Economy Brings Minority Business Certification Into Focus
“No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.” -Brian Tracy
Each year thousands of entrepreneurs regularly travel across the country to attend supplier diversity and opportunity fairs. As the national economy slowly takes hold, many are checking the status of their minority business certifications, renewing old business contacts, getting insights from keynote speakers and doubling their networking efforts in anticipation of an upbeat 2013.
A number of certified companies take full advantage of supplier development events and opportunity fairs. Delquan Dorsey, Executive Director of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment says, “these events bring attention and awareness to opportunities that exist inside and outside the region. In addition, the focus on entrepreneurship and business enterprise helps address other quality of life issues and the outcomes determine how minorities will do economically. These networking events are important because we get to spend time together and enlighten each other on opportunities and best practices that further enhances everyone’s situation.”
There are some tangible signs that despite the political rhetoric being played out across the airwaves, the economy is well on its way back minus any major financial hiccups from Europe and a return to policies that help only one segment of the American populace. So, as entrepreneurs prepare for shifting economic and political winds, minority and women owned businesses in particular, should take heed and make certain that they follow a few basic steps as they prepare to compete at the highest levels.
Since the election of 2008, a tremendous push toward inclusion and equity in federal, state and local contracting has been key to providing minority and women business owners with more opportunities. The certification process itself is usually straightforward and confirms that a business is owned, controlled and operated by the applicants and are usually granted to Minority, Women, Small Disadvantaged and Underutilized entities.
There are a number of certifying agencies that process applicants for government and private sector firms to ensure that only businesses that meet the criteria will be certified. The Small Business Administration, the National Minority Supplier Development Council or its Regional Councils are good placesto seek out additional information on the certification process.Continued on the next page