On July 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) acted to improve the cybersecurity of the bulk electric system (i.e., the electrical generation resources, transmission lines, interconnections with neighboring systems, and associated equipment, generally operated at voltages of 100 kilovolts or higher) by proposing revisions to critical infrastructure protection (CIP) Reliability Standards to address risks to communication networks and related bulk electric system assets and the development of standards for supply chain management security controls to protect the bulk electric system from potential security vulnerabilities and malware threats.
Each year, large numbers of minorities start down the path to entrepreneurship in search of wealth and success. For the past several years, business ownership among minorities has been on the rise. According to preliminary data from the 2012 U.S. Census, the number of minority business enterprises increased 39 percent between 2007 and 2012, from 5.8 million to 8 million. Employment at minority-owned firms increased 33 percent to 7.7 million jobs at the same time, and gross receipts grew 53 percent.And the growth trend is expected to continue.
Although minority businesses are on the rise, they still face challenges—access to capital, the lingering effects of recession, and profitability. However, many minority business owners persevere to overcome the challenges they face, and achieve the financial independence and success that entrepreneurship offers. Such are the cases of Robert Wallace, Sean Ono and Mario Stadtlander, and Glenn Torrez.
Doing business in Australia just took a giant leap forward. July 1, 2015 marked the beginning of a new era—one in which government and private sector companies need to stay current with the diversity contracting rules established by the federal Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP). The Australian government has been headed in this direction for some time. On September 15, 2009, the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC) officially launched, and the government announced it would invest AUS$3 million to pilot the efforts of AIMSC over three years. After successfully completing its three-year pilot phase, AIMSC rebranded to become Supply Nation. Today, Supply Nation’s focus is to connect Australian corporate and government organizations with indigenous business suppliers.
Is it possible to get corporate programs beyond the five to 15 percent minority business enterprise numbers, or have we become mired in the land of good faith efforts? I’m not talking about expanding on accepted certifications, or subcontracting to make the numbers, or taking a percentage from things like “addressable spend” vs. total spend. I’m talking about the spirit that launched the supplier diversity initiative—that is, to offer more opportunities and grow the revenue of minority and woman-owned businesses.
What has to happen to move from best effort to results? Is it even possible? Here are my five cents on the changes I think need to happen.
MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.
MBE's M/WBE Resource Directory is a comprehensive list of resource organizations (including links) that support the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs.
Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.
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