Welcome to Diversity Business Blog

Greetings and salutations … thanks for visiting.  When I first began working on the business plan that will become our www.GetDiversityCertified.com web portal, I knew that I wanted an interactive forum for open discussion of issues about the diversity certification process and its aftermath.  I’ve tried a variety of search word combinations, trying to find something, anything that talked about supplier diversity from the supplier’s point of view. The best combination  “diverse supplier” got over 4.5 million hits, “supplier diversity issues” got a little less than 1.1 million, while “diverse supplier certification” only got 210,000 and many of these were multiple duplicates. Even after drilling down 1253 pages, I couldn’t find a venue for the diverse supplier … just about all of the links related to the corporate, government, or certifying agency perspective on diverse suppliers, with a few training sites and a couple of companies that facilitate SBA 8(a) certification.  I can’t be the only owner of a certified business that craves an open forum from our point-of-view. This, we hope, is it.

Abator is a small, disadvantaged women business enterprise (aka SDWBE). We’ve been a WBE since our 1984 incorporation. Getting certified in 1989 was a piece of cake compared to today. Now, because there have been a few bad apples (my euphemism for the liars and fronts) and expanded regulation, the process can be very frustrating.  If your business is like ours, you might need to be certified by a variety of local, county, state, federal or commercial organizations.  Getting certified and maintaining certifications became a necessary function of doing business – especially with our government clients.  My passion is actually making life easier for our clients with information technology solutions.  Making our own lives easier by automating the certification application process is something we hope to share (for a moderate fee, of course!) with others.

There are things I want to write about, but I’d rather hear from other diverse business owners. Let us know what topics you’d like covered and we’ll find an expert or two to write about them. Send a topic or ask a question to [email protected] or post questions and comments by creating a user account.

Thanks again for visiting.  We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Andrew on August 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Cool, the blog is up and running!

  2. DJ on August 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    That’s a good start to the conversation. Good topic!

  3. Barb on August 12, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Congratulations on this! I know how long and hard you worked on it. How exciting!!!!

  4. Barb on August 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Can you give an average time that it takes someone to complete the forms for any certification? I have found it is never correct the first time so it takes additional time to correct and resend.

    It would be nice to know how Abator suggests help with this process in my business. How can you make it easier for the Women Business Owners, Veteran Business owners etc to get certified without take hours upon hours out of our schedules to complete the complicated forms. Does anyone else have this problem other than me?

    • Marian on August 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      I can answer your first question. The SBA estimates that it takes 2.5 hours to complete their application. I think that may be a fair estimate for the amount of time it takes to read and fill out a simple certification application. Though I doubt the time someone takes to collect all the attachments or find disparate pieces of information that is required is figured into that estimate.

    • Joanne on August 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Thanks for asking, Barb! Once the whole website goes live, the software has a quiz that will help you determine what certifications your business may qualify for. Then, it will walk you through a simple process to gather all the needed information and a single copy of each required document. You can work at your own pace and there is a help feature for every item on each screen of GetDiversityCertified.com, so you’ll know why you’ve been asked every question. You can also get email support from a certification consultant if you need additional help. When you’re done, the software will compile everything on the correct forms and deliver a complete package in an Adobe PDF file with a cover letter including instructions on where to sign, how to get notarized and where to ship the package. Our goal it to simplify the certification process for our customers.

  5. Damico S. Nicome on August 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Woo Hoo! This is awesome. What a cool place for minority businesses of all flavors to get together to have meaningful discussions. I look forward to participating in some very fruitful discussions! Thanks!

  6. Wayne Mowers on August 17, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I like your blog site! I especially like the history aspect. Maybe you could expand on the history of it with the inclusion of some offsite references such as NAACP History and Civil Rights Act of 1964

    • Marian on August 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm

      Good suggestion Wayne.

  7. Timothy Woods on August 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Barb – There is not a certification for Veteran owned businesses perse, there is however, a verfication of business ownership and Veteran status (read type of discharge). This system of verification is currently conducted by the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) which is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The system is not perfect by any means as far too many fraudulent actions still occur in the program.

    • Joanne on August 30, 2010 at 9:43 am

      Timothy – You are absolutely right! However, rumor has it that there may be a complete certification program under development for US Veterans. There are some states that certify veteran-owned businesses (California, Florida and Virginia). There are great resources available through the National Veteran-Owned Business Association at: http://www.navoba.com/.

  8. Barbara Beardsley on August 26, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Congratulations on the great content on your blog, Joanne and Marian. I was prompted by your comments to look for content on our library’s catalog, or in trade journals on minority and women-owned business enterprise certification for suppliers.

    There certainly are many trade journal articles on the advantages of using your certification to grow your business, but not any current overviews in the form of book content that I could find. For trade journals, I used a research database called EBSCOhost Research Databases. Within this database, Columbus Metropolitan Library card holders can access the Business Searching Interface with their library card number and PIN.

    You should contact the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to see if you can access any trade journal databases from your home or office.

    In Columbus, my library customers usually look for guidance from COMBA, The Central Ohio Minority Business Association http://www.comba.com.

    Good luck with your business, and congratulations on creating a great website.

    Barbara Beardsley
    Columbus Metropolitan Library

  9. Joanne on August 31, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Sharee, thanks for your comment! Is there anything in particular or a subject area that would be of interest to you? We’re working on a couple of new items now – one about supplier diversity from the purchasing side, and another about a business’s underlying organizational documents. We’re always looking for the topics that will help business owners, so don’t hesitate to make a request.

  10. Insurance Albany on October 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Pretty astute post. Never thought that it was this simple after all. I have spent a great deal of my time looking for someone to explain this matter clearly and you’re the only person that ever did that. Wonderful job! Keep it up!

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