Supplier Diversity 101
If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me
Our CEO + Founder Shares His Journey to Supplier Diversity
Growing up in the inner city of Chicago on its dangerous West Side, Robinson LaRueCo Consulting (RLC) Founder and CEO Lamont Robinson knows well the challenges of living in an under-served community. As a child, he remembers wondering why he never saw a business owner who looked like him and over time began to believe it just wasn't possible.
Diversity Equals Sustainability
An Interview with our President of Supplier Diversity + Community Engagement
According to Jesse Crawford, diversity is sustainability because of the different values and benefits brought to the table when we look at attributes such as gender, age, ethnicity, experiences and differences of thought. Everyone benefits from those different perspectives if we can truly appreciate and capitalize on what those contributions bring.
Financial Gains of Supplier Diversity
An Interview with our President of Finance + Operations
"Knowing a corporation needs to meet a diverse supplier spend raises all competition because it requires all viable competitors to up their game and think outside the box, by either offering savings or doing affordability initiatives to reduce their own costs in order to better compete with diverse businesses that may be more agile," says Adrianne Norwood. "Supplier diversity forces people to get creative, which is a win all around."
why does supplier diversity matter?
by Kristin Bentley
As we celebrated our first National Small Business Week in May, we commemorated the 30 million U.S. small businesses that have created almost 59 million jobs. One third of these are women-owned, 29 percent are minority-owned, and almost ten percent are veteran-owned.
Unemployment rates for our African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American communities, which are historically underserved, are also at a record low. This progress may be associated with the rising awareness of supplier diversity programs and all they have to offer.
Supplier diversity initiatives not only provide valuable incentives to corporations such as improving its bottom line and brand appearance, but they also support local diverse businesses by creating jobs.
Examples of Supplier Diversity Certifications
Diverse suppliers include those that are at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by women, minority, LGBT, veteran, or disabled-owned business owners. Qualifying businesses can self-certify directly or seek a third party organization, such as the national councils associated with each certification.
Among the major diversity certifications are:
1. Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE)
In 2018, women-owned businesses reached 12.3 million, which has increased by 58 percent since 2007. These businesses employ 9.2 million people and earn a revenue of $1.8 trillion. The specific requirements to be considered a WBE are set by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
2. Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE)
When President Nixon signed an executive order to create the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency in 1969, our minority population was less than 40 million. Today, that number has more than tripled to 129 million. Minority-owned businesses have created more than 6.3 million jobs and generated over $1 trillion in revenue. Requirements to be a MBE are set by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).
3. LGBT-owned Business Enterprise (LGBTBE)
Most LGBT businesses have been in business for at least 12 years, well above the national average. The estimated 1.4 million business owners have earned $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy. "This groundbreaking report proves our NGLCC philosophy that
economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in developing a diverse and inclusive society," said NGLCC Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell. Requirements to be a LGBTBE are set by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).
4. Veteran-owned Small Business (VOSB)
A VOSB-certified business is given top priority for government contracts and subcontracting opportunities. The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 was created to offer additional assistance to veterans who own businesses. The federal government is required to award 23% of all contracts to small businesses, and a VOSB certification gives you access to an additional 3% of federal government contracts and subcontracts. Though a small percentage, this equals billions of dollars of work every year. Requirements to be a VOSB are set by the Vets First Certification Program.
5. Disabled-owned Business Enterprise (DOBE)
With this certification, disabled-owned businesses have increased access to contracts offered by large corporations and market advantages over competitors. As a group that is considered to be ‘disadvantaged’ in the U.S., disabled-owned businesses are often more attractive to large businesses involved in national, state, and local supply chains. Requirements to be a DOBE are set by the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN).