Be the Change

A sentiment that is often shared. It’s an idea of hope, but one that implies that you have to work for it – on yourself, for and in your community, and the world at large. That work is seldom easy, but experiencing the progress and, if you’re lucky, seeing the end result is joyful. That’s…

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What Does It Mean to Be a Certified Diverse Owned Business

What follows is an excerpt from Chapter 2 (Why Certify) of our book Certify & Sell: Your Guide to Certification & Supplier Diversity. We get frequent calls from semi-panicked business owners whose client has just asked if they’re a certified diverse business. A surprising number of them ask us what that means; many think they…

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Know Your NAICS

North American Industry Classification System Codes, or NAICS Codes (Rhymes with Snakes!), is used by businesses and governments to classify and measure economic activity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. NAICS is a 6-digit code system that is currently the standard used by federal statistical agencies in classifying establishments (individual business locations). Organizing establishments…

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Deep Dive: SBA 8(a) Program

We’ve received a number of requests for information about the SBA’s (Small Business Administration) 8(a) program recently – so this month we’ll be discussing this business development/contracting program. And that is the first big distinction: 8(a) is NOT a certification. While it does have eligibility and supporting document requirements similar to the diverse certification process;…

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Who Certifies?

There are many government and third-party programs offering SDMWVLGBTQBE (Small Disadvantaged or Disabled, Minority, Women, Veteran, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered or Queer Business Enterprise) certification in the United States. Let’s start with federal programs and go on from there. The Small Business Administration (SBA) oversees several programs including the 8(a), Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), Economically…

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Supplier Diversity and Politics

There has always been a relationship between politics and supplier diversity. Supplier diversity is rooted in 1960’s political activities and implemented by our executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Our second blog article, we discussed supplier diversity history and how it began with the civil rights movement. From an executive point of view, Presidents…

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Is It Just Us?

We keep wondering how the work from home (WFH) model has impacted other  SDMWVLGBTQBEs (Small Disadvantaged or Disabled, Minority, Women, Veteran, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered or Queer Business Enterprises). It seems overwhelming some days, just how much more work we seem to be doing remotely. And meeting fatigue, OMG! Someone suggested the other day not to…

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Slow Changes

The federal government is shutting down its self-certification of women-owned small businesses — again. We’ve been hearing about this since 2015, so we’re not holding our breath yet. In a program that was begun in 2010, NASA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reported in 2013 that 35% of the WOSBs it contracted with “may…

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To Gift or To Loan?

We’ve been researching how gifts and loans from non-certifiable owners can impact some state-based certifications of legitimately owned DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises). Yes, harping on legitimacy is part of our shtick. We have absolutely no interest in seeing these certification programs abused or defrauded. Anyway, you would think that a gift is perfectly acceptable, since…

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Again With Control & Governance

If a SDMWVLGBTBE’s (Small Disadvantaged or Disabled, Minority, Women, Veteran, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered Business Enterprise) business owner reviews any certifier’s eligibility criteria s/he’ll find a requirement that reads something like this: the business must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a diverse owner(s). Owned and operated are straightforward, but the area of…

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