“Minority-owned businesses are critical to America’s supply chain. In today’s times of uncertainty and disruption, it is imperative that we all come together to give diverse businesses across the country access to the resources to retool, restore, and recover so that they can continue to make a meaningful economic impact on their communities,” said Regina Heyward, Senior Vice President and Head of Supplier Diversity for Wells Fargo. “In supplier diversity, our team has been working diligently and collaboratively with our supply chain and capacity-building partners to provide diverse businesses with support, resources and opportunities.”
The Minority Business Leadership Academies will be held live or virtually at four NMSDC regional council locations:
NMSDC President and CEO Adrienne Trimble cited the value to minority supplier development and NMSDC’s ability to forge innovative partnerships with its corporate members. “Minority-owned businesses nationwide employ 6.3 million people and generate annual revenue of more than $1.6 trillion,” Trimble said. “Wells Fargo consistently demonstrates its strong commitment to our supplier diversity programs that serve NMSDC-certified minority-owned businesses.”
The Minority Business Leadership Academy program has four basic goals:
- Build the value proposition for each minority business owner;
- Enhance best practices in business development, organizational capabilities and scalability;
- Foster greater readiness to meet industry needs; and
- Increase competitiveness when seeking contracts and opportunities in the global marketplace.
Each of the Minority Business Leadership Academies represents a one-year commitment for a group of 15-20 qualifying applicants. Participants must be certified MBEs with a track record of high performance, offering quality products and services that are needed and used by firms within the financial services industry.
Wells Fargo collaborated with NMSDC and its national affiliate network in 2016 to develop the Minority Business Leadership Academy concept. In 2019, more than 40 minority businesses participated in three Minority Business Leadership Academies within the Capital Region MSDC, Houston MSDC and Southern California MSDC.
Wells Fargo Issues Grants to Six NMSDC Regional Councils
In addition to the four $25,000 grants that will fund the 2020 Minority Business Leadership Academies, as part of the company’s ongoing support of the NMSDC, Wells Fargo will also award six $10,000 grants benefiting the following NMSDC regional councils: Capital Region; Carolinas-Virginia; Georgia; North Central; New York–New Jersey; and Southwest. The funds will be used to support or enhance an existing MBE development program.
NMSDC Adds Extra Support Resources in Response to COVID-19 Emergency
In early March, the dramatic economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were becoming clear to Adrienne Trimble and her NMSDC team. “We quickly recognized a lot of fear and uncertainty bubbling up in the marketplace,” she said, “specifically within the minority business community.”
NMSDC immediately began to leverage innovation with their communication resources and technology to bolster the organization’s ability to continue providing service and support while protecting health and safety for all. Several significant initiatives resulted, including:
- Virtual Town Hall Series | Weekly Series called “Managing in a National Emergency” features sessions covering timely topics, critical business updates, and expert insights. Town Halls are available in real-time or on demand at NMSDC.com.
- Specialized MBE/Corporate Matchmaking | NMSDC is collecting requests for key PPE and other items needed (i.e. masks and gloves) and sharing out to their MBEs. In some cases, minority businesses have been able to pivot to provide or produce pandemic-related items.
- SBA Collaboration | NMSDC is working with the SBA to identify a process which will enable the organization to aid and train MBEs on how to access and complete loan and grant applications.
- COVID-19 Taskforce | Comprised of our affiliate Presidents and representatives from our Corporate Membership and MBEs, this group is sharing best practices and making recommendations about programming and resources to support MBE viability today and into the future.
The objective, according to Trimble, is to position NMSDC as a one-stop resource for MBE-centric news, resources, and support services.
The NMSDC advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and connects them to corporate members. One of the country’s leading corporate membership organizations, NMSDC was chartered in 1972 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes. The NMSDC network includes a national office in New York and 23 affiliate regional councils across the country. The network also includes five international partner organizations located in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa.