In 2002, Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell founded the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). NGLCC’s stated mission is to advocate for and provide a “direct link between LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, or Transgender] business owners, corporations and government”. The following year NGLCC developed its supplier diversity initiative – the certification of LGBT businesses – using the models developed by WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) and NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council). IBM was NGLCC’s founding partner for this initiative. Wells Fargo & Company, JPMorgan Chase, Motorola, Travelport, Intel, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, American Airlines, American Express, Lehman Brothers, and Ernst & Young became early partners.
Like WBENC and NMSDC, NGLCC requires a site visit for all businesses seeking certification. This happens after the application has been received by NGLCC. The purpose of the visit is to verify all information provided; assuring that the applicant business is indeed owned and operated by an eligible Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, or Transgender business owner(s). Certification criteria for NGLCC include, but are not limited to:
- Business must be at least 51% owned, operated, managed, and controlled by LGBT person or persons;
- The LGBT owner(s) must be US citizens for lawful permanent residents;
- The LGBT owner(s) must be able to exercise independence from any non-LGBT owner(s) or business enterprises;
- The company must have been form in the United States, as well as, be headquartered within the United States.
Note: If a LGBT business is already certified by WBENC or NMSDC it may be eligible for expedited certification by NGLCC.
Once certified LGBT businesses can utilize NGLCC’s business development tools which include their supplier database, scholarship programs, mentoring opportunities, matchmaker events, and leadership training; NGLCC also provides a number of other functions for the LGBT business community, further information about what they do can be found HERE.
NGLCC also holds a National Business and Leadership Conference. Their 2010 conference “Out for Business” was held in Washington, DC from November 18-20, which included their National Dinner “An Evening of Courage” on November 19th. NGLCC’s next National Conference will be held May 17-21 of 2011 in Las Vegas, NV at the Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort.