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38 MEET THE BUYER Inspiring Supplier Diversity in the United Kingdom Mayank Shah is the Business Development Manager at Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK), a private sector-led, not for profit membership organisation which links corporate entities with minority business enterprises across the UK. Established in July 2006 and partnering with National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), USA, MSDUK’s aims to bring large corporate businesses together with dynamic, responsive, competitive and diverse suppliers. What make MSDUK a very distinctive initiative is that it is corporate led and demand driven. Garry Clancy, PepsiCo is the Chairperson of a very proacitve board of directors consisting of senior corporate executives from seven large companies. MSDUK is part-funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA). ith increased international migration and globalisation, countries are becoming more socially, economically and culturally diverse. Given current trends, such diversity can be seen as an asset that can be exploited strategically by organisations which seek to build diversity into employment, marketing and purchasing policies. Supplier diversity enables corporations to engage with suppliers that reflect the markets and communities they serve. Minorities currently represent 8% of the UK’s population with this figure set to double over the next 25 years. Ethnic minority customers will become increasingly more valuable to businesses. Markets in the UK are competitive and therefore it makes complete business sense to tap into a supplier base that can not only provide the much needed competitive edge, but also represents the increasing number of minority groups within the United Kingdom. MSDUK offers a range of programmes and services that brings together its corporate members and minority businesses. Mr. Shah states that the benefits to minority businesses participating in their programme, is an expansion of business opportunities and access to private sector supply chains. One of the best ways to grow or sustain a business is to have ongoing repeat work from a reliable established client base. MSDUK provides its corporate members access to Minority Business Resource (MBR), a unique supplier database of ethnic minority businesses. Suppliers on MBR can expect their business to be referred to member corporations and will be invited to attend MSDUK’s procurement events. W To date, nearly £1m worth of business has been secured by ethnic minority businesses through this programme. To find out more about some of these successful businesses, please visit MSDUK website on www.msduk.org.uk. MSDUK can also be contacted at diversity@msduk.org.uk or by telephone - 0116 207 8539/8559 MSDUK currently has 19 corporate members who are participating in the programme namely; Charter Members: Bank of America BT Enterprise Rent-A-Car ExxonMobil Frank Haslam Milan IBM Lehman Brothers PepsiCo UK & Ireland Regular Corporate Members: Cadbury Schweppes Capital One Corporate Express Hewlett Packard JPMorgan Chase Leicester City Football Club Lovell Partnerships Pfizer Inc. Severn Trent Water Tyco Fire and Security engage | uk ISSUE THREE 2007