National Black Supplier Development Program to train and develop solopreneurs.
Stellantis and the National Business League (NBL) have partnered to create more opportunities for black suppliers. This is meant to ensure greater racial equity in the marketplace by making it easier to participate in the contracting and procurement process.
The partnership between Stellantis and the NBL will be known as the National Black Supplier Development Program, and it will develop more than 2.9 million black businesses globally. This is for opportunities within the federal government, as well as private and public sectors. Essentially, this means Stellantis will allow smaller black-owned businesses to become part of the supply chain for models like the Ram 1500.
A virtual training and development portal forms the heart of the program. The training process will take place over a period of three years, starting with suppliers, followed by OEMs, the federal government, and eventually public and private entities both here and abroad. Stellantis is not the first manufacturer to use virtual training. Ford used virtual reality to train its technicians to work on the Mustang Mach-E.
The main aim of this portal is to qualify, develop and train black businesses for contracting opportunities. To do this, Stellantis will provide access to a wide variety of assets needed for the change to happen. This includes capital, mentorship, supplier training, bid posting, matchmaking, supply chain solutions, and talent placement and acquisition.
"As a key part of our corporate diversity, inclusion and engagement strategy, Stellantis is excited to partner with the National Business League to ensure that all black business enterprises and suppliers have an equitable and inclusive stake in the global marketplace," said Mark Stewart, COO, Stellantis - North America. "Post-pandemic and in response to rising demands for social and economic justice for all people, finding equitable and impactful ways to engage and empower black businesses is critical to the sustainable development of black entrepreneurs and communities."
Stellantis also provided a few key facts and figures to justify the importance of this program. Around 95% of black-owned businesses are home-based and have one employee. Less than three percent of these are agency certified. Most do not have the capacity to meet the capacity demanded by the automotive industry, federal government, and Fortune 500 companies.
"The upside potential for Black Business Enterprises is immeasurable when the focus is on development, equity and inclusion," said Dr. Kenneth Harris, president, and CEO of the National Business League. "This is where we truly start to level the playing field by bringing commerce solutions to the marketplace to solve economic problems."
This is not the first time this particular issue has made the news. Earlier this year, Sean Combs voiced his concern that General Motors can do better in terms of economic inclusion. We doubt the two are related, but perhaps
P Diddy highlighted an issue few Americans are aware of.
Cadillac also seems to be aware of the underrepresentation problem and made an ad for the new Escalade drawing parallels between its struggles and POCs. Regina King was also named as its new brand ambassador.