What can corporations do to promote minority business development?

11/9/2010, 8:38 p.m.
Fred McKinney, president and CEO of the Greater New England Minority...

Secondly, corporate America can support MBE development by bringing their prime contractors into the minority business development world.  The NMSDC and the GNEMSDC have highly recognizable Fortune 500 corporate members. We need to expand our relationships with the next 3,000 largest corporations in the country, that are often major suppliers to the Fortune 500 and government. If our existing corporate members had a real program that helped minority businesses access opportunities with their major suppliers there would be significantly more opportunities for MBE growth and development.  Corporate America must use their power as the customer to make this happen, to monitor and reward performance.  

And finally, corporate America must provide the opportunities to MBEs that they deserve. MBEs are highly qualified, highly competitive and highly  motivated to serve their corporate clients. I think if corporate America would purge itself of the stereotypes that MBEs are only in business because of some unfair advantage that is the result of their race or ethnicity and not their ability we can go a long way toward closing the opportunity gap. It was once believed that blacks could not play baseball, fight wars, fly airplanes, run corporations or even run this county.  It is time to put to rest the last American myth.  Blacks and minorities can run competitive businesses if given the opportunity. The immortal words of James Brown best represents the attitudes of prominent MBE corporate leaders: “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing, open up the door and we will get it ourselves.”