Legacy 2015 South Florida: Top Black Educators Issue - Page 10

10BB AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE SUN SENTINEL BUSINESS REPORT FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 The Business of Education: Local Colleges and Universities Are Vital to the Growth of Minority Businesses By Beatrice Louissaint An institution of higher learning’s main focus is to educate students and prepare them for successful careers. In a region where small and minority-owned businesses comprise the majority of enterprises, South Florida’s universities have another major responsibility ─ to provide opportunities for minority businesses to do business with their institutions. Beatrice Louissaint, President and CEO, Southern FloridaMinority Supplier Development Council South Florida has four major universities and colleges: the University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami Dade College and Broward College. Combined, their impact on the region’s economy is more than $7 billion. Some local colleges and universities do that very well. Their procurement opportunities are open to minority businesses, and they understand the importance of minority businesses to the region’s overall economy. The University of Miami, Broward College and Miami Dade College each have full-time staff members whose responsibility is to help minority businesses do business with their institutions and navigate their procurement process. Over the past 10 years, the University of Miami, Broward College and Miami Dade College have opened their doors for outreach meetings so minority businesses can meet with their procurement decision makers. Broward College, which spotlights vendors on their website, recently hosted a free workshop on building a million-dollar business, and spent more than $50 million with minority businesses in the past four years. The University of Miami has had a mentor protégé program for minority businesses for the past four years and holds industry-specific business opportunity meetings on campus for minority businesses year-round. UM also spent $74 million with minority businesses during its last fiscal year. Miami Dade College spent more than $91 million with minority businesses over the past four years. FIU spent approximately $58 million with MBEs last fiscal year. I am pleased to share that FIU has adopted 10 recommendations to develop a world-class supplier diversity program. The university is committed to being more inclusive of minority businesses in its current procurement opportunities and plans for future growth. We applaud FIU for making this commitment. FIU hosted a Vendor Procurement Matchmaker in partnership with the Southern Florida Minority Development Council (SFMSDC) on August 18, and hundreds of business owners attended and learned about current and future business opportunities with the university. Beatrice Louissaint is President and CEO of the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council. The vision of the SFMSDC is a diverse and inclusive environment where economic success is achieved. Join the SFMSDC at its 40th Anniversary Awards Gala on September 25, and to learn more about the event and the SFMSDC, visit sfmsdc.org or call (305) 762-6151. Effectively Marketing the Promise of Higher Education By Richard McCulloch Richard McCulloch, VP Client Services, Tribeca Marketing Group, LLC In the wake of Reconstruction, a debate raged as to the best educational and career oppor [