During this time of social unrest, many businesses are looking for opportunities to advance a racially equitable future. Fortunately, the city is home to the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC), a corporate sponsorship-based organization with a successful history of growing and cultivating minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs).
ChicagoMSDC plays four primary roles; it certifies, develops, connects, and advocates for MBEs. The organization has corporate members and creates partnerships between major-buying organizations and minority-owned suppliers.
Founded in 1968 after social unrest rocked Chicago, ChicagoMSDC responded by launching the Chicago Business Opportunity Day, which brought together corporate and community leaders determined to create opportunities for low-income communities.
As a result of its success, this event was re-named the Chicago Business Opportunity Fair, which continues to flourish to this day as the organization’s premier annual event and is wrapping up its 53rd Annual Event.
And ChicagoMSDC is one of 23 affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) which was founded in 1972 to increase procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes.
Currently, ChicagoMSDC’s members include over 250 public-and-private-sector buying organizations and nearly 1,000 minority-owned businesses in Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and St. Louis. And this partnership is incredibly successful; buying members report spending over $3 billion annually while MBEs employ over 20,000 workers in family-sustaining jobs.
In order to certify as an MBE, at least 51% of a business must be owned by people who are Asian, Black, Hispanic, or Native American. If your business meets this requirement, you don’t have to do it alone; ChicagoMSDC can help you--it certifies over 300 MBEs annually, usually taking about 90 days to certify.
And August is National Black Business Month. Be sure to follow ChicagoMSDC on Twitter and Facebook for success stories of Black-owned businesses in the Chicago region. You can also look them up by searching #blackbizmonthchi and #chicagomsdc.
Recently, Chicago MSDC welcomed a new President and CEO, J. Vincent Williams (right). He brings extensive experience managing small business development and succession and building valuable community partnerships from the public and private sector. He knows that we have an unprecedented moment to push for supplier diversity.
The good news is many businesses and community leaders are looking to ChicagoMSDC for leadership during these challenging times. Vince and his staff have never been busier.
North Branch Works is honored to partner with ChicagoMSDC in our work to grow and strengthen minority-owned businesses in our service area. We highly recommend reaching out to ChicagoMSDC if you’d like to get involved and support minority-owned business development and family-sustaining jobs in Chicagoland.
Please contact Shondra Watson-Wilson, Director of Strategic Partnerships, 773-755-2552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image credits: Chicago MSDC