SDO Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP)?
The Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) is a newly created program at the RI Department of Administration’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Opportunity (ODEO) established to give minority and women owned business enterprises, as well as disability business enterprises, in the State of Rhode Island an opportunity to secure contracts with government agencies as qualified Small Business Suppliers.
Why this program was created and what it does?
The Supplier Diversity Programs were created by the federal government to provide minority, women and what has since been classified as under-utilized small business owners, an opportunity to secure contracts with government agencies, major companies and corporations as qualified-small business suppliers. Our Supplier Diversity Office and the Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Office are working together to promote equality in the contracting process by ensuring full participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) in all areas of state contracting for goods and services.
Who is considered a minority?
A member of a definable minority group means a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is Black=all persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa; Hispanic=All persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race; American Indian/Alaskan Native=All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America; Asian American=All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands; Portuguese=All persons of Portuguese, Brazilian or other Portuguese culture or origin regardless of race; Women=Any female qualifies as a class of minority; Disadvantaged=Members of other groups or other individuals, found to be economically and socially disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration under Section 8 (a) of the Small Business Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. Chapter 637 (a)).
Is there a cost to be part of the program?
No. The program is free.
How the Supplier Diversity Program help you or your firm get business with the State of Rhode Island?
Business Enterprise Office to provide support services and resources to help M/WBE firms do business with the state, including one-on-one technical assistance about the application process, training workshops to help firms better understand the procurement and bidding process, as well as other related topics.
Is there a directory of companies certified through the Office of Supplier Diversity?
Yes. A complete electronic listing is available by visiting the following link to the Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Office website.