USBLN Forges New Disability Business Growth Initiative with Local Affiliates
Earlier this year, the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) launched the Disability:IN Affiliate Supplier Diversity Initiative, enlisting affiliates to design and implement proactive strategies to build awareness and increase utilization of disability-owned businesses in local communities. We are excited to announce Wells Fargo, a Disability:IN Corporate Partner and Founding Partner of the Disability:IN Disability Supplier DiversityProgram (DSDP®), will provide generous financial support to aid these efforts.
“This new initiative will help propel DSDP to the next level by engaging affiliates at the local level to work with corporations embracing the benefits of disability supplier diversity inclusion and disability-owned businesses ready to be certified by USBLN® and elevate their business in the commercial sector,” said Jill Houghton, President and CEO of USBLN®. “We are thankful to Wells Fargo for their ongoing commitment to Disability:IN and creating economic opportunity for people with disabilities.”
Since their inception, USBLN® affiliates have made tremendous progress in advancing disability inclusion in the workplace and marketplace in communities across the country. This innovative initiative will support affiliates by helping them grow supplier diversity programming in their BLN, as well as identify local disability-owned businesses who may be eligible to apply for Disability:IN certification as a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE®) or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (SDV-DOBE™).
Disability:IN established its Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP®) in 2010 with the mission to certify and develop DOBEs, as well as help corporations develop supplier diversity programs that are fully inclusive of businesses owned by people with disabilities.
“Wells Fargo is proud of its long-time partnership with the Disability:IN and pleased to support this Initiative. We’re committed to creating access and opportunity for members of the disability community,” said Regina O. Heyward, Senior Vice President and Head of Supplier Diversity at Wells Fargo. “The affiliates are well-positioned to build awareness and bring together companies and community business organizations in support of disability-owned businesses. When these businesses are given the opportunity, they’re contributors to the economic growth and well-being of our local communities.”
The grants provided by Wells Fargo will help affiliates and their local communities embrace the idea of self-employment and entrepreneurship as another clear path to economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities, as well as attract companies who are looking to further diversity their supply chain.
Disability:IN Affiliates participating in the launch of the initiative are:
- Chicagoland BLN
- Connecticut BLN
- DC Metro BLN
- Hawaii BLN
- Massachusetts BLN
- North Carolina BLN
- Ohio BLN
The Disability:IN looks forward to working with Wells Fargo and all of our corporate partners to create more economic opportunities for people with disabilities and their full inclusion in the workforce, marketplace and supply chain. For more information please contact Patricia Richards, Director, Disability Supplier Diversity Program, Disability:IN (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disability:IN Helping Disability Suppliers Perfect the Pitch
Cynthia Masters, Founder and CEO of DBS Interactive, a Disability:IN certified disability-owned business enterprise (DOBE), discovered first-hand the power of the pitch during this year’s Pitch Tank Competition, held at Disability: IN’s annual conference in Las Vegas.
DOBE Spotlight Series: Bender Consulting
Bender Consultants don’t just understand disability as a business model, they understand it on a personal level. The company’s leadership, as well as approximately 90% of its staff, are individuals with disabilities.
DOBE Spotlight Series: Betta Beasley
Prior to founding 2rbConsulting, Betta Beasley, the company’s CEO, led an interesting professional life.
DOBE Spotlight Series: Artura Taylor
Artura credits Disability:IN certification and the Disability:IN Conference for building the type of relationships that have helped her grow as a business owner and a leader. “After attending the Disability:IN conference last year, I’ve been able to secure calls with companies I would never have been placed in front of.”
USBLN And VIB Network Announce Partnership Agreement to Benefit Veteran Business Owners
The Disability:IN and the Veterans in Business (VIB) Network are proud and excited to announce a new partnership agreement that will enhance the business opportunities and professional development of veteran-disability owned businesses and service-disability veteran owned businesses.