Centers of Excellence Certificate Program

Centers of Excellence Certificate Program

The NMSDC Centers of Excellence Certificate Program (COECP) is a 12-month innovative and rigorous diverse vendor business development initiative. The purpose of COECP is to facilitate the development and growth of NMSDC-certified MBEs with $1 million to less than $10 million in sales to become more prepared to compete effectively and win larger contracts with corporations, anchor institutions and government agencies.

About the Centers of Excellence Certificate Program

In 2018, NMSDC partnered with Rutgers University, Institute Supply Management, and Covenant Business Concepts to launch a new Centers of Excellence Certificate Program.  Designed for NMSDC Class II business owners, the curriculum is comparable to a graduate school learning experience.  To date there have been 5 cohorts with MBE participation driven primarily by the corporate sponsors service area.

Starting in 2024, the identification and recruitment of MBEs to participate in a cohort will transition away from affiliate councils located within the corporate sponsors services area, to a national offering managed by NMSDC.  This change will facilitate the inclusion of a broader number of MBEs to participate in the program who have been unable to do so because of geographic barrier constraints.  The MBE demand for the COECP has always exceeded the number of available cohort slots so we are excited to respond with this process improvement.

Structure of the Program

  • A virtual 12-month program designed for MBE owners to receive graduate-level information from Rutgers University professors and corporate member subject matter experts. The learning sessions consist of business topic presentations that include case studies, and peer-to-peer breakout rooms for brainstorming and problem-solving.
  • Mentoring component with Revenue Band III & IV MBEs and Corporate Plus members.
  • Executive Coaching component with NMSDC Corporate Members.
  • Programming includes:
    • Kick-off session to welcome the new cohort.
    • Monthly cohort sessions.
    • Intensive networking and mentoring among corporations and MBEs, resulting in the creation of comprehensive strategic growth plans, compelling targeted pitch decks, useful reports, business opportunities, and results-focused knowledge transfer.
    • Four 2.5-hour executive coaching sessions, led by corporate members.
    • Graduation session with an award of a certificate of completion from Rutgers, ISM, and NMSDC. Continuing Education credits are also awarded by ISM.

Play the video to hear about Amanda’s Centers of Excellence experience.


Amanda Ma

Founder & CEO

Innovate Marketing Group

Program Benefits

The program is an in-person and/or virtual diverse vendor development program designed to build certified minority entrepreneur competitiveness through relationship building and collaboration. By enrolling in the Center of Excellence Certificate Program, you’ll be able to:

Grow your knowledge and business by learning from participants’ competitive strengths and sharing business skills and best practices that will be key to taking your company to the next level.

Discover new opportunities to enter into partnerships, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and/or teaming agreements which will help you secure larger contracts and grow to a global scale.

Develop result-focused coaching and mentoring relationships with corporate members, Corporate Plus members, and other high-growth MBEs.

Align your sales methods with the procurement processes of corporate members, increasing your likelihood to close contracts.

Ultimately, help build a stronger U.S. supply chain by preparing your business for new opportunities with corporate members and other MBEs.

Participant Criteria and Expectations

To participate in this program, the minority business must first be NMSDC-certified. Additionally, the business must demonstrate the ability to meet the business-critical needs of our corporate members. This generally means the business should have revenues of $1 million-10 million.

Participants much commit to the following expectations:

  • CEO’s commitment to attend all scheduled COECP sessions, mentoring sessions and capacity-building activities.
  • Complete the COECP Capacity Building/Mentoring Assessment form. 
  • Be receptive to learning and constructive feedback.
  • Come with the mindset to learn how to meet or exceed the client’s needs in the areas of quality, delivery, and pricing.

*Note: Participation in the program does not guarantee contracts.

Play the video to hear about Jeanne’s Centers of Excellence experience.


Jeanne Simkins Hollis

Founder & CEO

Slater Infrastructure Group

Program Sponsor

The Center of Excellence Certificate Program is brought to NMSDC-certified MBEs by the following sponsor:

Program Partner

The Center of Excellence Certificate Program is made possible thanks to a partnership with: