Black suppliers are notoriously overlooked and underrepresented when securing high-value contracts. But one program is aiming to disrupt the cycle.
The National Business League ® (NBL)’s initiative, the National Black Supplier Development Program ® (NBSDP) recently announced that in two years, its past participants have secured more than $100M in purchasing contracts.
“We have progressed far beyond the days of business card exchanges, chicken dinners, empty press conferences and announcements, and we are now steadfastly dedicated to fostering commerce-driven initiatives and purposeful opportunities, going beyond mere words and charismatic speeches,” said Dr. Ken L. Harris, Ph.D., the 16th President/CEO of the National Business League in a statement.
The program’s success comes at a critical time when Black-owned businesses are still in need of expansive support as they face outsized challenges compared to other racial groups. Despite there being an uptick in supplier diversity programs, the support they provide may not fully cover the needs of Black-owned businesses to thrive.
A 2022 report from McKinsey stated that financial services and other critical operational are out of reach for many of today’s supplier diversity programs. The report goes on: For the 350 largest M&A transactions that closed in 2021, for example, none of the 118 investment firms serving as financial advisers or the 166 law firms serving as legal advisers were minority owned. Filling the supplier diversity gap in these and other professional-services sectors would benefit organizations, society, and the economy.
“Our goal is to support the development of more than 3.2 million Black businesses nationwide, providing them with opportunities within the federal government, as well as the public and private sectors,” said Dr. Forrest Carter, Ph.D., NBSDP National Director in a news release.