WBENC Conference and Business Fair: A Recap

Detroit proved to be a lively host city for the 2018 WBENC National Conference and Business Fair, a forum for bringing together women-owned businesses. Broadleaf’s reputation as a diverse workforce solutions company encouraged many organizations to stop by our booth (and vintage-styled candy bar) to discuss opportunities and potential partnerships.

Supplier diversity is beneficial to all stakeholders—not only does it add economic value, but encourages the growth of diverse businesses. Approximately sixteen categories are used to identify diverse businesses. Common examples are the Small Business Enterprise, Minority-Owned Business Enterprise, and Women’s Business Enterprise. For an organization to record and report diverse spend, it is important to ensure suppliers are certified through third-parties which then authenticate the business is owned, managed, and controlled by a qualifying group.

There are many reasons why diverse suppliers are advantageous to have as partners, including:

  • Innovation through the entrance of new products, services, and solutions
  • Multiple channels from which to procure goods and services
  • Business expansion with the emergence of new consumer needs based upon cultural shifts
  • Display of commitment to doing business in diverse markets
  • Illustration of the company’s commitment to the economic growth of communities

In addition to driving job creation, supplier diversity provides products and services to emerging markets and opportunities are created for diverse suppliers to then meet the needs of global populations.

Future women business owners pitched their ideas at the Student Entrepreneur Program Pitch Competition and attendees were treated to a lively speech from Francois Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of International Trade. He spoke not only of the long friendship between our two countries, but the growth of female entrepreneurs in Canada and their strength within the Canadian economy. During the finale luncheon, the former editor of Fast Company, Robert Safian, delivered an insightful industry keynote on the future of business innovation.

Broadleaf already looks forward to participating in the 2019 WBENC National Conference and Business Fair.