MBDA Partnership Helps Minority Businesses To “Go Green.”

Industry: Business

The National Sustainability Coalition (NSC)is partnering with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) South East Region to pilot a blueprint for “green and sustainable” small business development.

Cincinnati, OH (PRUnderground) May 2nd, 2011

The National Sustainability Coalition (NSC) today announced a partnership with the U. S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) South East Region to pilot a blueprint for “green and sustainable” small business development. The goal is to prepare minority business to participate in a changing national and global economy that requires vendors to transition to sustainable operations.

Patricia Hanes, MBDA Regional Director for the South East Region, points out: “As vendors in both the public and private sectors are being required to report their environmental and social performance to remain in the supply chain, we want to ensure that MBEs have the knowledge and skills needed to be included in emerging and changing industries.”

The MBDA South East regional office, located in Atlanta, serves six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. Through the collaboration, the National Sustainability Coalition will enhance MBDA’s services with cutting-edge sustainability training and green business credentials that strengthen growth opportunities for minority business enterprise. The plan also calls for identifying minority-owned consulting companies in each state to support the outreach efforts of the Agency’s service centers in offering sustainable development training and assistance to MBEs throughout the South East Region, as well as in Kentucky and Tennessee where MBDA Centers currently don’t exist.

“But to achieve our goals, minority business owners must be willing and ready to transition to sustainable operations,” says Icy L. Williams, President of the National Sustainability Coalition. Williams is well-known for her success in small business development and capacity building. As corporate supplier diversity leader with The Procter & Gamble Company, she spearheaded an aggressive corporate goal to achieve $2.5 billion in annual spend with diverse suppliers.

The NSC’s training curriculum and green business certification program was developed by a team of professionals led by Dr. Calvin Green, an environmental engineer and scientist who recently retired from Procter & Gamble. Dr. Green currently serves as president of the International Sustainability Institute of Applied Sciences.

The NSC collaborative with the MBDA will support the South East Agency’s service delivery model with the following key components:

  • Training – Develop a minimum of 100 MBEs in each state and provide training, planning assistance and resources needed to transition them to sustainable operations.
  • Credentials – Build value and competitive advantage into 400 MBEs in the Agency’s South East Region with a green business certification from the International Sustainability Institute of Applied Sciences.
  • Marketing – Position 800 “green” businesses as the preferred vendors and provide incentives for growth through mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships.
  • Support – Identify at least 10 MBE consulting companies in each state and provide them with a career framework in the sustainability consulting profession through training and professional credentials that can build capacity into their enterprise.

About The National Sustainability Coalition:
The National Sustainability Coalition is a nonprofit initiative on a mission to improve the operating efficiencies of small and diverse businesses through strategic partnerships with major corporations, government agencies and community colleges. Organized as part of Cybervillage, USA Inc., a 501(c) (3) Ohio corporation headquartered in Cincinnati, the NSC operates under the direction of an eleven-member Executive Committee that is comprised of a diverse group of well-known business professionals and sustainability experts. Icy L. Williams, former Corporate Supplier Diversity leader at The Procter & Gamble Company, serves as president of the initiative. The NSC offers a range of environmental education and green workforce development training programs to improve small business sustainability performance. For further information, visit www.nscoalition.com.


Icy L. Williams, President
National Sustainability Coalition
513-242-1066 or513-335-1987 (mobile)

Patricia Hanes, MBDA Atlanta Regional Director
Atlanta National Enterprise Center
404-730-3300 or phanes@mbda.gov


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