MMSDC continues to build on successful program

By Genny Hom-Franzen

Transformative. Empowering. Innovative. Collaborative. Impactful. Diverse. Those are a few adjectives Michelle Sourie Robinson, president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), uses to describe her organization’s year in review. 


“Overall, 2023 was a positive year for MMSDC because of our dedication, innovation, collaboration and tangible impact on empowering minority businesses, fostering economic equity and creating opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” she said.


Robinson highlighted several of the Council’s successes in 2023, including: 

1) Achieving success: empowering clients with funding and $583 million in contracts

MMSDC’s Funding and Contract Facilitation Program secured vital funding for minority businesses, totaling over $500,000 in grants. Additionally, the program facilitated lucrative contracts worth $583 million, enabling substantial revenue generation and market expansion.


2) Elevating businesses: MMSDC’s Business Solutions Group/Advisory team’s $100 million impact and beyond

MMSDC’s Business Solutions Group/Advisory Team brokered transactions surpassing $100 million in value, leading to impactful joint ventures and expansions. Moreover, the team’s guidance in business acquisitions facilitated the transition of majority-owned suppliers to minority business enterprise (MBE) status, paving the way for the creation of new MBEs in previously untapped sectors.


3) Empowering MBEs through support from Lear Corp.

Thanks to support from Lear, the Council offered a comprehensive succession planning and business continuity program, along with a MMSDC Academy, which successfully graduated 26 corporate members, providing them with supplier diversity best practices training.


4) Plug and Play: empowering diverse startups

Through MMSDC’s Plug and Play Initiative, 60% of the program’s startups, led by women and underrepresented minorities, collectively raised $160 million. Supported by 17 corporate partners, the initiative facilitated the commercialization of groundbreaking concepts and technologies, driving economic growth and fostering diversity within the startup ecosystem. Through strategic collaboration and mentorship, MMSDC empowered entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into thriving businesses.


5) Comcast Rise Partnership: MMSDC empowers MBEs with $70,000 grants and more

Through the Council’s webinars and training sessions, more than 275 MBEs were equipped with valuable insights and resources to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in competitive markets. Fourteen MBEs emerged as winners, securing $70,000 in monetary grants, along with invaluable visibility and in-kind services.


6) Elevating MBEs: Lear, Bank of America and Toyota sponsor vital training at Michigan Manufacturing Training Center (MMTC)

Lear, Bank of America and Toyota sponsored technical assistance training in cybersecurity, lean manufacturing and advanced manufacturing technologies, more than 125 employees from 40 MBE companies were equipped with valuable skills and knowledge essential for success in today’s competitive landscape. This initiative not only enhanced the capabilities of minority-owned enterprises but also strengthened their position as key contributors to innovation and growth within their respective industries.


7) Matchmaker 365: a year of boundless connections

The Council’s MatchMaker 365 (MM365) platform had a nearly 40% surge in registered users both locally and globally. Some 73% of buyers in the system indicated they will move forward with MBEs they have met through MM365. In addition, the MM365 and Global Initiative Program pioneered its first cross-border partnership with Shankar Distillers LLC, based in Troy, Michigan.


8) Global initiative fuels XMA Consortium’s expansion into Central Mexico

The Council’s Global Initiative has facilitated the expansion of two minority owned businesses in the automotive plastic industry by forging an alliance with a company based in central Mexico. This collaboration has led to the establishment of a new company or consortium based in Ohio, boasting significantly increased production capacity and an expanded regional outreach.


It’s only the first quarter of 2024 but Robinson is already optimistic about the year to come.  Despite the challenges faced by many minority and women business enterprises, including access to capital, training and skills development, access to networking and opportunities, and the rapid changes in technology and digital adoption, Robinson said she and her team will continue to work with key stakeholders, building upon the successes the Council’s 2023 accomplishments. 


“By proactively addressing challenges through strategic initiatives and partnerships, MMSDC successfully empowered minority-owned businesses to overcome obstacles and achieve sustainable growth and success in 2023,” she said. “Amid reports of declines in support for DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion], it is crucial for both MBEs and corporate members to reaffirm their commitment to championing diversity and inclusion. By ‘staying the course,’ we can build more resilient, equitable and prosperous communities for all.”


To learn more about the Michigan MSDC, visit


Michelle Sourie Robinson Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council MMSDC MBE MMSDC Academy Comcast Rise Partnership Michigan Manufacturing Training Center MMTC Matchmaker 365 XMA Consortium

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