The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council recently released a new analysis estimating that it will take more than three centuries to achieve economic parity in minority communities based on the current growth rate of minority entrepreneurs nationwide.

In other words, we have to do better. And all of us – businesses, entrepreneurs and everyday consumers – play a vital role.

Over the past year, American businesses have raised their voices loud and clear with a renewed commitment to overcoming racial inequality. While we applaud these sentiments, we suggest that an even stronger and clearer message would be delivered through intentional, long-term efforts to revamp supplier inclusion processes and establish meaningful goals for minority businesses. Such an inclusive approach is one of the most sustainable methods to have a real impact on racial inequalities, as it stimulates the creation of wealth for minority-owned businesses, their employees, their suppliers and, ultimately, impacts ALL communities for the greater good. Let me be clear. Certified minority businesses are not looking for handouts, but access to compete for real opportunity on an uneven and unfair playing field for generations.

Minority company certification works because minority companies or the MBE over-index job creation for minority talent – not relegating those talents to lower-level roles but allowing them to fill key operational roles.

MBEs should also generate higher MBE-to-MBE expenses, excluding only payroll and taxes from the opportunities for which they allow MBEs to compete. These actions strengthen the ecosystem for which minority certification was designed and create opportunities for the masses. Unlike well-intentioned public check presentations, lucrative work experiences, investments, and business opportunities have a tangible and lasting impact.

Why is this important? The numbers don’t lie.

Today, the median wealth or net worth of families by racial group is described below:

  • Black family costs $ 24,100
  • Latino family costs $ 36,100
  • Asian family costs $ 60,000
  • The White Family is $ 188,200

These numbers reflect up to 87 percent variance by breed. The numbers for education, homeownership and pay / compensation follow similar patterns and for the most part the patterns have not improved for over 50 years and the disparity negatively impacts all communities.

Sadly, we keep repeating the same conversations about racial and economic equality that were raised in the 1960s, but we only saw a 1% increase in the growth of minority-owned businesses that generated over a million dollars in annual revenue over the past 50 years.

Likewise, over the same period, the average minority spending target that American businesses once had has not only remained stagnant at less than 5% (excluding payroll and taxes), but is now divided among several ethnicities, plus women, veterans, LGBTQ, disabilities and other classifications.

Companies committed to inclusion emphasize the value of third-party certification in their procurement processes, as their goal is to monitor certified companies independently. Through our certification process, the MMSDC is committed to identifying and monitoring minority business enterprises. We certify companies on the basis of three main requirements:

  • At least 51% minority stake.
  • Active day-to-day management by at least a qualified ethnic minority engaged in day-to-day operations.
  • Independence and control.

Certification is particularly suitable for companies seeking access to large corporations and governments and their respective supply chains. We ensure that our certified businesses are reviewed at least once a year and must not only report all changes, but must also meet all criteria, regardless of size or seniority. Likewise, we regularly engage objective national experts to review our findings. So you can count on the credibility of our certifications.

Now in its 44th year, the MMSDC works tirelessly to help minority-owned businesses successfully build their capacities and expand their operations through access to capital, markets and other resources – creating jobs. and creating generational wealth in communities of color.

The ripple effects of this work are significant. In Michigan, approximately 1,200 certified MBEs – ranging from startups to multi-billion dollar companies – generate $ 36 billion in annual economic output and 205,000 jobs.

We remain committed to economic inclusion through dynamic and profitable business partnerships. We call on U.S. businesses, businesses of color, and all consumers to share in this commitment. Only then can we achieve a level of true economic parity that benefits all communities in much less time than a few centuries.