Suppliers frequently asked me if it is really worth their time to certify as a diverse business. I can quickly and confidently answer “Yes” to that question. In my role at Allstate I interact daily with organizations that certify diverse businesses:National Gay and ******* Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and The Department of Veteran Affairs.
All of these certifying organizations are dedicated to the growth and development of your business. From business plans to marketing strategies, they have experts who can assist you. These organizations also provide great networking opportunities. They bring together corporations and suppliers to make the right connections. Many suppliers are successfully introduced to corporations through the certifying agencies.
Many corporations (Allstate included) do not count you in their diverse spend until your firm has been verified as owned, controlled and operated by a woman, ethnic minority, veteran or member of the LGBT community, so certification is an important step if you are looking for the support of the corporation’s supplier diversity representatives.
When you do start the certification process, make sure you are well prepared. Read what information you will need to certify and submit a thorough package. It will make the process go quickly and you can start taking advantage of your certification.