Published Dec 01, 2023 by Clint Pasche
A core focus of the Greater Houston Partnership’s One Houston Together initiative is to enhance spending with Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) within the Houston region. This work is advanced through quarterly Supplier Diversity Roundtables along with a bi-annual convening of chief purchasing officers (CPOs) within the Partnership’s membership.
The 2022 Houston MBE Economic Impact Analysis reveals there are 771 certified MBEs generating $8.2 billion in revenue across 18 industry sectors in metro Houston. Many of these MBEs have established relationships with global corporations and are above $10M in revenue. Houston businesses have a great opportunity to capitalize on our region’s diverse supplier base and to ensure a robust and competitive pipeline of suppliers in the future.
During the November 2023 convening of Houston CPOs, the Partnership welcomed two guest speakers to offer their perspectives on supplier diversity from their vantage point in Washington D.C.:
Amidst the evolving political climate related to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in both the public and private sector, Carmen and Nigel offered thoughtful advice to help companies have the best suppliers at the table when making purchasing decisions.
Key takeaways from the discussion included:
Broadly speaking, as an ecosystem dedicated to supplier diversity, CPOs can lead these efforts by emphasizing the importance of streamlining the MBE Certification Process. The certification process for minority-owned businesses has become burdensome and costly. The current system of multiple certifications from different organizations can be simplified and streamlined to reduce barriers and enhance access to opportunities. Companies should keep this complexity in mind and be flexible in the certifications they require.
For those interested in the Partnership’s Supplier Diversity programming and initiatives, contact Damean Townsend, Senior Director, Supplier Diversity at firstname.lastname@example.org.