By Michelle Burkart | #LGBTB2B
Coming back from summer travels to the Midwest, the East Coast and London, I can assure you that the LGBTBE-certification movement is in full swing globally despite the push back from this current administration.
They think that by deleting, then restoring, then deleting the LGBT business owner presence on the Small Business Administration website that we will be erased. Sorry … think again, since to-date, our economic power base is larger than the GDP of the country of Russia.
During my visit to Kansas City, Missouri, in the heartland, I was at a Kansas City Royals baseball game, and met an LGBT business owner who was a member of the local Mid America GLCC (Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) and works for Bishop-McCann, a Kansas City-based, LGBTBE-certified event-planning company. Since we have both attended the annual National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) conferences, he shared his recent experience from Philadelphia in August 2018.oming back from summer travels to the Midwest, the East Coast and London, I can assure you that the LGBTBE-certification movement is in full swing globally despite the push back from this current administration. They think that by deleting, then restoring, then deleting the LGBT business owner presence on the Small Business Administration website that we will be erased. Sorry … think again, since to-date, our economic power base is larger than the GDP of the country of Russia.
He said, “As event professionals, we’re usually so wrapped up in planning other people’s incredible experiences and events, so it’s nice to get the chance to attend some instead. As a proud, certified LGBT Business Enterprise and supplier-diversity partner, this month we were excited to meet with a myriad of companies at the Platinum Circle & Billion Dollar Roundtable Matchmaking event at the conference.”
The Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) was created in 2001 to recognize and celebrate corporations that achieved spending of at least $1 billion with minority- and woman-owned suppliers. The BDR promotes and shares best practices in supply chain diversity excellence through the production of white papers. In discussions, the members review common issues, opportunities and strategies. The BDR encourages corporate entities to continue growing their supplier diversity programs by increasing commitment and spending levels each year. The BDR inducts new members bi-annually.
So, I asked him how the BDR affected his business and he replied:
“The BDR now ensures that LGBT, disability-owned, service-disabled veteran disability-owned and veteran-disability owned business enterprises are included in the evaluation of a corporation’s billion-dollar supply chain spend on diverse-owned businesses. Since NGLCC is a member now, we had an opportunity to meet with IBM, Bank of America, Verizon, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, PG&E, CVS Health and Microsoft who are also members of the BDR which is a gold mine in new business relationships for us”
To date, the BDR reports at least $72 billion in spend with diverse-owned businesses. That number is expected to continue climbing as corporations are encouraged and incentivized to work with LGBT-, disability-, and veteran-owned firms.
“The inclusion of LGBT-, disability-, and veteran-owned businesses into the BDR reflects the national best practice in supplier diversity of including all communities at the table of opportunity,” said NGLCC co-founder and President Justin Nelson in a press release. “In the United States, LGBT-owned businesses are creating tens of thousands of jobs, and adding over $1.7 trillion to the economy, much of that due to inclusion in corporate supply chains. We’re proud to see our businesses included in the criteria that rewards corporate excellence in creating new opportunities for diverse-owned businesses to thrive.”
Next stop was Washington D.C. for a high school reunion. While there, I visited the new NGLCC offices in downtown Washington. We spoke of the new services that are being developed for LGBTBE businesses, one of which is the new partnership with ConnXus, a company that provides supplier management software solutions to help simplify the complexities of global supply chains and allow buyers to achieve their goals of responsible and sustainable sourcing. As a certified LGBT business, you have access to this software.
ConnXus is a NMSDC, CAMSC, CPUC and state of Ohio-certified minority-owned business enterprise based in Mason, Ohio with local, regional and international capabilities. For additional information about ConnXus and their growing suite of supplier management solutions, visit the company’s website at connxus.com. This is another great tool to help us to connect with suppliers of our services.
While in London, there was an opportunity to participate in the NGLCC Global Initiative, sponsored by Ernst and Young. It was a two-day event that was attended by international LGBTBE-certified business owners coming from as far away as from South America. So even though my business is in San Diego, our developing network of certified LGBT business owners is ever expanding both nationally and globally.
So, when you wonder if it would be worth it for you to certify your business to add the LGBTBE certification, do not hesitate. Be a part of one of the fastest growing economic powerbases in the world — the LGBTBE economy.
—Michelle Burkart is the principal at Diversity Supplier Alliance. Questions? Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on LGBTBE certification, visit