For minority and women supplier diversity business entrepreneurs

Featured In This Issue

Cover Story
Diversity & Inclusion
Workforce Diversity
Global Connections
Real Talk

As a boy, Clifford A. Bailey stood before his church congregation confidently reciting the Easter or Christmas speeches that he’d diligently learned. Each year and each special occasion, he was there, poised and self-assured. Even then, he instinctively knew how to use information, oratory, and energy to move his listeners.

If CEOs are made at church podiums, then Bailey may be the truest example. From those beginnings in Forrest City, Arkansas, a charismatic leader and entrepreneur emerged who would establish his own information technology consulting firm, TechSoft Systems, Inc., become an author and highly sought-after motivational speaker, and most recently, be elected Chair of the National Minor­ity Supplier Diversity Council’s (NMSDC) Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC).Preview Issue

The much-heralded movie “Selma” is an introspective insight into the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It reminded American audiences of a time in our not-so-distant past when exclusion was the underlying context for education and economic opportunity. Fast-forward to 2015 and we’re witnessing an unprecedented call for inclusion across the landscape of national and global economic competitiveness (

However, a significant part of the multi-faceted challenge in maintaining America’s global competitive advantage is bridging the gap between exclusionary policies and practices of the past (which crippled generations of underrepresented populations), with the explosive growth of tech-driven opportunities today (which require inclusion of talent inherent in underrepresented populations) to sustain the nation’s economic growth trajectory.

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From the top down, my workforce is made up of a rich, colorful, cross-cultural group of people. To begin with, I am an Irish immigrant who made Silicon Valley my home after I left university. The first person I hired when I launched my company was a Latino who would later bring on his sister, and, shortly after that, their nephew. Today, the majority of my employees hail from, among other places, Asia, Latin America, and the Near East. As you can imagine, establishing and maintaining a harmonious work environment in which cultural norms are anything but, can be a challenge.

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In the U.S., examples include Éleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, founder of DuPont Chemical, a French immigrant and steel magnate, and Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant. The phenomenon has impacted Asia as well. In Japan, it was Western-trained Japanese coupled with the management and total quality concepts of W. Edwards Deming that enabled Japan’s transition to a global industrial export colossus. In Taiwan, the influence of Taiwanese Americans was a major part of its ascension. The contribution of South Koreans abroad helped to unleash the “Miracle on the Han River.”

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2014 was quite a year. So many things happened that I thought were destined to happen; such as the controversial immigration executive order by President Barack Obama. To the contrary, some things happened which I thought would never happen, such as the opening of a Cuba-America dialog. That one, to me, was mind-blowing. But dare I say that race relations in the U.S. were and still are a gigantic problem.

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image Global Connections
image Real Talk

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From Florida to Ferguson to New York City to Cleveland and other points throughout the country, we are being forced to confront the prevailing issue of race in our country. The images and voices of those involved in nonviolent protests and die-ins have filled our television screens and flooded our social media networks for the past few months...






The MBDA Business Center of Pennsylvania (MBC-PA) and The Entrepreneurs Forum of Greater Philadelphia have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a partnership that provides valuable resources to minority-owned firms including increased access to procurement opportunities, increased access to capital, exporting assistance and advisory board services.

“Rather than recreating the wheel we are trying to find programs and initiatives where we can take our core strengths from each group, bring them together and serve that community every better,” said Dan Ross, executive director of EFGP.

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Master Your Brand

Brandiacs Change the World
When I made the connection between marketing, branding, and sustainability, I knew I had found my career path. It was incredibly rewarding to get it. I had been scratching at the surface for years, because I knew there was more to communication than just a successful company and greater bottom line. Perhaps you have heard that the first step to building a brand is to have passion. When there is no passion for the marketing of a brand, it’s just transactional. Place this ad. Research this market. Create this flyer. Book floor space at this tradeshow. Create X number of impressions. Generate leads, etc. As important as it is, knowing the numbers and how they are connected does not represent passion either. Buying online ads, using analytics, refreshing or overhauling a website is still not about passion. Those things represent transactions and help companies grow.... 

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Chicago United recently honored Robert L. Parkinson, Jr., chairman and CEO of Baxter International Inc. and Jonas Prising, CEO of ManpowerGroup as its 2014 Bridge Awards recipients. The award is given to companies that demonstrate and model a holistic approach to advancing corporate diversity and inclusion.

Baxter was recognized as the Chicago Bridge Award recipient for its exemplary promotion of diversity and inclusion among its employees and within the healthcare industry. ManpowerGroup was recognized as the National Bridge Award recipient for advancing diversity among its Board of Directors and its business leaders.

To learn more about the Chicago United, visit

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In Brief

Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), announced that it has expanded the Impact Investment Fund, a feature of the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program. The SBA is implementing a series of policy changes that promise to broaden access to the fund and strengthen the impact of SBICs...


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