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Small Business is Big Business: Supplier Diversity in DSM

Supplier Diversity

During the recent “Supplier Diversity” webinar, speakers discussed how diverse communities are growing to become savvy consumers who want to know more about the businesses they buy from and interact with. Participating speakers included:

Porter shares how increasing the percentage of contracts to minorities — a successful model implemented by Atlanta’s first black mayor, Maynard Johnson — resulted in strengthening the black middle class to create a more affluent business community. Supplier diversity programs expanded and growth continued due to the model.

Supplier Diversity Elements

The basic elements of the supplier diversity model include the following:

  • Social Responsibility
  • Economic Development
  • Customer Expectations
  • Competitive Advantage

Porter touches on the positive reinvestment back into the community when you create opportunities within the supplier diversity model. From innovation to cost savings, businesses reap the benefits as well.

As Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses consider and expand supplier diversity programs, Porter says it’s important to include both short-term and long-term goals when planning the program. From analyzing opportunities to benchmarking, tracking and outreach, initiating a supplier diversity program will lead to new business partnerships and success.

Read another recent Partnership post on optimizing untapped resources by creating a supplier diversity program.

Targeted Small Business Program

Lippincott shares information on the Targeted Small Business (TSB) program, explaining how to become certified by the State of Iowa. Eligible businesses for TSB certification must meet the four criteria listed below:

  • Businesses must be located in the state of Iowa.
  • Businesses must operate for a profit.
  • Businesses must make less than $4 million in gross income, computed as an average of the preceding three fiscal years.
  • Businesses must be majority owned (51% or more), operated and managed by a female, individual with minority status, service disabled veteran or individual with a disability.

Partnership Resources

Schneider discusses the COVID-19 Rapid Response Hub on The Partnership’s website. Resources and tools for small businesses are continually updated to assist with business planning during the pandemic. The Partnership will also be adding functionality to search for diverse suppliers easily using its directory.

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.