Competition, Collaboration, The Value of Relationships Drive New Center of Excellence Certification Program

Building minority entrepreneur competitiveness through relationship building and collaboration – these are the goals of a game-changing new Center of Excellence Certificate Program (COECP), to prepare emerging minority businesses for greater success in the corporate world, launched in May by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).

Partnering with the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers University and Covenant Business Concepts (CBC), NMSDC will work through three of its regional affiliate councils to manage their pilot COECP.

The year-long program will train individual council cohorts of 15-20 Class II (annual sales of $1-$10 million) minority business enterprises (MBEs). Also participating in each cohort will be eight-10 NMSDC corporate members and facilitators/trainers provided by (CBC), a certified MWBE.

Qualified candidates are NMSDC-certified Class II businesses with a minimum of five employees. Participating MBEs must demonstrate the ability to meet the business-critical needs of NMSDC’s corporate members.

COECP is designed to develop and grow certified diverse businesses to compete and be better prepared for the more rigorous vendor requirements currently in use by NMSDC member corporations.

From NMSDC’s perspective, the immediate goal of COECP is to fortify and strengthen the supply chain for its corporate members. Other benefits include:

  • Supporting the growth of NMSDC-certified Class II MBEs;
  • Enhancing opportunities for NMSDC-certified diverse suppliers;
  • Developing a results-focused coaching and mentoring relationship between NMSDC Class II-certified diverse suppliers, corporate members and Corporate Plusâ MBEs;

In the coming year, participants will meet monthly and chart their development through monthly progress and strategic growth plans. They will identify barriers to growth, best practices, and solutions for minority inclusion in the corporate (Fortune 1000) supplier chain, specifically at a regional level.

Subject-matter experts, including Rutgers University professors and NMSDC corporate members, will lead live blended learning classroom instruction via virtual links to remote participants at designated “learning hubs”.

For more information about COECP, contact David.Hamlin@NMSDC.org.

NMSDC advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. To meet the growing need for supplier diversity, NMSDC matches its more than 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses to our network of more than 1,750 corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services and solutions. NMSDC, a unique and specialized player in the field of minority business enterprise, is proud of its unwavering commitment to advance Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American suppliers in a globalized corporate supply chain.