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Introduction to Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity

During the “Introduction to Supplier Diversity” webinar, Jill Lippincott, team lead of innovation and apprenticeship with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, discussed connecting small business owners to all of the opportunities and resources out there to grow their businesses, which includes collaborating with diverse suppliers. A diverse supplier is a business that’s at least 51% owned and operated by someone in a traditionally underrepresented or underserved group. By partnering or working with a diverse supplier, businesses can support DEI, create an economic impact in communities served and more.

Lippincott shared the amount the state of Iowa purchased from targeted small businesses in FY 2020: $45,414,706.38. This number was pre-pandemic, before the COVID-19 grant program for targeted small business which doubled the number of targeted small businesses. In Iowa, the Targeted Small Businesses program includes businesses that meet the 51% stat above, are located in Iowa, are operated for profit and have an annual gross income of $4 million or less on average for the three preceding fiscal years. Lippincott also discussed how businesses can become certified as a targeted small business, as well as how to start a supplier diversity program.

Supplier Diversity Training Session Topics

  • Invite change
  • Find champions
  • Be a relationship builder first
  • Set benchmarks
  • Go outside your conference zone

The Partnership’s supplier diversity training will continue with a four-part series through Wednesday, August 4. Sessions will be led by Kathey Porter of Porter Brown Associates and help businesses refresh their supplier diversity plans to identify performance metrics and more. Session topics will include:

  • The Role of the Supplier Diversity Practitioner
    • 8-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 14
  • Internal Assessment – Understanding the Three Organizational P’s (Policies, People + Processes)
    • 8-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 21
  • External Environment – Stakeholder Collaboration
    • 8-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 28
  • Small Business Engagement and Development
    • 8-11 a.m. Wednesday, August 4

Watch the entire webinar below:


Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.

Find these tips useful? Learn more tricks on how to maximize the potential of your business through The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.