An For St. Pete's Minority Businesses to Grow

Inclusive St. Pete

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.

About the 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. The goals of the 8-week Accelerator are:

  • To help 20 minority-owned businesses prepare for and complete the rigorous process of becoming certified or registered with Florida’s largest supplier diversity programs (see below)
  • To help Accelerator participants secure a combined $20 million in new business opportunities within 18 months of completing the program
  • To help establish Mentor-Protégé relationships with business leaders
  • To equip Accelerator graduates for sustained operations and growth

This hyper-focused approach replicates the strategy of the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency whose Florida MBDA Centers are administered by Inclusive St Pete anchor partner, FSMSDC, which earned the national Century Award for achieving over 100% of the goals for procurement and financing transactions for minority-owned firms.

Who Will Participate?

The Accelerator is designed for established companies with a demonstrated focus on growth, who can commit to 90%+ completion of the 46 hours of Accelerator programming. To participate, entrepreneurs must live or own a business in St. Petersburg, and meet at least six of the following eight criteria:

  1. Two or more years in business
  2. $100,000 to $2 million in annual revenue
  3. Current contracts of $200,000 or more for the 12 months ahead
  4. Business-to-business sales are at least 50% of total sales
  5. Two or more employees or year-round 1099 contractors
  6. Financial management system operational
  7. Past or current participant of business training or programs by local business development organizations (e.g., all partners to the Accelerator)
  8. Current member of a Chamber or of the St. Petersburg Business League

Accelerator Components

The Inclusive St Pete MBE Accelerator is an 8-week intensive series of learning, capacity-building and certification for growth-postured minority business owners who live or own a business in St. Petersburg. Entrepreneurs will take-part in 46 hours of programming, including applied learning sessions, structured matchmaking activities, and hands-on help with supplier diversity program certifications.

The series includes a 5-hour Cohort Immersion Orientation session followed by 2.5-hour sessions, once weekly over 6 weeks and one-on-one mentoring sessions along with and the support of technical assistance experts. Applied learning topics include:

  • Branding to Compete
  • Pricing & Packaging for Success
  • Bidding to Win
  • Teaming & Joint Ventures
  • Accessing Bonding & Financing
  • A Live Panel Discussion with Supplier Diversity Leaders & Buyers
  • Peer & corporate matchmaking sessions

Are You Interested in the St. Pete MBE Accelerator Series?

Impact for Participants

Many of Florida’s largest minority-owned firms leverage supplier diversity programs as a key ingredient to growth. The Accelerator is an opportunity for more of St. Pete’s minority-owned firms to fast-track participation in corporate & government supplier diversity programs.

Within 3 months of completing the Accelerator, the goal is for participants to secure at least 2 certifications each through programs that include:

  1. National/Florida State Minority Supplier Developer Council (MBE certification)
  2. Pinellas County Office of Small Business & Supplier Diversity (SBE & DBE certification)
  3. City of St. Petersburg (SBE certification)
  4. State of Florida Office of Supplier Diversity (MBE certification)
  5. Florida Department of Transportation (DBE certification)
  6. Federal 8a certification

The goal is for graduates to secure a combined $20 million in new business with corporate and government procurement programs within 18 months of completing the Accelerator.

Graduates of the Accelerator will be equipped with business tools, technologies, and opportunities. The Accelerator will pay for all participants to have professional business photos done, and at least two graphic designs completed (e.g., capabilities statement, brochure, price sheet, sales flyer/meme or logo). 

The Accelerator will support structured matchmaking experiences. Participants will be supported with free registration and partial travel costs to attend the FSMSDC 35th Annual Business Expo (attended by hundreds of corporate and government buyers and MBEs). Participants will also be treated to a peer-to-peer matchmaking forum, and free or discounted access to matchmakers and tools offered by Accelerator partners.

The Accelerator will bring entrepreneurs face-to-face with equity and debt financing sources to learn what it takes to access capital, and for hands-on help in preparing packages and pitches to access capital.

The Accelerator team will promote the success of participants for coverage by local, regional and statewide media.

For More Information

Gypsy Gallardo

CEO

The 2020 Plan

Why Focus on Supplier Diversity in St. Pete?

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.

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.

Our Partners

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    ADDRESS

    63739 street lorem ipsum City, Country

    PHONE

    +12 (0) 345 678 9

    EMAIL

    info@company.com