What Are The Different Types Of Supplier Diversity Certifications?

For a great many people, the notion of diversity and inclusion is a 21st-century trend stemming from recent events and increased awareness about equality issues. In fact, diversity, specifically supplier diversity, originated in the US championed by President Kennedy. It really took flight when President Nixon created the Office of Minority Business Enterprise in 1971, which promotes the development of specific programs for minority-owned businesses contracting with federal agencies.


Since then, many countries have caught up on supplier diversity through legislation designed to ensure equality in the supply chain, not just concerning government contracts.


Several certification programs exist to allow qualifying businesses access to federal tenders. Organizations in contract with a federal agency are also required to subcontract to minority-owned businesses if they are a large company or if the estimated dollar value of the base contract exceeds $700,000.


Let’s take a look at the different kinds of supplier diversity certifications businesses can obtain and their benefits.



Supplier Diversity Certifications



National Minority Supplier Development Council


NMSDC’s role is to match businesses owned by US citizens who are Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native Americans to its network of corporate members. To date, 13,000 certified minority-owned companies offer their products and services.


Women’s Business Enterprise National Council


Founded in 1997, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) offers a national certification for women-owned businesses. The main mission is to assist female entrepreneurs of color in becoming more competitive and thereby increase their chances for inclusion in supply chains.


Per the WBENC 2019 annual report, over 15,600 businesses have been certified.


National Women’s Business Council


The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) was established in 1988 by H.R. 5050,

the Women’s Business Ownership Act. It is only because of the NWBC that women were no longer required to have a male relative cosign a business loan. 


According to the NWBC 2020 report, as of 2019, 42% of US businesses are women-owned, generating a revenue slightly shy of $2 trillion. Their policy priorities focus on access to capital and credit, federal procurement, and venture capital funding.


National Gay & Lesbian Chamber Of Commerce


Over 300 corporate partners support LGBTQ-owned businesses, such as IBM, Motorola, Wells Fargo, and many other big brands. NGLCC is the exclusive certifying body for businesses owned by LGBT individuals.


Veterans Certifications Programs


Several programs exist to support veteran-owned businesses. Vets First prioritizes service-disabled veterans who own a small business.


The Disabled Veterans Business Alliance started in California and is now certifying nationwide, with a focus on helping businesses obtain government contracts.


The National Veteran Business Development Council is the US largest certifier.


United States Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce


The program serves as a platform for Hispanic-owned businesses and promotes economic growth for nearly 5 million companies.


Disadvantaged Business Enterprise


Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals benefit from the program, namely:

  • African Americans,
  • Hispanics,
  • Native Americans,
  • Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans,
  • Women presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged



Why Supplier Diversity Certification Matters



Supplier diversity certifications offer great growth opportunities both for minority-owned businesses that seek them and organizations that work toward more inclusive supply chains.


Official certifications offer the legitimacy that self-certifications lack. Deciding to enter your business in the system will allow you to conclude more profitable partnerships and grant access to a vast network of corporate profiles.


For organizations looking to gain a competitive edge, value chain diversity makes a significant social-economic impact and promotes innovation. Inclusion also allows brands to demonstrate commitment to community growth and penetrate new markets.



Simplifying Supplier Diversity Certifications With Source Intelligence



Access to accurate business data is key to successful diversity. Manufacturers and organizations, in general, have more and more complex supply chains. Being able to identify minority-owned businesses down the chain helps gain access to enterprise customers who have an inclusivity program and with which it may otherwise be difficult or impossible to do business.


Source Intelligence’s platform offers a supplier diversity program that gathers information from your suppliers regarding diversity certifications and documentation.


Our AI-powered solution centralizes all the data you need and can be customized to match your needs and objectives.


Request a demo today and seize the opportunities for growth, innovation, and profitability.


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