Inclusive St. Pete is a new partnership forged by The 2020 Plan, the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC) and a host of partners to expand supplier diversity efforts in St. Petersburg. The initiative was announced in November 2019.
Inclusive St. Pete has two goals over the next year:
- To fast-track 20 minority-owned firms in St. Petersburg through certification and participation with corporate and government procurement programs (see more below about the Inclusive St. Pete MBE Accelerator).
- To help five local corporations and anchor institutions to enhance or start supplier diversity and inclusion initiatives in partnership with the FSMSDC
The ultimate goal is to support more commerce between “the community” and our largest “corporate citizens,” both local and national, says Pastor Louis Murphy, who sits on the board of The 2020 Plan, Inc.
Why Focus on Supplier Diversity in St. Pete
Census data show that St. Petersburg’s minority-owned firms lag their peers across Florida and the nation. Research suggests this is due in part to the absence of intensive minority-focused business programs that thrive in other cities.
Over the past six years, a collaborative of local organizations has worked to change that reality. The City of St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp, Eckerd ASPEC, Florida SBDC, the St. Pete Chamber, 2020 Plan, Pinellas County Urban League, and Pinellas Opportunity Council (among others) have tag-teamed to achieve major progress.
As examples, black-owned business formations increased, while the number of minority firms accessing training and coaching multiplied, and local governments spearheaded major policy changes. Pinellas County overhauled its Small Business Enterprise procurement policies and created the Office of Small Business & Supplier Diversity in 2019. The City is nearing completion of a disparity study that may result in a new minority business program.
Inclusive St. Pete is the next stage of progress for our entrepreneurial ecosystem. It combines the capacity of local partners with the state’s largest minority business development organization – the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC) which has matched minority-owned enterprises with $30 billion in corporate and government procurement since 1975.
Partners to Inclusive St. Pete
- Eckerd College ASPEC
- Florida SBDC at Pinellas County
- Florida State Minority Supplier Diversity Council
- Mt Zion Human Services, Inc.
- Pinellas County Office of Small Business & Supplier Diversity
- Pinellas County Urban League
- The 2020 Plan, Inc. (and the One Community Plan)
- The Grow Smarter Initiative
- St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce
- St. Petersburg College
- Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation
The Inclusive St. Pete MBE Accelerator
The Inclusive St Pete MBE Accelerator will focus on fast-tracking minority firms’ participation in corporate and government supplier diversity procurement programs.
For more details, reach Gypsy Gallardo, CEO, The 2020 Plan, at OneCommunityPlan@gmail.com.