Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce
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May 28, 2024 10:35am

Greater Louisville Inc. rolls out Supplier Diversity Program to support supply chain diversification

Louisville, Ky (May 28, 2024)—Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) announced the launch of a new Supplier Diversity Program aimed at helping Greater Louisville businesses identify and source diverse suppliers in their procurement process. The initiative is modeled off the framework developed through a widely successful partnership with GE Appliances that helped the global company grow, recruit and relocate diverse suppliers.

GLI’s Supplier Diversity Program is designed to tailor to the specific needs of each company, helping recruit diverse suppliers inside and outside the 15-county region. GLI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team will work directly with a company’s procurement leaders to identify needs and specific North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes that align with those corporate needs, and then deploy a national search to identify potential partners. GLI supports both parties throughout the process, helping suppliers look for ways to scale to meet the needs of corporate partners and helping potential suppliers relocate or expand into the region.

“GLI’s Supplier Diversity Program is a win-win for all businesses in our community. Our goal is to not only provide increased ROI for our region’s corporations, but to also grow investment in minority-owned businesses and even relocate them to our region to do business with our corporations,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “A strong economy is an inclusive economy, and I am optimistic that this new program will create additional opportunities to advance economic inclusion in our region.”

A study by the Hackett Group estimates that companies that participate in a long-term supplier diversity program generate a 133% greater ROI than other companies. GLI is also using the program as a resource to support businesses who signed GLI’s Racial Equity Pledge and committed to diversifying their vendor spend, along with several other actions to advance economic equity.

“GE Appliances is committed to spending  $1 billion, cumulatively, with diverse-owned suppliers by 2030.  Partnering with GLI’s diverse supplier initiatives and programming has been instrumental in our journey towards achieving this ambitious goal,” said Michelle Thompson, Director of Procurement Strategy, GE Appliances. “I urge other companies in the Greater Louisville community to leverage the valuable resources provided by GLI to streamline the identification and collaboration with diverse-owned businesses.”

The process starts with reaching out to GLI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team, who will then meet with interested companies to determine the size and scope of their supply chain needs. The team will implement a rigorous supplier verification and vetting process. Interested suppliers may be required to submit proof of MWBE certification and undergo regular quality and satisfaction assessments, based on the discretion of the company.

This program is one of several initiatives launched by GLI’s DE&I department in the past three years. Most recently, GLI launched a Certification Hub in partnership with the Louisville Small Business Development Center, to help more businesses in the region obtain a variety of certifications, including minority, women, and other diverse state and local certifications, that can help them qualify for lucrative corporate and government contracts.

Businesses interested in participating in the Supplier Diversity Program can learn more here.

About Greater Louisville Inc.

Greater Louisville Inc. is the Metro Chamber of Commerce and represents 15 counties in Kentucky and Indiana. GLI’s mission is to grow businesses and the regional economy. GLI supports businesses during every stage of development and represents the collective needs of the business community by advocating for pro-growth policies and economic development investment, and deploying programming centered around attracting and developing talent and economic inclusion. GLI is the 2019 National Chamber of the Year and is one of only three percent of chambers nationally certified with 5-star accreditation status by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Learn more on social media @GLIchamber or visit www.greaterlouisville.com.