Get yourself familiar with diversity certifications and how to apply for oneThe initial goal of Supplier Diversity programs was to combat social injustices in the United States by supporting growth and jobs at underrepresented small businesses. Over the last few years, buyers have also realized that effective inclusive procurement also delivers significant benefits to the bottom line and can drive innovation. 

Following the old axiom “What gets measured gets done,” many corporations with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs measure the effectiveness of their supplier diversity efforts by “counting” every dollar spent with diverse suppliers in all categories. To be sure they are measuring correctly, most companies tend to utilize third-party processes to validate the diversity data.

All of these are important to you as a supplier. Why? A “certified” version of you is more attractive to a corporate buyer with a CSR program than a “not certified” version of you (all other things being equal – quality, performance, customer service and price are all still very important.)

Hence, if spending with certified suppliers is deemed more reliable and thus better to count, the smart move is to become certified and make it easier for your prospective customer to pick you.  

Now that we know how important inclusion is to your customers, it’s time to do all you can to leverage your position as a diverse-owned business.

New Diversity Certification In The Digital Age

SupplierGATEWAY uses advanced technology to enable sole proprietorships and small businesses who have limited resources (time and budget) to become certified and ultimately expand the opportunity to do business with major companies.

The Enhanced Digital Certification™ (EDC) is a fast and inexpensive way for a small business to get certified as a diverse-owned organization while at the same time exposing to new opportunities afforded by being in the SupplierGATEWAY network. EDC certifies all of the following categories and you can have more than one diversity category in your certification: 

  • Minority-owned
  • Women-owned
  • Veteran-owned
  • LGBTQ-owned 
  • Disability-owned businesses
  • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDC)

To learn more, please visit https://www.suppliergateway.com/enhanced-digital-certification/

In addition to EDC, it is important to be familiar with other diversity certifications and consider which one most closely fits your business needs.

Certifier Certification Issued Eligibility and How to apply
Disability:IN

DOBE – Disability-owned business enterprise

V-DOBE – Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprise

SDV-DOBE – Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises

Disability:IN
EPHCC – El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

8(a) Business Development Program

Federal HUBZone

SDBE – Small Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

WOSB/EDWOSB – Woman-Owned and Economic Disadvantaged Woman-Owned

SDVO – Service Disabled Veteran owned 

EPHCC
NGLCC – National LGBT Chamber of Commerce LGBTE® – LGBT Business Enterprise® NGLCC
NMSDC – National Minority Supplier Development Council MBE – Minority Business Enterprise NMSDC
NVBDC – Certification of Disabled & Veteran-Owned Business

VOBE: Veteran Owned Business Enterprise

SDVOBE: Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business

NVBDC
NWBC – National Women’s Business Council

WOSB – Woman-owned small business

EDWOSB – Economically disadvantaged woman-owned small business

NWBC
NWBOC – National Women Business Owners Corporation

WBE – Woman Business Enterprise

VBE – Veteran Business Enterprise

MBE – Minority Business Enterprise

WOSB – Woman-owned small business

EDWOSB – Economically disadvantaged woman-owned small business

NWBOC
USWCC – U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

WOSB: Women-Owned Small Business (federal WOSB program)

EDWOSB: Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (federal EDWOSB program)

NWBE:  USWCC | National Women’s Business Enterprise™ (corporate and regional governments).

IWBE:  USWCC | International Women’s Business Enterprise™ (corporate and regional governments)

USWCC
WBENC – Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

WBE: WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprises

WOSB: Women-Owned Small Business (federal WOSB program)

WBENC
SBA – Small Business Administration

Federal Contract Program:

8(a) Business Development Program

Federal HUBZone

WOSB: Women-Owned Small Business

SBA
CaleProcure – California’s State Procurement and Certification Programs

SB – California’s Small Business

DVBE – California’s Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise

CaleProcure
VA – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs SDVOSB – Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business 

VOSB – Veteran-Owned Small Business 

VA

Final Thought

Certifications are nothing but one step in your supplier journey. Think of them as a way to “plugin” to networks. The more network connectivity you have, the faster you can prospect for more business. For some, success may come from connecting to more networks, for others, it is being connected to the biggest network. No one says you cannot do both – because ultimately what you want is more customers.

About us:

At SupplierGATEWAY, we offer a robust platform for suppliers where you can gain access to new business opportunities and connect with customers of all sizes – from Fortune 500 companies and globally recognized companies to your local health system, manufacturer or business. Our easy-to-use app will help you stay connected to the opportunities that could make all the difference to your bottom line. Get started today for FREE!