UMass Program to Support Disadvantaged Businesses

Filed in Featured, General by on November 24, 2015

The University of Massachusetts, an economic driver in the Commonwealth, created the UMass Minority Business Development Program with the goal of supporting Massachusetts-based and minority-owned business enterprises, promoting sustainability and leveraging cost saving opportunities.

The University developed the program in alignment with the UMass Board of Trustee’s policy on procurement, which states:

The University’s commitment to the principles of Affirmative Action shall be applied to purchasing with the objective of: (i) achieving and fostering greater participation in University procurement activity by minority-owned small business, small disadvantaged business, women-owned small business, HUBZone small business, Veteran-owned small business, and service-disabled Veteran-owned small business enterprises and (ii) encouraging socially or economically disadvantaged business owners to respond to invitations to bid on University business.

As part of the program, the University Procurement Council and the UMass Building Authority collaborate with the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. and the state of Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office to identify opportunities to foster the growth of local businesses.

University staff members also attend and host a variety of industry networking events, and have established University-wide metrics and begun implementing an enhanced communications strategy. This strategy includes centralizing access to bid documents, hosting vendor meetings, and presenting how to conduct business with UMass sessions at industry events.

The University continues to actively explore ways to support the growth of local businesses. For more information about the program, contact John Healey at jhealey@umassp.edu

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