Supplier Diversity Certification – What it Means for You

supplier diversity certificationIf you have a small business and one that can be defined as socially and economically disadvantaged, you can get certified as a disadvantaged small business. Those who qualify for the position are owners who are:

  • Women
  • Disabled
  • Part of an ethnic minority
  • Veterans
  • Disabled veterans
  • Members of the LGBT

You as the owner of the said small business should be the visionary and executor of the businesses’ main goals, not just a figurehead of a business. Your share of ownership should also be 51%, with a co-owner in the same group, another member of another disadvantage group or not.

These qualifications are only the basics for your certification as a disadvantaged small business. Certification for this is awarded by many government agencies as well as private organizations, usually groups that are closely affiliated with a particular group. For example, a woman-focused organization can be a certifier for a women-owned business and so forth.

Certification for Diversity Suppliers

The certification for being a disadvantaged small business is called supplier diversity certification and the one asking for this validation will be known as the supplier diversity vendor (your business) for a particular organization or company. This second certification is essential for many small businesses like yours that are trying doing procurement for private enterprises. In the case of supplier diversity certification, it is the private organization or company that acts as one of the supplier diversity certification agencies. Like any other organization, private companies have requirements that must be fulfilled before a certification is issued. Previous certifications from the groups and government can help in solidifying the case for a vendor certification of a small and disadvantaged business.

Like any vendor or business certification, supplier diversity certification has requirements and fulfilling these requirements is the main way to become a certified diversity supplier. Documents are essential requirements and depending on the company that bestows the certification, different documents have to be presented and submitted. As previously stated, small businesses that previously applied and gotten one previously are more familiar with the process of certification. There might be a little more difficulty in applying for supplier diversity certification because it might entail more paperwork to be submitted and reviewed.

In addition, the requirements/documents may vary and change depending on the company that bestows the certification. One entity/company can have a different set of requirement for another company. Those who aspire for certification can view the required supporting documents in an official website.


Being a supplier diversity vendor can bring in a lot of benefits to your business. Increased profits from a wide range of companies are one and possibly the most important. Another benefit to consider is the business connections those two certifications can bring to a business. Those two benefits alone can be very good for both short and long term business strategies for growth. Of course, there are also other advantages for certification – support, knowledge, experience and expertise from other businesses can help your business in the initial stages of procuring for private entities.

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