November 30, 2010
MBA expects big things from goal setters in 2011
The Minority Business Accelerator (MBA), the Chamber’s initiative to stimulate the growth of sizeable minority enterprises, took a big step forward in 2010 by broadening its reach into the region.
One of the key strategic imperatives of the MBA is to work with area businesses and institutions to set goals for spending with local MBEs.
For the past five years, the MBA has lead the focus on the demand side of supplier diversity with its annual spend goal campaign. This one-of-a-kind local spend effort encourages corporations, non-profit agencies and minority firms to set goals to purchase products and services from local minority firms.
"We are excited to see ‘economic inclusion’ becoming a household name and that companies are embracing a diverse supply chain. The momentum we have seen over the past few years is evidence of the value that companies are receiving as a result of increasing access and creating specific targets for inclusion,” stated Crystal German, VP of the Minority Business Accelerator and economic inclusion. “The whole region is better for it."
The initial goal set by eight corporations in 2005 was $150 million and has increased incrementally over the years to represent over 31 firms for an aggregate spend of over $418 million in 2009. Participating organizations in the spend goal campaign are supported by the efforts of the MBA to increase their utilization of minority firms and their diversity spend.
With the expanded focus of the MBA and the rapid growth of the region’s goal setters, the MBA recently hired Myron Rivers as an economic inclusion manager, working closely with the MBA’s demand side.
"Our goal is to move from a transactional to a more engaged relationship with our goal setters, and recent results are a manifestation of that effort,” explains Rivers. “As we continue to push for not only increased access for minority firms, but a deeper and more robust commitment on behalf of our corporate community, our hope is to create a region where economic inclusion is a part of our region’s DNA and at the forefront of what makes Cincinnati USA a great place to do business."
The MBA currently has 31 goal setters, and is actively working to secure at least 10 additional goal setters by 2013. With the help of its two newest members of the goal setters campaign, ArtsWave and The Christ Hospital, the Chamber and the MBA moves closer to the $500 million goal in place for 2010.
“ArtsWave is committed to the economic vibrancy and connectedness of our region, and is proud to join other area organizations intent on measuring our progress against specific goals of diversifying our supplier pool, Mary McCullough-Hudson, president & CEO, ArtsWave, proclaimed. “We recognize that when we expand our team to include diverse suppliers and vendors, we help stimulate economic opportunities for everyone, as well as expand our team’s effectiveness by including more perspectives, distinctive ideas and creative solutions to our work supporting arts and culture experiences that engage all of our communities.”
If your organization is not currently setting a goal and would like to participate in increasing the prosperity of our region by accelerating the growth of minority businesses, please contact Myron Rivers, economic inclusion manager for the MBA at 513.579.3135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.