By Ying McGuire, CEO and president, National Minority Supplier Development Inc.
I am incredibly grateful for all you have helped us accomplish in 2023. This year was one of remarkable growth and significant milestones and has further solidified our position as leaders in advancing minority businesses and creating generational wealth in communities of color:
Network Expansion and Growth: We welcomed 92 new national corporate members, over 1,050 new certified MBEs, and 24 new Corporate Plus
MBE Growth: We celebrated a 21% increase in MBE revenue to $316 billion, marking a monumental step towards our goal of $1 trillion in annual revenue.
Connection: We facilitated quarterly matchmaker events with over 850 individual meetings; we hosted over 500 leaders at our Minority Business Economic Forum and 5,200 attendees at our record-setting NMSDC Annual Conference & Exchange in partnership with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), setting a new standard for collaboration and engagement.
Capital: We launched the Capital Manager’s Program, the most comprehensive public directory of capital firms focused on minority businesses. We are tracking 400 firms and have established new relationships with over 40 of them and have also almost doubled the applicants for the Growth Initiative and Fund Certification programs since launching in May.
Member Development: We strengthened corporate member development with the Business Diversity Leadership Summit and numerous webinars.
Next Generation Engagement: We cultivated the largest cohort in the history of the Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program.
Black Business Growth: We launched the Acres: Cultivating Equity in Black Agriculture program to create greater opportunities for Black farmers and fueled Black business growth through $1 million in grants in partnership with Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD foundation.
Digital Transformation: We rolled out a reimagined NMSDC website, the first redesign since 2014. We also created an innovative hybrid certification model using the latest technology that will drive automation, consistency, and efficiency beginning in 2024.
Advocacy Effort: In a year of unparalleled legal challenges to DEI, we spearheaded an alliance of business and civil rights leaders across the nation to push back against these attacks and champion the cause of DEI.
New Strategic Partnerships: We formed new strategic alliances with U.S. Black Chambers Inc. (USBC), Global Black Economic Forum (GBEF), and Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), and expanded our global footprint to new horizons in Brazil, Chile, and India.
Each step we’ve taken this past year has been a building block towards an even more inclusive and prosperous future for our MBEs and corporate members in 2024 and beyond.
Looking forward to 2024
While 2023 was a momentous year for our network, 2024 holds the potential for even more extraordinary milestones and breakthroughs.
In 2024, our mission is clear: to propel our MBEs toward unprecedented growth as we aim for the bold target of $1 trillion in annual revenue by 2030. Our renewed commitment will enable a streamlined, modern certification model and technology, dismantling hurdles for MBEs and facilitating seamless connections with our corporate partners through an enhanced, dynamic MBE search platform. Furthermore, we are set to reinforce unity and accountability within our network, setting the stage for enduring alliances instrumental in bridging the racial wealth divide.
Of course, 2024 will not be without its challenges. Over the past year, the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in college admissions and the subsequent legal challenges impacting DEI, MBE inclusion and business diversity have threatened to hinder the full participation of systematically excluded communities of color in economic life. And, while we have built a strong community of partners to push back against these attacks, we will need to double down on our efforts if we are to preserve all we have accomplished over the past 50 years.
So, as we reflect on our journey and look forward to next year, let’s acknowledge the challenges faced and conquered, for it is through adversity that we find our true strength. By embracing the promise of tomorrow, we can confront the uncertainty we face with unwavering confidence. Together, we can inspire change, deliver tangible results, and lead the way toward a future where opportunities are abundant and accessible to all. May the year 2024 be a celebration of our united strength, echoing our commitment to an inclusive, prosperous future for all.
Ying McGuire National Minority Supplier Development Inc. NMSDC Corporate Plus Minority Business Economic Forum NMSDC Annual Conference & Exchange Minority Business Development Agency MBDA Capital Manager’s Program Business Diversity Leadership Summit Emerging Young Entrepreneurs EYE Acres: Cultivating Equity in Black Agriculture Black farmers Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD foundation U.S. Black Chambers Inc. (USBC) Global Black Economic Forum (GBEF) Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) minority business enterprises MBEs