Fifth Third Bank and the National Minority Supplier Development Council Launch Centers of Excellence Certification Program for Small Businesses

Fifth Third Bank and the National Minority Supplier Development Council Launch Centers of Excellence

Danielle Jones (Media Relations) | 513-534-0162

CINCINNATI – Fifth Third Bank (FTB), in a partnership with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), is pleased to announce the launch of a Centers of Excellence Certificate Program (COECP) to facilitate the growth of minority-owned businesses and the communities they represent.  The year-long program will train 5 cohorts of NMSDC certified minority businesses whose annual sales are $1 – $10 million and have a minimum of five employees. The program is made possible through FTB’s affiliation with the NMSDC’s Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Mid-States and Chicago regional councils.

Kala Gibson, chief enterprise corporate social responsibility officer and head of Business Banking at Fifth Third and NMSDC board member, explained the Bank’s dedication to providing resources to MBEs. Certified minority businesses are vital to our nation’s financial stability and economy. We are committed to offering best-in-class services and equipping these business owners with the information and access they need to help them successfully compete and secure work in today’s marketplace.”

The FTB sponsored COECP is a capacity building program designed to strengthen NMSDC certified minority entrepreneurs and give them a competitive advantage that will assist them with securing contracts with FTB and other NMSDC corporate member companies.  The virtual curriculum for the program includes instruction from Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, executive coaching from NMSDC corporate member executives and mentoring from Corporate Plus and other large minority business owners. The program will:

  • Create a stronger supply chain for Fifth Third and additional NMSDC corporate members;
  • Support the growth of NMSDC-certified Class II MBEs by sharing business skills and best practice information that is necessary to grow their company to the next level;
  • Enhance opportunities for NMSDC-certified businesses to enter partnerships, joint ventures, strategic alliances or teaming agreements, secure larger contracts, and grow to a global scale; and
  • Develop results-focused coaching and mentoring relationships between MBE participants, Fifth Third corporate and corporate plus members and Class III MBEs.

We are delighted to support this capacity building and learning experience to position MBEs to add value to the Fifth Third Bank supply chain and the communities in which many of our employees and customers reside,” said Marsha Thornton, vice president and director of Supplier Diversity.

The Bank’s COECP is part of Fifth Third’s $2.8 billion commitment that will provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, $60 million in financial accessibility and $40 million in philanthropy as part of its Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The commitment is focused on four strategic pillars that directly impact customers and communities with targeted outcomes enabling the Bank to track progress and measure success in the areas of strategic investments, access to capital, financial inclusion and education, and social justice and advocacy. Establishing the COECP at Fifth Third is part of the Bank’s commitment to financial education and inclusion.

The national COECP programs are part of the NMSDC’s In This Together campaign, which started in 2020. The campaign focuses on amplifying the organization’s advocacy for supplier diversity and economic inclusion domestically and globally.

NMSDC President and CEO Adrienne Trimble, said that the organization is pleased to collaborate with the Bank. “Corporate partners like Fifth Third are essential in our creating and delivering valuable opportunities for MBEs that will empower them to thrive.”

To learn more about Fifth Third’s COECP, please send an e-mail to

About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of Dec. 31, 2020, Fifth Third had $205 billion in assets and operated 1,134 full-service banking centers and 2,397 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 52,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of Dec. 31, 2020, had $434 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $54 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.

Chartered in 1972, The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) was stood up because of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and continues to be the leading minority business development organization in the United States. NMSDC supports the economic sustainability of more than 12,000 certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and advances minority business development by facilitating procurement opportunities between its certified MBEs and its network of 455 Corporate Members. NMSDC’s Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native America businesses provides products and services in many industries. The NMSDC network includes a National Office in New York, 23 affiliate regional councils, five international partner organizations and the Business Consortium Fund (BCF) as its funding arm.

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