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L. Jay Burks, PhD

Director of Supplier Diversity of Comcast Corporation

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Certification Matters for Diverse Businesses

July 08, 2016

If you are a diverse business, get certified!”

The one piece of advice I always give to small companies trying to do business with large ones like Comcast NBCUniversal is, “If you are a diverse business, get certified!”

Having third-party validation that you are indeed a diverse business can open up a world of business opportunities for you. According to the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR), an organization that recognizes corporations that spend $1 billion or more annually with diverse-owned companies, their members spent a record $75 billion in 2015 – up from $67 billion in 2014.

If your company is 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents from one of the following minority groups, you are eligible for certification:

  • Minority-Owned Business Enterprises including African American, Asian-American, Hispanic and Native American
  • Women-Owned Business Enterprises
  • Veteran-Owned and Service Disabled Veteran Businesses
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender (LGBT)
  • Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HubZones)
  • Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB).

I encourage you to investigate your particular category a bit further in order to determine the steps for obtaining this certification. A good starting point is:

  • National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (NMSDC)
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN)
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)

Once you are certified, be sure to register your company on your target companies’ supplier diversity portal. The Comcast NBCUniversal portal can be found here. This ensures that you are “findable” when a need arises.

Of course, being in the database does not guarantee business, but it does help procurement personnel locate qualified diverse businesses within their market and areas of need. It’s a great way to make your company more competitive and help reduce your marketing costs.

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