Supplier Diversity

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WHAT IS SUPPLIER DIVERSITY?

HCCMO offers a Supplier Diversity Scholarship to diverse businesses. This scholarship is a reimbursement program for approved diverse companies. The reimbursement scholarship covers the application cost of the certifying agencies FSMSDC and WBENC, and reimbursement is up to $500. Interested business owners must apply before submitting their application for certification

Eligible businesses that can benefit from diverse-owned certification can apply.

HCCMO works in partnership with Prospera to provide technical assistance during the application process.

HCCMO grants the diverse business owner the scholarship reimbursement after the certifying agency has approved the application and the business has received the certification.

Scholarship reimbursement will be processed within 30 days after receiving a copy of the certificate and paid receipt.

SCHOLARSHIP REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Diverse business majority owner(s) must be United States citizen(s)
  2. Diverse businesses must be at least 51% diverse-owned (Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian-Pacific American, Asian-Indian American, Women, LGBTQ+, veterans, disabled veterans, and people with disabilities), operated, and
  3.  Controlled
  4. Must be a profit enterprise with main offices physically located in one of the 7 Central Florida Counties which includes: Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Polk, Lake, Brevard and Volusia County.
  5. Management and daily operations must be exercised by the diverse ownership member(s)
  6. Must not already be in possession of the certification they are applying for
  7. If no sales revenue in the previous year, performance history will be assessed along with sales forecast or a pipeline of prospective sales/clients
  8. Minimum of 3 years of experience in industry/field business will operate in (i.e., subject matter expertise) is preferred
  9. Sales revenue for the last fiscal year must be under $1 million

Scholarship sponsored by:

HCCMO Supplier Diversity Program & Council

Sponsored by:

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando’s Supplier Diversity Program is a business initiative that supports the growth and development of diverse suppliers. The purpose is to educate diverse-owned businesses about different opportunities available to work with the public and private sector.

HCCMO hosts seminars related to supplier diversity opportunities; these events help start and develop relationships with buyers from major corporations and government agencies.

HCCMO has a Supplier Diversity Council which oversees and manages the program.  Members of this Council meet monthly to achieve various goals, including:

    • Assist in certifying diverse companies
    • Increase awareness of business opportunities with corporations and government entities
    • Increase corporate and government entities engagement with diverse suppliers
    • Council is comprised of representatives from government entities, corporations, and MBE-certified businesses

For a diverse-owned business to be able to take advantage of this program, it must become certified. The certification process is in many cases unknown to many entrepreneurs, and there is a need in communities across the nation to find useful and practical information related to the process and the steps to become a certified organization. Join us for our next Supplier Diversity Seminar and find out if there is a certification that can benefit your company and get educated on the process.

MINORITY BUSINESS CERTIFICATION

What is Certification?

Certification is the process of verifying that a business is owned, operated and controlled by more than 51% minority individuals or women. The documentation required will depend on the structure of the company. For example: The documentation required from a company that has incorporated will differ from the documentation required by a partnership or sole proprietorship; and also, the information required from a distributor will differ from that required by a manufacturer. In general, an agency will request proof of ethnicity, all professional and business licenses, resumes, financial statements, tax documents, stock certificates/proof of capital investment. An on-site visit to the company may also be required.

Most agencies recognize “minority group members” as US citizens who are:

  • Hispanic American
  • African American
  • Native American
  • Asian-Pacific American
  • Asian-Indian American

Other agencies also certify these businesses:

  • Woman owned
  • LGBT owned
  • Veteran owned
  • Disable veteran owned
  • Disable owned

What is the Value of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification?

Thousands of progressive corporations as well as government agencies have positioned minority supplier development as a strategy to create jobs and wealth in the minority community. They have set goals to increase the percentage of purchasing dollars spent with diverse owned businesses each year. Certification insures that a company meets criteria that determine minority business status. It also gets them into minority business directories and databases used by corporations for referrals.

A common misconception is that being certified provides a competitive advantage, particularly as it relates to price. This is usually not the case in the public sector. You should ask a certifying agency before you spend the time to complete their paperwork what advantages your firm will receive if certified.

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