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Source : Unsplash
November 3, 2022
Author : Alex Bustillos
Federal and state governments are working to provide better and equal opportunities and access to Minority-Owned Businesses for government projects.
Businesses looking to diversify their supply chain by partnering with minority and/or women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) often find it difficult to find a suitable vendor.
A positive step in this direction is being undertaken by the Kentucky Chamber Foundation's Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by creating an all-encompassing Kentucky Minority-Owned Business Database.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce was founded 75 years ago and currently represents over 3800 organizations of varying stature. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce promotes a dynamic business climate in the Commonwealth, works to advance the state, and provides significant value to its members by providing advocacy, information, program management, and customer service to help businesses create, recruit, expand, and retain employees.
To be considered an M/WBE, at least 51% of the company's ownership must be held by one or more American citizens who are socially or economically disadvantaged (African American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latin or Hispanic, or Native American origin). The company should be run for profit. Women or minority members should be in charge of management and day-to-day activities.
This announcement comes in the same week as the Kentucky Chamber's first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit in Louisville.
This is Kentucky's first platform that combines all certified minority-owned companies in one platform. Numerous agencies give certifications to classify a business as minority-owned, and the business listings were formerly posted on multiple websites.
The Kentucky Minority-Owned Business Database has now centralized the listing of more than 1,100 minority-owned businesses in collaboration with various certifying organizations.
The Kentucky MWBE Database compiles the certification lists mentioned below:
“As the state’s largest business association, we constantly hear from companies that want to diversify but have difficulty finding minority-owned suppliers. With this database, the Kentucky Chamber Foundation can better help businesses grow, diversify, and create change,” explained Ashli Watts, president, and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
The database is searchable, allowing users to identify and filter minority-owned businesses by name, certification type, industry, service provided, location, and other criteria. While each certification procedure is unique, they all carry varying degrees of legitimacy when assessing whether they are accepted by federal contractors, state-level agencies, and other groups.
The Kentucky Chamber Foundation also intends to provide information and resources to assist businesses in understanding the value of certification, determining which certification is ideal for them, and learning how to begin the process. Once a business receives MWBE certification, it will be featured in the database.
The database is accessible to the general public and will be updated every month.