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Top 10 NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative Questions

What is the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative?

The NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative (SDI) serves as the exclusive third-party certifying organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-owned Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). This program is the main bridge between corporate America and LGBT-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

Is certification as a diverse supplier unique to LGBT companies?

No. In fact, certification as an LGBTBE is one of many national certifications available for diverse businesses. The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) has been the national certification organization for racial and ethnic minority business enterprises (MBEs) for more than 35 years and has resulted in tens of billions of dollars in procurement contracts throughout its history for its certified members. Additionally, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the major certifying body for women business enterprises (WBEs). The NGLCC and its Corporate Partners saw a need for a LGBT diversity certification to create business development opportunities for LGBTBEs. To meet this need, the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative was founded as the exclusive certifying organization for LGBTBEs.

What are the benefits of certification for my business?

Certification as an LGBTBE gives your business the opportunity to compete for sourcing contracts with the NGLCC’s Corporate Supplier Diversity Partners. These corporate partners are committed to creating a diverse supply chain that is inclusive of LGBT businesses, and have targeted amounts for spending with diverse business enterprises. Getting your business certified is a necessary element of gaining access to these millions of corporate dollars, and also includes these additional benefits:

  • National recognition by America’s top corporations as a certified LGBT Business Enterprise.
  • Eligibility to exhibit at the annual NGLCC Business and Leadership Conference, as well as at regional events.
  • Automatic inclusion in the NGLCC’s online searchable database of certified businesses, which is accessible by NGLCC Corporate Partners.
  • Use of the NGLCC Certified Business logo on your marketing materials, which identifies your business as a certified LGBT Business Enterprise through the NGLCC to the NGLCC’s national network.
  • Eligibility to receive sourcing opportunities e-mails from the NGLCC and its Corporate Partners.
  • Eligibility to participate in mentorship programs, leadership trainings, and scholarship opportunities presented by NGLCC Corporate Partners.

What are the minimum criteria for certification?

Be at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBT person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

  • Exercise independence from any non-LGBT business enterprise
  • Have its principle place of business (headquarters) in the United States
  • Have been formed as a legal entity in the United States

How long does it take to process my certification application? How long does NGLCC certification last?

Once your complete application is received by the NGLCC, it will take 60 to 90 days to process. Please note that failure to submit a complete application will result in delays in that processing time and that a site inspection is a mandatory element of the initial certification process. Certification as an LGBT Business Enterprise lasts for two years from the date certification is granted.

Can an LGBT person(s) and a non-LGBT person(s) jointly own a company?

Yes, an LGBT person and a non-LGBT person can own a company jointly; however, the LGBT person must be the majority owner with at least 51% ownership and must demonstrate that his/her management and control of the company, his/her contribution of capital and/or expertise, and his/her assumption of all profits and risks are commensurate with his/her ownership percentage.

What steps are taken to ensure the confidentiality of my documents?

All documents are kept under lock and key in NGLCC Headquarters. The NGLCC staff that has access to those documents is limited to those who play an integral role in preparation for Certification Committee meetings and in informing applicants of the status of their application. Any committee members in a competitive industry do not have access to the file, nor are they present during any discussion of your application. All members of the NGLCC staff and the NGLCC Certification Commitees sign the NGLCC Confidentiality Agreement.

Why do I need a site visit? Do I have to pay for it?

Site visits are a mandatory element of the initial certification process, in accordance with industry standards. Site visits provide a key perspective into the day-to-day operation of a business. By seeing the facility and asking a set of questions that is complementary to the questions asked in the application, the site visit completes the picture of the business applicant. The site visit plays an essential role in demonstrating the ownership, operation, control, and management of a business and allows the NGLCC to become more familiar with certified businesses. In the event a site visit must be cancelled or rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts or a lack of preparation on the part of the applicant business, a fee may be incurred which must be paid by the applicant, otherwise there is no fee for the site visit. All site visit are scheduled in consultation with the business seeking certification. There are no surprise site visits.

What do I do after I receive my certification?

After you receive your certification letter and certificate in the mail, the next step is to register with the NGLCC’s Corporate Partners through the NGLCC website. Registration with each Corporate Partner is slightly different, and it is critical to get your business into the database of each of our Corporate Supplier Diversity Partners. After you are registered, work with NGLCC staff to learn the best ways to reach out to our Corporate Partners through letters, phone calls, and NGLCC matchmaking events.

Is there a fee for certification?

NGLCC waives the certification fee ($400) and recertification fee ($200) for applicants who submit proof of valid, current membership with their local affiliate chamber of commerce. By joining your local affiliate chamber, you can network with local LGBT and allied business owners, have access to local programing and events, and can take advantage of local business opportunities. Become a member of your local affiliate chamber to not only leverage local membership benefits, but also take advantage of complimentary national certification. An applicant does not necessarily need to be based locally in order to be a member of an affiliate chamber. Applicants who wish not to join their local affiliate chamber will be prompted to pay a non-refundable certification/ recertification fee when completing the application for certification.

Still have questions? Check out our full Frequently Asked Questions list. Also, consult the NGLCC Supplier Diversity Initiative Standards and Procedures, or contact the NGLCC SDI Team at [email protected] or 202-234-9181.

Ready to take the next step?