26 U.S. VETERANS MAGAZINE WWW.USVETERANSMAGAZINE.COM
VOBs & SUPPLIER DIVERSITY
n todays competitive environment, every owner must take advantage of any opportunity to differentiate their company from the competition. Supplier diversity certifications for disadvantaged businesses are an often- overlooked option with great potential. Qualifying companies include those with veteran, minority, LGBTQ+ or women owners, as well as those in historically underutilized business zones, or HUBZones. These certifications grant access to private-sector opportunities and contracts with local, state and federal government agencies that want to do business with a diverse pool of suppliers.
According to A History of Corporate Supply Chain Diversity ( WEUSA 4 : 95), certification programs were born out of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and guided by legislative mandates enacted to end discrimination that gave large businesses a disproportionate share of opportunities. The program
BLACK BOX SAFETY
Supplier Diversity Certifications:
Game Changers for the Disadvantaged
flourished in 1969, when the Office of Minority Business Enterprise was established to provide guidance and support. In 1978, the Small Business Act recategorized minority businesses as socially and economically disadvantaged and required federal agencies to comply with new goals for as more companies invest in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, the demand for diverse suppliers will only increase.
How Certifications Benefited Our Company
The owner of Black Box Safety, Jackson Dalton, is a Certification with the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) gives us access to special events (such as its recent Marching Forward Monday) and networking connections that resulted in at least $90,000 in contract wins in the company's first year of certification. Black Box also received NaVOBAs 2021 Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise of the Year award. Certification with Disability:IN led to our nomination for the organizations Pitch Perfect Challenge. We presented our pitch to a panel of experienced judges and took first place, landing a five-figure prize and a subsequent feature in a November 2021 Forbes article. Black Box also served on the Re-Imagining Your Business from 2020 Learnings conference panel, which put us in front of potential clients such as Bristol Myers Squibb. Membership in the Veterans in Business (VIB) Network connects us with private entities, third-party nonprofits and federal contractors through federal contracts. In the 1990s and early 2000s, new legislation fostered the advancement of federal contracting opportunities to businesses in HUBZones and those owned by women, veterans, service-disabled veterans and members of the LBGTQ+ community. Today, military veteran who was disabled while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. That status could put a small business owner at a disadvantage, but it qualified Black Box Safety for certifications and network memberships that introduced us to new and otherwise inaccessible clients.
Our company would likely not be where we are today without the opportunities that supplier diversity certifications have afforded us."Previous Page