The 2016 National Minority Supplier Development Council Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange was held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, October 23-26. This annual event was the nation’s premier forum on minority supplier development. The conference, lasting four days, saw more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives and supplier diversity professionals from the top multinational companies and international organizations, as well as leading Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business owners. Attendees convened to re-energize their collective efforts to develop and advocate for more vigorous participation by minority-owned firms in global corporate supply chains.
The theme of this year’s NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange was “Minority Supplier Development: Investing in the Future.” During the event, more than 20 educational seminar sessions and interactive workshops engaged attendees with details of the latest commercial advances, strategies and techniques to prepare for economic developments in the coming years.
The one-day Business Opportunity Exchange had more than 700 exhibit booths and opportunities for establishing business-to-business ties. One of the highlights of the Conference was the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency partnered with NMSDC to present Powered by MBDA, a cluster of learning sessions featuring the latest information and trends in federal procurement, international trade and technological innovation.
According to Joset Wright-Lacy, President of NMSDC, “The 2016 Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange will give forward-thinking corporate executives and minority business owners the tools to cope with shifting economic winds, and to take advantage of as-yet unimagined opportunities for commerce presented in the near – and more distant – future.” Wright-Lacy also added that as the U.S. nears the point where minorities comprise greater than 50% of the population, the need for strong minority-owned businesses in national and global supply chains will be vital to the health of our economy
The economic impact generated by the Conference itself is considerable: $7.5 million total, including an estimate of more than $1 million in state and local taxes and 1,400+ jobs supported. A survey of last year’s Conference attendees show that 73% of the over 6,000 attendees spent more than $1,000 each in the Conference city.
The National Minority Supplier Development Council advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. NMSDC was chartered in 1972 to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes. For more information about NMSDC, check out their website at www.NMSDC.org.