A great deal of cheers and celebration were heard in-house last week when McElroy Translation received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise. After almost 3 years of being women owned and operated, we finally had the paperwork to back it up.
But what exactly does this mean for our clients?
Many companies have supplier diversity programs, which, in part, ensure that they promote diversity inside and outside of the company. Organizations are able to advocate for diversity outside of their company by purchasing from or contracting with minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBE). Motivating factors for companies to establish these programs include:
Diversity – Minority owned businesses are diverse, allowing for fresh ideas and points of view that can be tactically advantageous in a global marketplace. Sourcing from minority-owned businesses can also be an asset when reaching out to a diverse customer base. Corporations with supplier diversity programs not only seek out MWBE companies, but look for companies that are also committed to working with MWBE companies. In addition, diverse suppliers can act as powerful advocates for the company sourcing from them, especially since some diverse suppliers are politically active in their communities.
Economic Development – Supporting MWBEs stimulates job creation and economic development. Establishing contracts with MWBEs helps your enterprise grow, and it provides their communities or the market segments you are employing with additional disposable income, which could be spent on your corporation's goods and services. As minority populations grow, minority-run and owned businesses will be a substantial part of our economy. Helping MWBEs grow creates competition for non-MWBE suppliers. This could lead to lower prices, more choices and better quality supplies in the long term as more businesses compete for the same contracts. Eventually, as the diversification extends to emerging countries in addition to communities within America, the price and quality further improves.
Social responsibility – Working with diverse suppliers gives a company a favorable public image and is seen as a form of corporate social responsibility. This increases the satisfaction of the company's stakeholders. Many businesses apply the same process they do when recruiting a diverse workforce to attract and retain suppliers that reflect the demographic of their customer base or of the community in which the corporation or company operates.
Supplier opportunities – A business with majority minority ownership can be recognized as an official minority business supplier for corporate businesses and government agencies. Federal contractors are expected to subcontract a portion of their award to diverse suppliers. Because of this, a minority business will sometimes be preferred when it comes to bids for government and special contracts.
When working with minority- or women-owned businesses, keep in mind that the state or federal government must recognize the company as a minority business in order to take advantage of special benefits. This is called a "minority business enterprise certification." There are multiple online resources to learn more about starting a supplier diversity program at your company. See Supplier Diversity best practices for a list I found to be informative.