The Benefits of Certification Just Increased: More Corporate Contracting Opportunities
A study by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), “Breaking into the Supply Chain,” concluded that Fortune 500 companies spend hundreds of billions of dollars on suppliers – so even a modest increase in the share going to small firms could have a huge impact. The study had several recommendations, including a challenge for government to lead the way.
The City of New York took up the challenge and partnered with several large corporations that demonstrated a strong commitment to the small business community and the City. Companies such as Accenture, American Express, AXA Equitable, BNY Mellon, Colgate-Palmolive, Citigroup, Columbia University, Con Edison, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, IBM, and National Grid – joined together as part of the Corporate Alliance Program (CAP).
CAP’s goal is to open up the contracting opportunities available to NYC certified Minority and Women-owned firms (M/WBE). The corporations that participate in CAP also agreed to contribute staffing and financial resources, host training sessions and events, and participate in mentor programs.
What does this mean for you as a business owner? It means that the benefits of being certified with NYC increased tremendously.
Becoming certified is a free process that usually takes between 6-8 weeks. Once certified you are then eligible to take advantage of these CAP services:
- The Corporate Skills Training program educates M/WBEs about doing business with the private sector. Both the CUF study and the participating corporations agree that doing business with the private sector can be daunting for small businesses. Most corporations have registration systems that companies need to navigate in order to learn about opportunities. Corporate Skills Training teaches you not only how to navigate these systems, but also how to pitch your business.
- The CAP Recruitment Service matches qualified M/WBE firms to specific opportunities with the CAP partner companies. It’s a simple solution. NYC has over 3,400 certified firms and when our partners are looking for a firm for a specific opportunity, they come to us.
- Corporate Coaching helps M/WBE firms identify and address a specific business challenge in areas such as marketing, strategic sourcing, business development, and how to do better business with corporations and become competitive.
- The CAP/Columbia University Mentorship Program provides contracting education and experience to M/WBE construction firms. The goal is to increase their ability to work with private sector partners – whether they be financial institutions, large utilities, or high end financial clients. Participants complete 36 academic sessions in an eighteen month period and spend a final six months focused on technical training for bidding and solicitations with the corporate partners. Six of the sessions are focused on “Doing Business with…” each corporate partner.
With a collective spend of over $50 billion, the corporations participating in CAP are poised to help grow the capacity of City certified firms. To learn more about whether your firm could benefit from CAP, drop me a question below.
Gregg Bishop is the Assistant Commissioner of M/WBE Capacity Building Services at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, where he helps businesses “compete to win” by improving their chances of successfully bidding on public works contracts.
If you have a question or comment for Gregg, please drop him a note below. And, don’t forget to share this with your network on Facebook and Twitter.