Welcome to the third article in our Coupa Supplier Diversity Series.
If you are a minority business owner, you are riding a roller coaster. Some days your operations run smoothly, employees knock it out of the park, and new business flows in. Other days, you fight for financing, struggle to get five minutes in front of your best prospects and hunt frantically for new sources for qualified leads.
You are not alone. The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) reports that companies like yours are powering the country’s future economic growth. Your business is part of the 30% of American companies that are minority-owned, employ over 7.2 million people, and generate over $1 trillion a year in revenue. But it is tough out there, and the past several months haven’t made things any easier. The business closures and social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 have disproportionately impacted minority-owned businesses like yours.
How does a minority entrepreneur balance the opportunities and the challenges? At Coupa, we recommend that you consider applying for a Minority Business Enterprise Certification (MBE Certification).
How does it work? Become visible.
To keep spending in line with shifting demographic trends in the United States, the government has created tax incentives for large corporations to encourage contracting with minority businesses. They have also set supplier diversity goals that require companies to spend at a certain threshold to be considered for large government contracts. Think about what that means to you. The buyers that you are trying to connect with are motivated to connect with you too. The problem is that they don’t know who you are. The MBE Certification increases your visibility and opens doors for you.
Who is eligible? Straight-forward guidelines.
- Business is at least 51% Minority-owned and controlled.
- Minorities include Asians, Hispanics, LGBT, American Indians, Black, and Veteran-owned businesses.
- Minority owner must be a U.S. Citizen or legal resident.
- Minority owner must serve as either President or CEO (if both exist in corporate structure)
- Minority owner must have ownership and have been in her ‘officer’ position for at least six months.
What are the benefits? Connections and education.
In addition to providing you with access to highly-qualified, large scale business opportunities, the MBE Certification offers you the following:
- Access – Networking opportunities with top purchasing agents across the country and participation in exclusive business generating events.
- Awareness – Exposure for your business in MBE regional and national Minority Supplier Databases.
- Professional development – Mentorship and business training for CEOs and management teams.
- Community – Access to a vibrant network of peers to share information and explore mutually beneficial business partnerships.
Are you interested in learning more? The 2020 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange is happening on October 26 – October 29. NMSDC is dedicated to helping minority-owned business leaders make the most of MBE Certifications. In 2017, the NMSDC connected 1,595 corporations with 12,000 nationally- certified MBEs. These connections yielded over $400 billion in revenue and benefited over 2.25 million people who were either actively or indirectly employed by these companies.
To learn more about the benefits of MBE Certification and the NMSDC, don’t miss the 2020 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange October 26 – October 29.