Black-owned businesses are responsible for job creation, bringing economic growth to their neighborhoods, and providing products and services to a broad consumer base.
Unfortunately, these businesses continue to face systemic challenges that set them back. As just one example, Black business owners receive less financing for their ventures—and face higher interest rates when they receive funding. It’s up to all businesses to consider how they can stand behind their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) values by investing in Black-owned companies. One approach? Incorporating Black-owned businesses as vendors and strategic partners throughout your supply chain.
Business Benefits of Supplier Diversity
Supplier diversity is a method of strategically partnering with suppliers who represent minority groups. By intentionally including Black-owned businesses throughout your supply chain, you’ll support an underrepresented business community and reap tangible rewards for your business.
Here are a few of the critical benefits of supplier diversity for business owners:
- Having diverse perspectives in your product development process to more effectively represent and connect with audience demographics that don’t feel addressed by the current market.
- Expanding your access to noteworthy contracts with governments and large organizations that require all vendors to show a percentage of spending going to minority-owned businesses.
- Doing your part to eliminate the systemic barriers that hold Black-owned businesses back and contributing to another company’s growth.
Learn more about supplier diversity and why it’s essential in this article.
How to Incorporate Black-Owned Businesses in Your Supply Chain
Are you looking to incorporate minority-owned businesses into your supply chain? Start by prioritizing four key areas: building strategic partnerships, investing in procurement and supply chain, supporting black businesses, and taking leadership responsibility. Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements.
1. Building Strategic Partnerships
The first step towards a diverse business network is building strategic partnerships with Black-owned businesses. Make an effort to connect with Black entrepreneurs and business owners in your personal network, your business’s ecosystem, or your industry at large.
The more you invest in these relationships and seek opportunities to learn from your fellow business owners, the more tuned you’ll be to the unique challenges and economic setbacks Black-owned businesses experience.
2. Investing in Procurement and Supply Chain
Next, look at every phase of your supply chain and procurement system. Where are you sourcing your goods and materials? Who do you partner with for logistics processes? Which types of organizations are involved in the success of your operation? Who gets to decide when a new vendor is needed, and what perspectives do they bring to the table?
If you’re explicitly purchasing from and partnering with large corporations or communities that experience less friction from the business landscape, consider replacing or supplementing those partners with Black-owned alternatives. If you need help finding minority-owned businesses, ask your network or consult other businesses in your industry for guidance. Join the National Minority Supplier Development Council, and access a database of 15,000+ certified minority-owned businesses.
3. Supporting Black-owned Businesses
Now think more broadly and look for opportunities to support Black-owned businesses with one-off purchases. Every time you consider your options for a business expense, consider the benefits of partnering with a Black-owned business. Whether you’re looking for a caterer for a business lunch or a new software partner for a critical business function, there’s likely a world-class vendor headed by a Black business owner to align with your goals. You can also discover Black-owned businesses near you on Byblack’s Directory.
4. Taking Leadership Responsibility
Finally, ensure that your commitment to supporting and partnering with Black-owned businesses is reflected in your leadership practices. It should contribute to your hiring processes, selection committees for key business decisions, board members, and management practices at every level of your organization.
An essential first step for prioritizing diversity throughout your organization is hiring a team of individuals from different backgrounds and cultures. HRIS tech offers excellent tools for expanding your talent pool and writing job descriptions to reach diverse potential employees. You can learn more about the benefits of HRIS tech here. By incorporating inclusivity in your company’s core values, your employees will likely then make the same value-driven decisions in their day-to-day roles.
Getting Certified as a Minority-Owned Business
If you represent a Black-owned business and still need to be certified as a minority-owned business, now is the time to start the process and explore the benefits. Learn more about the process here!