Supplier Diversity Program–Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the target beneficiaries?
Diverse certified businesses owned by Ethnic Minorities, Women, Disabled, LGBT, and Veterans.
What are the benefits to Columbia and the community?
Our vendors should reflect our students and mission statement.
What are the measured goals?
Consistent with most private colleges we do not have formal percentage goals (percentage of total spend) such as state schools and government organizations. The goal is to include/increase the diverse suppliers invited to participate in our opportunities. The businesses awarded contracts will still be chosen based on merit.
How do we plan to increase inclusion of diverse firms?
We will utilize databases to target businesses, invite them to bid on opportunities, and create more awareness with college departments.
Does Columbia guarantee work for diverse businesses?
No, we do not guarantee work to any business but we are committed to working with diverse suppliers.
What types of goods and services does the college purchase?
We purchase a wide variety of goods and services to support our programs.
What is a certified business enterprise?
The certification process verifies that a company is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled under the guidelines of the respective certifying agency.
Which certifications does Columbia accept?
Columbia accepts the following certifications:
- National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
- Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
- National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)
- Disability:IN (formally known as US Business Leadership Network or USBLN)
- City of Chicago
- State of Illinois
- Cook County
Does a diverse business need to be certified in order to do business with Columbia?
No, anyone can do business with the college since all awards are based on merit. Only those certified will count toward our supplier diversity goals.
How should an interested business make contact with the Supplier Diversity Program?
If you are interested in participating in the Supplier Diversity Program, please complete the Vendor Information Form.