For minority and women supplier diversity business entrepreneurs

The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), in partnership with Etsy and Citi, congratulated the 53 graduates of the first cohort of 2014 of the NYC Craft Entrepreneurship program. Since launching a pilot program in September 2013, a total of 98 New Yorkers have graduated from NYC Craft Entrepreneurship. With a contribution of $155,000 from Citi Community Development, the program takes place on a quarterly basis in all five boroughs, and will be expanding this quarter to include courses taught in Spanish. 

NYC Craft Entrepreneurship provides micro-business training to underemployed, low-income adults with existing artistic skills to help supplement their income and sell their product to new markets. The program utilizes Etsy's platform for selling creative goods as a real-world learning lab, and leverages SBS' expertise in helping small businesses start, operate, and grow, and connecting New Yorkers to jobs. 

For more information, a schedule of courses, or the application for the next cohort, visit


The Maryland Public Service Commission convened its annual hearing for utility companies to report on their contracts with diverse suppliers. The proceeding reviewed participating companies' diverse supplier procurements, which totaled more than $522 million, a 67 percent increase over the previous year. This year's proceeding demonstrated the continued overall effectiveness of the program, with several companies reporting that spending goals were met or exceeded, whereas others committed to undertake measures that would accelerate progress in achieving supplier diversity goals.

The Commission's Public Conference 16 on Supplier Diversity (PC 16) is aimed at providing women-, minority- and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses greater opportunities to participate in and compete for contracts and subcontracts with public utilities. The participating companies have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)  with the Commission that outline a goal to award 25 percent of their total dollars spent on contracts, subcontracts and purchase orders (governed by the MOU) to diverse suppliers. Nine of the 14 companies that reported data for 2013 provided 2013 targets; seven of which met or exceeded their targets. The targets set in 2013 by the companies ranged from three percent to 28 percent of the company's total procurement spending.

Utility companies represented at the hearing included electricity and gas, transportation and telecommunications. Despite some overall positive strides reported, the Commission expects the companies to strive toward meeting the 25 percent goal in the MOU and engaging more of the underrepresented diverse suppliers in their business operations. Utilities are encouraged to explore additional education, training and outreach initiatives to increase utilization of diverse suppliers as they undertake reliability and infrastructure improvement projects statewide.

More information on PC 16 and supplier diversity is available on the Commissions website, under the Supplier Diversity link on the homepage. 


Women-owned businesses are a $3 trillion economic force and support 23 million jobs but still face significant barriers compared to their male-owned counterparts when it comes to obtaining loans and growing their businesses, according to a report released by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Women entrepreneurs account for just $1 out of every $23 in small business lending, despite representing 30 percent of all small companies. Women also are more likely to be turned down for loans or receive less favorable terms than men, according to the report.

The report, entitled 21st Century Barriers to Women's Entrepreneurship, was presented during a hearing led by Cantwell and Senator James Risch (R-ID), ranking member on the committee. Testifying before the committee were several distinguished businesswomen such as U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Barbara Corcoran of ABC's Shark Tank, and former Telemundo president Nely Galn. The hearing focused on the unique challenges that women face in starting their own businesses and legislative solutions that could help boost women-owned small businesses and create jobs.

Read the entire report at


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MBE Resource Center

MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.


MBE's M/WBE Resource Directory is a comprehensive list of resource organizations (including links) that support the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs.


Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.


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