America has become a country where a majority of people embrace the idea of equality. It is seen as un-American to be discriminatory. One major achievement of U.S. businesses is the growth of the minority population. Given current population growth rates, the U.S. population is expected to increase to 374 million by 2050, with the minority population accounting for nearly 90 percent of the total growth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Since 2002, minority-owned businesses have grown at about double the rate of all firms in the U.S.
As a result, minority businesses create jobs in minority communities, which increase purchasing power for corporations. This trend is expected to continue, with minority purchasing power surpassing $2 trillion by 2015 and $3 trillion by 2030.
With the changing demographics, increasing population and desired business growth rates, it is vital that companies hire, target and utilize minority employees and suppliers in order to gain and sustain a competitive edge.
Targeting diverse suppliers
Supplier diversity is the process of sourcing supplies from minority businesses. As a part of a continuing effort to become a leader in diversity, companies should use their size and leverage to create other minority companies of size and stature.
Consider my company, Urban Lending Solutions. We earned the Corporate Plus member designation from the National Minority Supplier Development Council by providing added value to some of the largest U.S. banks ranked by the market.
Two years ago, ULS developed a technical outreach program for minority staffing firms interested in providing professionals to the mortgage and lending industry. Handling volume fluctuations during market volatility is a continuous challenge in the mortgage industry.
One minority company, Mortgage Staffing Solutions, took advantage of ULS’ training on how to do business as a successful second-tier vendor to large and super-regional banks.
Today, ULS is not only able to rely upon Mortgage Staffing Solutions to meet our customers’ demands, but Mortgage Staffing Solutions has scaled up and diversified its client base and expanded its presence beyond Colorado and Pennsylvania to Georgia and Florida.
The staffing firm is elevating its services to midsized banks and the credit union industry, filling positions in numerous departments including customer service, administrative services, legal and executive positions.
Committing at the executive level
Commitment to supplier diversity must start at the top. A study conducted by the NMSDC found that 10 out of 11 of the top supplier diversity companies had a CEO or president that actively participated in the program.
Leaders need to realize how achieving supplier diversity goals can increase company revenues and growth.
As a multimillion dollar company listed as the No. 1 minority business enterprise in job growth, ULS’ supplier diversity program is a strategic business imperative for us — and a similar program can be for you, too.