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State Colleges Educate Business Owners on Supplier Diversity  

BEO 6-30-24 GS

The Indiana Black Expo recently hosted a workshop where diverse suppliers could learn what it takes to do business with state universities and colleges. 

Richard J. Wise, the Director of Supplier Diversity at Indiana University, said the workshop was aimed at helping small-business owners who are suppliers find business opportunities with state schools. 

During the workshop, representatives from several schools, including Purdue University, Ball State University, and more, presented business owners with information on how to bid on contracts and receive state certification as a minority/women/veteran-owned business. 

Wise says most schools have ongoing construction projects and are always looking to contract with diverse suppliers and businesses that provide goods and services. “It’s difficult if you don’t understand how to do business with the universities,” he says.  

Indiana mandates that state-funded universities meet certain diversity procurement targets. 

Wise says the schools want a functional website, certifications, and capability statements from businesses looking to bid on contracts. 

Kesha Rich, the Deputy Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA), says contractors can also work with state agencies like the Department of Natural Resources and IndyGo. 

Rich says it is important to gain certification from the state so your business will be on the list when prime vendors are looking for subcontractors. She also says capacity is very important, and you want to make sure your business can take on enough new business.