Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month . . .
Certification as a minority-owned business can open new doors
Underrepresented founders are on the move starting and growing new businesses at the fastest rate in U.S. history, including a decade-long boom in the founding of Latino-owned businesses. Their growth has been twice that of comparable white-owned businesses for the past ten years, according to the Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
National Hispanic Heritage Month provides a strong opportunity to delve deeper into the incredible contributions of Hispanic business owners and explore ways to support their continued growth.
Celebration and concern
Launched in 1968 by Congress to celebrate U.S. Latinos and their culture, Hispanic Heritage Week was expanded to National Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988. It begins September 15 to coincide with national independence days in several Latin American countries.
Although Hispanics make up nearly 20% of the U.S. population today and accounted for 51% of the increase in U.S. population overall from 2010 to 2020, barriers to growth continue, making it more difficult to gain access to start-up and expansion funding. Becoming certified as a minority-owned business can help open doors to greater opportunities.
The meaning of certification
To provide greater opportunities for all minority-owned businesses, several certifications exist that help your business stand out among companies and government entities seeking to buy from a broader set of suppliers that better represent their diverse communities. Holding certification as a minority-owned business can provide numerous benefits. They include:
- Becoming part of a supportive community. Certification provides access to a network of people interested in your success and with the contacts and expertise to help you make it happen.
- Unique access to corporate and government contracts. More than 95% of U.S. corporations have a supplier diversity goal and the trend is upward for companies increasing their commitments to spending with diverse suppliers. This year, President Biden also directed federal agencies to increase contract spending on small, disadvantaged businesses by 50% over the next five years.
Being certified makes it easier for the companies seeking to do business with diverse suppliers to find you. The same is at least as true for landing government contracts where many federal, state and local bodies have requirements that a certain portion of their business be directed to underrepresented suppliers.
- A point of competitive distinction. Many organizations do not yet have a strong history of awarding business to diverse suppliers and are not sure how to identify these vendors or cultivate new relationships. With certification, it can be easier for them to identify your business as helping them meet these goals and suggests a level of rigor and commitment on your part to meet specific requirements.
How to get certified
Numerous organizations offer certifications including the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as many individual cities and states. Minority certification will also soon be available through your Monica Motivates community. With the multi-year success of our Global Supplier Diversity Conference (GSDC), we have developed a proven strategic framework to help underrepresented founders win corporate contacts and connect to key opportunities. Building on and extending this platform, we will soon launch our own Global Supplier Diversity Certification that rests on the three strategic pillars of Educate, Activate and Sustain, that have helped make the GSDC experience so powerful for hundreds of participants.
This program will position you to join a network of corporate and government partners, connect with supplier diversity and procurement executives and generate opportunities to pursue business relationships. You will also be able and leverage the extensive Monica Motivates resources for mentoring and marketing, and to promote your business as minority certified. Taking this step with an organization you already know, work with and trust will also help to streamline the process for you and your business.
Hispanic entrepreneurs are ready to share their talents and expand their businesses with greater access to corporate and government contracts that will drive their personal and professional growth and fuel the U.S. economy. That is something to celebrate this month and throughout the year.