What is Supplier Diversity?
Supplier Diversity is a business program that encourages the use of diverse-owned businesses such as: minority certified and historically underutilized business vendors, as suppliers.
The purpose of this program is to educate about different options and opportunities available for these diverse owned businesses. These events help start and develop relationships with buyers from major corporations.
In order for a diverse-owned business to be able to take advantage of this program, it must become certified. The certification process is in many cases unknown to many entrepreneurs, and there is a need in communities across the nation to find useful and practical information related to the process and the steps to become a certified organization. Join us for our next Supplier Diversity Seminar and find out if there is a certification that can benefit your company and get educated on the process.
Series sponsored by:
If you are a diverse supplier that wants to connect with corporate America, we can connect you with the appropriate certifying entity. There are numerous agencies to register with, but you should certify only with those certifying bodies that you want to do business with. You must identify if you want to do business with private sector, public sector, local or national.
Minority Business Certification
What is Certification?
Certification is the process of verifying that a business is owned, operated and controlled by more than 51% minority individuals or women. The documentation required will depend on the structure of the company. For example: The documentation required from a company that has incorporated will differ from the documentation required by a partnership or sole proprietorship; and also, the information required from a distributor will differ from that required by a manufacturer. In general, an agency will request proof of ethnicity, all professional and business licenses, resumes, financial statements, tax documents, stock certificates/proof of capital investment. An on-site visit to the company may also be required.
Most agencies recognize "minority group members" as US citizens who are:
· Hispanic American
· African American
· Native American
· Asian-Pacific American
· Asian-Indian American
Other agencies also certify these businesses:
· Woman owned
· LGBT owned
· Veteran owned
· Disable veteran owned
· Disable owned
What is the Value of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification?
Thousands of progressive corporations as well as government agencies have positioned minority supplier development as a strategy to create jobs and wealth in the minority community. They have set goals to increase the percentage of purchasing dollars spent with diverse owned businesses each year. Certification insures that a company meets criteria that determine minority business status. It also gets them into minority business directories and databases used by corporations for referrals.
A common misconception is that being certified provides a competitive advantage, particularly as it relates to price. This is usually not the case in the public sector. You should ask a certifying agency before you spend the time to complete their paperwork what advantages your firm will receive if certified.
The National Minority Supplier Development Council has 24 affiliate regional councils nationwide. In Central and North Florida, there is the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (FMSDC) and in South Florida, there is the Florida Regional Minority Business Council (FRMBC).
The Women's Business Enterprise National Council is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations to provide its world class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country.
Local and State Government
Those government agencies with Minority and/or Women-owned Business Enterprises programs usually have a certification program. In Florida, some agencies accept other government agency certifications and NMSDC certification. Most accept only their own. For instance, the City of Orlando will accept no other certification. You must call the government agency to find out those certifications they will accept. There are usually goals for M/WBE participation on construction contracts, but goals are not usually applicable to professional services, IT or procurement.
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce supports and advocates for diversity and inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)-owned businesses. Membership is local, but certification is national. Become a member of your local affiliate chamber to not only leverage local membership benefits, but also take advantage of having your national certification fee waived as a benefit of membership.
The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce is the oldest and largest organization representing Asian American and Asian American-related groups in business, sciences, the arts, sports, education, public and community services. USPAACC’s certification is recognized by national corporations, and is as thorough and complex as other well-known minority certification processes conducted by national organizations.
Corporate Procurement Group of the Year Award
(Supplier Diversity Traveling Cup)
The HCCMO recognizes a company with the Corporate Procurement Group of the Year Award (Supplier Diversity Traveling Cup), sponsored by Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, to recognize a corporation that has excelled in supplier diversity.
The award is presented at the HCCMO's Annual Leadership Installation Luncheon. The award goes to the corporate procurement group who has done the most, overall, in increasing their spend with Hispanic and other diverse suppliers, while putting in place initiatives to assist these suppliers during that year. The winner gets to enjoy and proudly display the award for one year until the next winner is announced.
For purposes of this award, the following categories are recognized as diverse-owned suppliers:
- Minority-owned businesses (African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American)
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
- Woman-owned businesses
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered businesses
- Veteran, Service Disabled Veteran, and Disabled-owned businesses
A corporation’s supplier diversity efforts, in the following five areas, will be considered in selecting the award winner:
- Spending with diverse suppliers
- Mentoring of diverse suppliers
- Financial assistance provided to diverse suppliers
- Training of diverse suppliers
- Diverse business community outreach
Nominations for the Award are done in November. All corporations that are nominated will be contacted in the beginning of the year for more details in regards to their diversity efforts.
We look forward to your participation!