We know growing a minority business is difficult because we’ve been there. We’ve gone through those days of uncertainty and struggle and have come out on the other side better for it. While all that pressure and hard work led to tremendous success, we would have loved a helping hand during that time. That’s why we strive to mentor those within the minority business community, reaching out to smaller and growing MBEs that are working through the same growing pains we once did while aspiring to reach our current level of success.Read More
As a Minority Business Owner, you know firsthand what it has taken to found and grow your company. In the beginning, you are not only the owner but likely it’s head salesperson, chief marketing officer, HR department, and more; the list goes on. You know the hard work that it takes to be in a position to be a supplier to large corporations. You understand that being a diverse business brings certain benefits and advantages to your clients and you know how to demonstrate them. If you have taken full advantage of MBE certification, you are also aware of all that the NMSDC has to offer in order to help you grow your business.Read More
Certification through the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC) brings many benefits. Most MBEs regardless of size see the benefit of attending the larger events such as the national conference, but I have noticed over the years that more of the smaller MBEs take advantage of our seminars and workshops for valuable training and networking. It’s a shame but I don’t generally see many of my fellow Class 4 MBE members attending these same local events, and it’s time we change that.Read More
Networking. We are advised to do it, and with good reason: because it works. Most of us understand that, but do we truly understand how valuable and critical that support system is to business success?Read More
As the year end draws closer, I’ve been reflecting, and I want to focus this post on the value and power of being involved with your local NMSDC council. Over the past three and a half years of being active with our local council, the WRMSDC, I have had the chance to witness firsthand what positive things can come from just a little time and dedication. Being involved beyond simply getting certified is the key to getting the most out of your certification.Read More
Smart companies appreciate the benefits of a diverse supplier base, and are recognized for their supplier diversity initiatives. There are different levels of supplier diversity programs at these corporations but almost all Fortune 1000, and many other businesses of various sizes, have some sort of program from basic to comprehensive. As an MBE, a corporate program can be a valuable source of information, and the type of program and support that they provide can also be a clue as to their level of commitment to working with diverse businesses. Sometimes working with a company as they embark on implementing diversity goals, develop a program, and begin to identify MBE suppliers can lead to opportunity, while other times it is more beneficial to work with a more established program and reap the benefits of their experience, advice, and assistance.Read More
The Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council’s (WRMSDC) Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC) held a General Assembly hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on June 6, 2014. The event, “Think like a Corporate Buyer,” included a panel of Corporate Supplier Diversity Professionals from major corporations as well as breakout sessions, and was attended by dozens of area MBEs. The panel consisted of:
Networking, we are reminded of its importance but what does it really mean? Traditionally, networking meant meeting someone in person and exchanging business cards but in today’s business world, it takes on broader meanings and encompasses much more. It’s about more than just getting leads; you can also learn and grow as a professional through your network. It’s about developing a relationship and sharing useful information, advice or assistance, and oftentimes business opportunities grow out of that. Networking isn’t something that you only do in person at events either. These days, online networks are just as important. Whether you share your own knowledge with others or learn from someone else’s experiences, networking this way leads to good things.
A few weeks ago I was on a conference call planning for an upcoming panel at a diversity event that we were all a part of. On the call were people from the corporate diversity office of a large global company, their procurement department, and several other MBEs, such as ourselves. One of the procurement people made a comment that I thought was really interesting. He said that he doesn’t attend diversity events very often, and being on a panel like this one was a rarity for him. If a diverse supplier wants to meet and impress him, it won’t usually be able to be done at a diversity event. He stressed that MBE companies also need to attend events in their own industry, which is something he was much more likely to attend.
I would like to share my experience at an event I was fortunate to attend last week- a hands on training, Duarte VisualStory™ Workshop sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. This exclusive education session was hosted by Dr. Sally Saba, Executive Director of National Supplier Diversity for Kaiser Permanente and presented with the help of the Supplier Diversity team. Scott Vowels, the President/CEO and his team of Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council did a wonderful job coordinating the event and generously extending it to the larger MBE community. One of NCMSDC’s strong beliefs is “training is valuable for all businesses, regardless of scope or capacity.” What a great opportunity!