Costco Supplier Diversity Program
Any supplier will claim to be diverse if at least 51 percent of its ownership is held by someone from a diverse background (or multiple people). However, just because a company claims to be diverse doesn’t mean it is, and most supplier diversity initiatives require certification before entering into a contract with a diverse supplier.
A third-party certification agency—usually an association that supports the advancement of minority-owned and/or small businesses—is used to certify supplier diversity. Documentation, screening, interviews, and likely on-site visits are all part of the process to ensure that the company is diverse. It may take several weeks for your application to be accepted, but once it is, you will be accredited and immediately more appealing to supplier diversity programs.
Certifications Available (non federal)
A diverse business may qualify for more than one agency, and suppliers holding more than one certification is not unusual.
Several supplier diversity certifications are available from various agencies, including:
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
Criteria for Certification:
- United States citizens.
- Minority businesses must be at least 51% minority–owned, managed and controlled. For the purposes of NMSDC’s program, a minority group member is an individual who is at least 25% Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic or Native American. Minority eligibility is established via a combination of document reviews, screenings, interviews and site visits. Ownership, in the case of a publicly owned business, means that at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more minority group members.
- Must be a for profit enterprise and physically located in the U. S. or its trust territories.
- Management and daily operations must be exercised by the minority ownership member(s).
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
Certification Eligibility Criteria
- Majority (at least 51%) ownership by one or more women
- Demonstrated proof of female management and control of business
- Unrestricted female control of the business in legal documents and day-to-day operations
- A woman holding the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents
- Documented evidence of female contribution of capital and/or industry expertise
- Status of U.S. Citizenship or Legal Resident Alien for woman owner(s) constituting majority ownership
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
Be at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBT person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
- Exercise independence from any non-LGBT business enterprise
- Have its principle place of business (headquarters) in the United States
- Have been formed as a legal entity in the United States
United State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC)
Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APAAC)
Native American Chamber of Commerce (NACC)
Vets First Certification Program (for veteran-owned small businesses)
U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN, for disabled-owned small businesses)
U.S. Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce (USPACC)
National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (USDVA)
The federal certification codes are:
- SDB Small Disadvantaged Business
- WOSB Woman-Owned Small Business
- HUB Zone Historically Underutilized Business
- HBCU/MI Historically Black Colleges & Universities and Minority Institutions
- VOSB Veteran-Owned Small Business
- SDVOSB Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
- ANC Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) and Indian Tribes that have not been certified by SBA as Small Disadvantaged Businesses
- ANC Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) and Indian Tribes that are not small businesses
Federal certification is a program of the US Department of Transportation and includes three separate certifications, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification, Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certification, and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) certification.
- DBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise – for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, please click here for more information.
- ACDBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise for concessionaires located at airports
- SBE – Small Business Enterprise – for small businesses. This program is race and gender neutral