Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship for Over 30 Years

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Full Steam Ahead
Cover Story
Global Connections

Benita Fortner, who has enjoyed an illustrious career in supplier diversity for more than 25 years, recently retired from her position as director of supplier diversity for Raytheon Company.

Her leadership roles in government and industry have included: the National Chair for MED Week 2002–2004 and named Chair Emeritus in 2005; the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Week Planning Committee; the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) Chairperson’s Committee; the Southern California Regional Purchasing Council; and a past Executive Committee Member of NMSDC.

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A growing cadre of business and educational leaders are campaigning to ensure every serious student — K-12 and beyond — is well-grounded in the arts.

The reason? Students heavily steeped in the arts tend to be more innovative, more creative and more successful in business – no matter what other training they happen to have, according to arts proponents.

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Throughout history, one of the most oft-used terms to describe an unorthodox or independent-minded person is “maverick.” U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is often hailed as a political maverick for standing up to his party on certain issues, and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has been branded with the term for his willingness to boldly enter the commercial airline market as a direct competitor of British Airways.

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Embedding supplier diversity into procurement practices was a key element of the Pan American/Parapan American Games that Canada’s largest city, Toronto, hosted in 2015. This resulted in a total spend of almost $10 million with diverse suppliers or 8.6 percent of the total supplier spend. One of the goals of the organizing committee - TO2015 - was to leave a diversity legacy that Canada could be proud of – and that other international sporting events could emulate. The legacy of these Games has many different tentacles and is creating a new framework for how procurement will be looked at within Canada – not only from a corporate perspective, but from a government one as well.

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A Letter to the Oil Industry

In July 2008, the United States experienced the highest oil price ever on record—$145 per barrel of oil. But a year later, the price of a barrel of oil plummeted to $33.47—a 77 percent drop in value. For the average American, it’s a windfall, but who’s paying the price? For the thousands of small, minority, and women-owned businesses (SMWBEs) in the United States that pride themselves on servicing the oil industry, the past eight years have been beyond rough.




In Brief

The National Urban League released a comprehensive scorecard evaluating the presidential term of Barack Obama, giving the administration its second-highest rating of "Excellent."




Wells Fargo Offers Diverse-Owned Businesses Scholarships

Wells Fargo announced the Wells Fargo Scholarship Fund for Diverse Businesses in collaboration with the Tuck School of Business. With $100,000 to fund 24 scholarships for the Tuck School of Business Minority Business Programs, certified minority, women, veteran, LGBT and disabled owned business entrepreneurs will be able to attend Tuck.

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Leslie Saunders, CEO and founder of Leslie Saunders Insurance Agency, Inc., is one of the 25 recipients of the inaugural Legacy of Leaders Award for Women of Distinction presented at the Women’s Business Enterprise Council’s (WBENC) 20th Anniversary Summit & Salute in New Orleans, LA, this past March. This first-ever award recognizes the recipient’s deep commitment to the organization and its mission to break down barriers for women-owned businesses in corporate and government supply chains.

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Conference Round Up

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency(MBDA) celebrated its 34th National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week in Chicago on October 23–26, 2016. The annual celebration, observed by U.S. Presidential Proclamation since 1983, honors and recognizes the outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership, excellence, and commitment in advancing minority business enterprises (MBEs).

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Master Your Brand

Perhaps you are blown away by the amount of personal branding that is taking place on social media. Nowadays, it seems as if everybody has a brand. If you’re still trying to figure things out, this Master Your Brand column is just for you. Specifically, it addresses a scenario in which you have not made the time and financial investment in your own brand, and are unsure if you should do so.

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