm
Palmer Moving Services, CEO Terri Palmer (Warren, Michigan): Transportation and warehousing