Supplier Diversity Office

About the Office


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.

Our goal is to assist the Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Office to increase the number of businesses certified, and to ensure that all businesses, including diverse and small businesses, have an opportunity to participate in our state’s procurement activities.

The Supplier Diversity Office also works in collaboration with the Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Office to host pre-certification workshops, educate individuals/groups on the M/WBE program, and provide technical assistance and advocacy. These workshops will be offered in our facility and throughout the state at local community based organizations and other appropriate venues. When necessary, these workshops will also be scheduled to take place during evening hours and weekends.

Our office will work assiduously to assist program participants in targeting their supplier diversity efforts, as well as to ensure that minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and disability business enterprises are given a fair and equal opportunity to bid on, win and be awarded state contracts.

Responsibilities


The responsibilities of the SDO include, but are not limited to:

  1. Develop and implement strategies for expanding outreach and engagement with communities and businesses that support minority/women and disability business enterprises;
  2. Develop and implement strategies to increase the utilization of minority/women and disability business enterprises;
  3. Identify and address barriers that prevent full participation of minority/women and disability business enterprises in the state procurement process;
  4. Organize and facilitate training sessions to educate and build capacity of existing minority/women and disability business enterprises;
  5. Hold workshops to promote opportunities for the creation of new minority/women and disability business enterprises that meet the procurement needs of the state;
  6. Host events to foster relationship building between major prime contractors, state procurement officials, and minority/women and disability business enterprises; and,
  7. Issue period reports, newsletters and/or other publications to showcase activities and highlight achievements.

The SDO’s complementary approach enhances the role of the MBECO by increasing the state’s potential to meet its regulatory mandates.