In today’s business environment, diversity and inclusion are no longer optional. They are essential components of a successful business. One way to promote diversity and inclusion is by working with diverse suppliers. Diverse suppliers can provide a range of benefits to your company, including increased innovation, improved customer loyalty, and a stronger brand reputation. However, finding diverse suppliers can be a challenge. In this blog post, we will provide some tips for finding diverse suppliers for your company.

  1. Understand the Definition of a Diverse Supplier
    Before you start your search for diverse suppliers, it’s important to understand the definition of a diverse supplier. A diverse supplier is a company that is at least 51% owned and operated by individuals who belong to one or more of the following groups: women, minorities, veterans, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities. Knowing this definition will help you narrow down your search to suppliers that meet these criteria.
  2. Check Your Network
    Start by looking at your existing network of suppliers and partners. Do any of them qualify as diverse suppliers? If not, ask them if they know any diverse suppliers that they could recommend. Referrals can be an excellent source of diverse suppliers because they come with a recommendation from someone you trust.
  3. Use Diverse Supplier Databases
    There are several databases that you can use to find diverse suppliers. These databases provide a list of certified diverse suppliers that meet specific criteria. Datalou is one of the top companies offering supplier diversity management solutions, including our supplier diversity database with more than 1,000,000 suppliers.
  4. Attend Diverse Supplier Events
    Attending diverse supplier events is an excellent way to meet new suppliers and learn about the products and services they offer. These events can include conferences, trade shows, and networking events. You can also attend events hosted by organizations that support diverse suppliers, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) or the National Black MBA Association.
  5. Engage with Local Business Organizations
    Local business organizations can be an excellent resource for finding diverse suppliers. These organizations can connect you with suppliers in your area and provide information on how to support diverse suppliers. Some examples of local business organizations include chambers of commerce, small business associations, and economic development organizations.
  6. Ask for References from Diverse Suppliers
    When you find a diverse supplier that you are interested in working with, ask for references. This will give you an opportunity to speak with other companies that have worked with the supplier and learn about their experience. You can also ask the supplier for case studies or examples of how they have helped other companies.
  7. Use Social Media
    Social media can be a powerful tool for finding diverse suppliers. Use hashtags such as #diversity, #inclusion, #minorityowned, #womenowned, or #veteranowned to search for diverse suppliers. You can also follow organizations that support diverse suppliers and share their posts to help spread the word.
  8. Be Transparent About Your Supplier Diversity Goals
    When you are looking for diverse suppliers, it’s important to be transparent about your goals. Let potential suppliers know that you are committed to working with diverse suppliers and that you are actively seeking out new suppliers to add to your network. This will help attract diverse suppliers and demonstrate your commitment to supplier diversity.

Finding diverse suppliers can be a challenge, but it’s an essential part of promoting diversity and inclusion in your company. By using these tips, you can identify and engage with diverse suppliers, build strong relationships, and benefit from their products and services. Remember, supplier diversity is not a one-time initiative; it’s a continuous effort that requires ongoing commitment and support.