What is the LGBTQ Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) Certification
Small businesses that are majority owned, managed, operated, and controlled by LGBTQ individuals can stand out from the competition with an LGBTBE certification. By getting certified, LGBTQ business owners show that they are a diverse organization that is considered ‘disadvantaged’ by the U.S. government. This distinction can help you join a network of other LGBTQ business owners, get access to exclusive contracts, and assist you in your business dealings.
Benefits of Diversity & Inclusion
For decades, LGBTQ individuals have faced discrimination and prejudice in their lives, communities, and the business world. As small changes grow and spread to bigger movements, America is becoming a place where people can be accepted and loved for who they are. For LGBTQ small business owners, this means creating a diverse global supply chain where something that might be seen as a disadvantage can become a better opportunity for growth, love, and inclusion.
Why Get Certified
Corporate America is placing an increased emphasis on creating a diverse supply chain with certified businesses through the nation. For LGBTQ business owners, an LGBTBE certification opens the door to better business opportunities, training, scholarships, and resources. The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has created this business certification to generate better business prospects and create relationships between businesses and large companies. As this network of 1.4 million LGBTQ business owners and hundreds of corporate businesses has grown, the NGLCC has created several benefits for certified businesses:
More than a 1/3 of Fortune 500 companies are interested in working with LGBTBEs and recognize certified businesses as prime suppliers. Certified LGBTQ businesses also have access to more than 160 corporate business contacts within the NGLCC, which can broaden their professional horizons.
The best way to succeed in business is to learn and grow through that knowledge. Certified LGBTBE owners have access to numerous webinars, mentorship opportunities, scholarship programs, and business development resources.
The NGLCC hosts several premier events throughout the year, including national dinners, networking and matchmaking events, and an International LGBTQ Business & Leadership Conference. Certified business owners can also access the NGLCC headquarters at the Supplier Innovation Center in Washington D.C.
You can find a list of NGLCC’s affiliated organizations here.
Once your business is certified, you can join Coupa’s community of diverse suppliers. This searchable platform makes it easy for large companies to find and select your business for their product and service needs. The next time a Fortune 2000 company is looking for a certified-diverse business, you’ll be in the best position to meet their needs.
How to Get Certified
To be certified as an LGBTQ-owned business, you have to first verify your eligibility. Businesses must be at least 51% owned, operated, controlled, and managed by an LGBTQ individual. If you fit these criteria, you can apply for certification through the NGLCC. To get certified, follow these steps:
To apply, visit my.nglcc.org and complete the application. You will need to create a business profile to market your business to other certified LGBTBE businesses and NGLCC corporate partners. As you create your profile, you will need to provide several documents that verify your LGBTQ status and American citizenship and provide information about your business. You will also need to show proof of your NGLCC affiliate chamber membership or pay a $400 processing fee.
- Site Visit
After submitting your application, an NGLCC Supplier Diversity team member will contact you and connect you with your regional Manager, who will then schedule a site visit. During this visit, local trained site visitors will verify your information and learn more about how the NGLCC can best support your long-term business goals.
After the site visit, the National Certification Committee will review your application.
Once your application is approved, you will join an LGBTBE Orientation webinar that will show you how to best use the resources offered by the Supplier Diversity Initiative.
Already certified? Want to reach bigger buyers? Join the Coupa community for better opportunities and help support a sustainable global supply chain of diverse business owners just like you.