by Rachel Owens –

I am always on the lookout for ways to help NAWBO members expand their businesses. One way to increase market outreach is to register as a small- or woman-owned business in diversity portals from many large corporations, with the federal government at, or through the newest portal, Supplier Connection.

Whether you’re certified as woman-owned or eligible as a small business, large corporations and the federal government have realized that you can provide goods and services competitively. The promotion and growth of small businesses have been identified as crucial components to improving the economic vitality of the United States. That’s why a consortium of large companies has formed to build Supplier Connection, a portal that allows small businesses greater access in applying to become suppliers to large companies.

Supplier Connection is a free, web-based portal for potential suppliers to some of the country’s largest corporations whose combined supply chain spending exceeds $300 billion annually. The portal was created by the IBM Foundation and is part of the American Supplier Initiative. Approximately 4,000 small businesses are registered.

If you have less than $50 million in revenue or fewer than 500 employees and provide goods and services in the fields of facilities support, food and beverage manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, lab supplies and equipment, logistics, service parts, software, or professional, marketing & technical services, then you’re eligible to participate. Visit to start the registration process.

You won’t know if this marketplace is right for you unless you join.

Rachel Owens
Rachel Owens is President of Succession Strategies, a business consulting firm specializing in helping family owned and closely held businesses build value.