Supporting entrepreneurs of color is essential to creating economic inclusion and opportunity.

Supporting entrepreneurs of color is essential to creating economic inclusion and opportunity. All people should be able to participate in the economy, and benefit from economic growth and prosperity. Thank you to the Stanford Social Innovation Review for putting the spotlight on the powerful work and investment coming out of the Surdna Foundation.

We are breaking down barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs and providing opportunities to ensure the growth and success of minority and women owned businesses.

Governor Cuomo today signed into law S.6575/A.8414, which reauthorizes the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) program for five more years to ensure ongoing and meaningful participation of MWBEs in contracted State projects. The reauthorization of the law includes enhancements that will enable even more MWBEs to participate in and benefit from the program.       

"The extension and expansion of New York's nation-leading MWBE program will help ensure our economy is reflective of our values and of our diverse talent pool," Governor Cuomo said. "Diversity is New York's greatest asset, and by signing this measure into law we will empower more women and people of color to participate in State contracts and continue our aggressive program to make contracting even more inclusive."   

"We are breaking down barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs and providing opportunities to ensure the growth and success of minority and women owned businesses," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The renewal and expansion of our robust MWBE program advances New York's nation-leading MWBE goals as part of our overall efforts to promote diversity. We are committed to encouraging and supporting minority and women owned businesses across the state, creating jobs and strengthening the economy."

New York State Assembly Passes Legislation to Reform New York State's MWBE Program

Strong support for New York State’s Diverse businesses and the communities they support:

“With New York’s MWBE program set to expire this year, the New York State Assembly Majority is committed to continuing to support minority- and women-owned business enterprises here in our great state," said Speaker Heastie. "New York has always worked toward leveling the playing field for underrepresented communities. Minority and women entrepreneurs are critical generators of jobs and innovation in our communities, and should be able to access the same opportunities as non-minority owned businesses."

"Expanding opportunities for MWBEs will continue to be a priority in New York State," said Assemblymember Titus. "Socially and economically disadvantaged businesses like many owned and operated by minorities and women have been continuously overlooked. Supporting these businesses means investing in our economy, communities and equal opportunity for all New Yorkers."

"The MWBE program strengthens our economy while ensuring that minority and women owned businesses are given the opportunity to partake in New York’s procurement contracts," said Assemblymember Bichotte. "By increasing the personal net worth threshold to $15 million, implementing a streamlined certification process, and increasing the discretionary spending threshold to $500,000, the participation level of MWBEs will increase substantially with a direct positive economic impact."

Boston awarded less than 1 percent of $664 million in government work to diverse companies in 2018

Sobering data out this week from the City of Boston on the lack of participation by diverse businesses in the tax-payer funded public contracting. $654 Million in annual spend is a powerful engine for the CIty’s diverse and a powerful opportunity to create jobs and economic opportunity for minority, women, disadvantaged, veteran-owned, lgbt, and other diverse businesses. Unlocking access to the City’s government contracting market for these diverse businesses will be an inflectional point in the City’s history.

Despite Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s promises to use more women and minority vendors, and to diversify city construction contracts, Boston awarded less than 1 percent of $664 million in government work to such companies in 2018 — the first year the city was required to report such data under a new ordinance. That amount is far below what other big cities have awarded to businesses owned by women and minorities.

Released in early May, the statistic shocked many in the business community and may force City Hall to reassess the efforts that Walsh has championed since early in his first term.

“People knew it was a low number; they just didn’t know how low it was,” said Segun Idowu, executive director of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, who has since met with city officials to brainstorm new ways to diversify city contracting.

MWBE banks team up with NYC comptroller to win more business

Representatives of minority- and women-owned small banks from around the country are teaming up to expand business opportunities in New York City. Politicians and firm representatives said they hope to show other cities and states how they can incorporate a more diverse business model into their investments.

Attending MWBE University, last Thursday’s session focused on how small minority depository institutions can become a New York City-designated bank and receive tax breaks for contributing to the city’s development efforts.

MWBE University is a program developed by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to aid businesses owned and operated by women and people of color.

"We believe that minority banks can and should play a pivotal role in the economic success in the neighborhoods of our city,” Stringer said at the gathering held at the comptroller’s office at the David M. Dinkins Municipal Building in Manhattan. “But right now there’s a big barrier between minority banks that could do business with the city and the ones that aredoing business with the city.”

International Woman's Day 2019:Improving female participation in work across the OECD could boost OECD GDP by US$6 trillion, while closing the gender pay gap could boost GDP by US$2 trillion.

PWC’s 2019 Women in Work Index is out with the business case for Inclusion. There is a huge prize at stake from accelerating progress: Improving female participation in work across the OECD could boost OECD GDP by US$6 trillion, while closing the gender pay gap could boost GDP by US$2 trillion.

Working women everywhere are increasingly asserting their right to be respected and treated fairly at work. However, women in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) still face significant challenges and inequalities in the workplace. The pay gap persists and women are still under-represented in corporate leadership, with women accounting for only one-in-five of board seats in the largest publicly-listed companies in the OECD. Clearly, there is still a long way to go before we can achieve a gender-equal workplace.

2018 Annual Report: NYC has increased its M/WBE spending, but continues to fall short on M/WBE utilization

NYC’s Annual report on Diversity, Access, and Inclusion of Minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) in the City’s public economy is out and the the City continues to lag in execution on its mandated goals.

Minority- and women-owned business enterprises are critical to the country’s job market, employing millions of Americans and contributing more than $1 billion to the national economy each day.

Nevertheless, these businesses continue to confront disparities that deny them the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. In New York City, people of color and women account for 84 percent of the population and 64 percent of business owners.

The City’s recently published disparity study showed that while more M/WBEs are available to contract with the City, there was persistent underutilization of these firms in the last six years of City contracting.

Toward a Fair & Equitable Massachusetts Economy: Practical Steps for a Diverse & Inclusive Entrepreneurial Community.

Developing policies, practices, and processes that increase diverse and equitable business participation in the economic development of the Commonwealth was front and center this past week at The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts 29th Annual Conference: Toward a Fair & Equitable Massachusetts Economy: Practical Steps for a Diverse & Inclusive Entrepreneurial Community.

The room was full of dedicated and passionate business and community leaders representing nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies who are working every day to build a sustainable and just economy in Massachusetts.  Of special focus this year: mobilizing community assets to drive awareness & inclusion, enhance collaboration, and match capabilities of ready, willing, and able diverse businesses with relevant and timely public sector opportunities.

Learn more about SBN’s efforts at http://sbnmass.org/.

VeraCloud recognized by The Social Innovations Journal for democratizing access to social and economic opportunity.

The Social Innovations Journal has named VeraCloud “one of Boston’s most innovative solutions to society’s biggest problems.” We are humbled to be recognized alongside some of Boston’s, New England’s, and our country’s most committed advocates for democratized access to social and economic opportunity.

The Journal chronicles social innovations and enterprises addressing the nation’s most challenging issues surrounding social policy, leadership, human capital, and systems. In collaboration with government, philanthropy, nonprofits and universities, the Journal bridges formal research and real-life experience.

The Journal has joined forces with the:
•    Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics
•    Social Innovation Forum
•    Harvard Kennedy School, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
•    MassChallenge
•    City Awake
•    Social Venture Partners Boston
•    GreenLight Fund Boston
•    Amplified Impact
to convene groundbreaking social innovators, social enterprises, and public - private partnerships at a December 5th symposium that will showcase Boston’s most innovative solutions to solve society’s toughest problems. 

VeraCloud's solution to jump-start Diversity is a powerful tool for incentivizing and aligning prime contractors and other hiring entities to scale their use of diverse businesses (MWBE’s, DBE’s, & VBE’s) in the US public sector contracting market.

VeraCloud addresses systemic market failures by enabling efficiency and best-in-class diversity practices, while delivering a superior experience. VeraCloud’s solution can be used to build capacity in areas of need; enables focused efforts for inclusion; and enables public sector contracting market participants to discover, connect, and collaborate more efficiently and effectively.

Please join us and other innovators in shaping and expanding the 2018 agenda for Boston’s Social Innovation Ecosystem on December 5, 2017:  1:45 – 5:00 at the BOSTON HARBOR HOTEL: 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110.  

Please Register HERE to attend.