GRDC News - April 2005

Kodak Earns Recognition from Women's Business Enterprise National Council -- New List of 15 "America's Top Corporations for Women's Business Enterprises" Announced
15 Corporations Attain World-Class Status in Supplier Diversity

In keeping with its leadership role in advancing the success of both women’s business enterprises (WBEs) and the corporations they serve, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) today announced its sixth annual listing of America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises.

The 2004 list recognizes a new list of fifteen corporations that not only have instituted programs to offer equal access for women-owned suppliers, but also have attained world-class quality in their supplier diversity programs featuring women’s business enterprises (WBEs). They are:

Altria Group Inc.
BellSouth Corporation
Cendant Car Rental Group.
Eastman Kodak Company
IBM Corporation
Merrill Lynch
Office Depot, Inc.
PepsiCo, Inc.
Pfizer, Inc.
SBC Communications
Shell Oil Company

Ten companies on the list are returning to this honor from last year. They are AT&T, Cendant Car Rental Group; Chevron Texaco; IBM Corporation, Office Depot, Inc.; PepsiCo, Inc.; SBC Communications; Shell Oil Company, TXU and UPS.

“This list of stellar companies recognize that women’s business enterprises are really Growth Market Enterprises – fueling the economy by offering superior quality products and services at competitive costs,” said Susan Phillips Bari, President of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. “Our list of corporations has created world-class programs to ensure that our Growth Market Enterprises get the fair chance they deserve to bid for and win the business.”

CEOs and other representatives of America ’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises will be honored at a special ceremony held in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

WBENC is the only organization that brings together both women’s business enterprises and corporations towards the mutual goal of improving marketing opportunities for talented women-owned businesses as vendors and suppliers to the nation’s top corporations.

It will be followed that evening by a presentation of WBENC’s 2005 Applause Awards and recognition of the 2005 Women-Owned Business Stars at the organization’s annual “Salute to Women’s Business Enterprises: The Enterprising Economy.” Over 800 leaders from the government, corporate and entrepreneurial arenas will gather to honor the recipients on Wednesday evening at the National Building Museum, Washington, DC.

Underscoring the contribution of these women’s business enterprises are data from the Center for Women’s Business Research, showing that WBEs have outpaced other U.S. businesses in both growth and economic contribution in the last five years. Privately-held women-owned businesses, with 51% woman ownership, have:

  • Grown in number by 14%, or twice the rate of all U.S. firms, to 6.2 million.
  • Generated sales that increased by 40% nationwide nearing $1.15 trillion.
  • Employed nearly 9.2 million workers in 2002, up 30% from 1997, which reflects a growth rate that is one-and one-half times the national average.

The WBENC Advantage

In 2005, WBENC’s goal will be to provide tools to enable WBEs to sustain their success, and structure their businesses to absorb growth efficiently and profitably. The average WBENC certified company has revenues of $7.5M, 48 employees and 12 years of experience. More than 60 WBE firms have revenues in excess of $100M, and six certified WBE companies have revenues in excess of $1 billion.

For more information, visit

WOMEN'S BUSINESS ENTERPRISE NATIONAL COUNCIL (WBENC) The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC, pronounced wee-bank), created in 1997, is dedicated to enhancing opportunities for women's business enterprises in America's major business markets. In partnership with women's business organizations throughout the United States, WBENC provides access to a national standard of certification, with the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College an Executive Management Program for women business owners, hosts Women in Business:  Sharing the Vision (the nation's largest conference and business fair for certified WBEs and corporate supplier diversity and procurement executives), and provides information certified women's businesses to purchasing managers through an Internet database - WBENClink.



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