Trump admin ‘catalyst’ for LGBTBE certifications

Posted: March 2nd, 2018 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | No Comments

By Michelle Burkart There is that saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” For our LGBT business community, that silver lining comes in the form of LGBTBE certifications. Since 2003, when National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) first launched the Supplier Diversity Initiative, I have witnessed a tremendous growth in LGBT business owners becoming certified.

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Meet your LGBTBE peers

Posted: February 2nd, 2018 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | No Comments

In our past columns, we gave you the background of the LGBTBE business certification movement, reasons to become certified, how to become certified LGBTBE, as well as other certifications, resources for success, and buzzwords to learn. This year, we plan to introduce you to those LGBTBE-certified businesses from all over the world that are “working it” to help to grow their business.

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The challenges and successes of being certified

Posted: January 5th, 2018 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | No Comments

By Michelle Burkart

Happy New Year and welcome to 2018 where the challenge of LGBT economic opportunities continues.

For example, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which added LGBTBE certified businesses to its diversity supplier vendors list in November 2014, is still challenged with the question of how much total contract award percentage should be assigned to our community.

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Getting certified: To pay or not to pay …

Posted: November 10th, 2017 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | No Comments

By Michelle Burkart | #LGBTB2B This has been a banner year for our local LGBT business enterprise certification efforts. We accomplished our goals for 2017 and have already set up new ones for 2018. However, due to the Trump administration’s budget and program changes that have pushed through, this coming year will challenge our funding efforts, but certainly not our desire to keep certifying LGBT business enterprises.

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1,000 LGBTBEs and counting…

Posted: October 13th, 2017 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Community Voices, Featured | No Comments

By Michelle Burkart | #LGBTB2B

In January 2015, when the Small Business Administration and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) announced the launch of their Supplier Diversity Initiative LGBTBE Biz Builder partnership, the purpose was to help as many of the 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses expand their contracting opportunities by getting LGBTBE certified. It was also a way to help our business community level the playing field even more in the world of corporate supplier diversity procurement and government contracting.

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LGBTBE certified … now what?

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | No Comments

By Michelle Burkart | #LGBTB2B

I have been working with the NGLCC on the LGBTBE certification program since 2005. It seems that no matter how far we have progressed in expanding opportunities for our LGBT business owners, I still hear the frustration in their voices when they say, “Okay, I got certified, so what now?!”

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Certification buzzwords 

Posted: August 4th, 2017 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | No Comments

By Michelle Burkart | #LGBTB2B  The world of supplier diversity procurement, or government contracting, is full of acronyms (i.e. abbreviations for titles, organizations, certifications) that I call “certification buzzwords.” In our first column, we provided a listing of the “organizational buzzwords” that named the agency players. Since every industry has its own “buzz speak,” I wanted to provide some of the ones you will hear as you begin to certify your business as LGBTBE.

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Let’s work it

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | No Comments

By Michelle Burkart | #LGBTB2B

In my article last month (online at, you were introduced to the opportunities that have grown in the area of LGBT business enterprise (LGBTBE) certification for supplier diversity contracting. You also met some of the players like the NGLCC, CPUC, and the SBDC that are working both nationally, statewide, and locally to help LGBT business owners decide, 1) if they want to become certified; 2) how to get certified, and 3) how to be successful ongoing.

The process of becoming certified can be a confusing one especially for the sole proprietor, or smaller business owner. However, the rewards can provide new avenues of revenue producing opportunities for business growth.

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Pop culture, politics and business

Posted: June 9th, 2017 | #LGBTB2B, Columns, Featured | 1 Comment

By Michelle Burkart | #LGBTB2B Welcome to our new monthly column, #LGBTB2B, embracing the world of LGBT business-to-business (B2B) opportunities through the LGBT business enterprise (LGBTBE) initiatives. And now that I have your attention, the full headline should be “Pop culture, politics and business: How LGBT equality, activism and opportunity have changed over the last 15 years of NGLCC.”

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