Honoring Our Small Business Champion Organizations
Twelve years after an idea launched by then SBA Administrator Hector Barreto, technology industry superstar Diane Kegley and Chuck Ashman, CEO of SMA Global, Business Matchmaking is proud of its accomplishments.
We have enabled 125,000 small business sellers to meet with government and major corporate buyers resulting in over one billion dollars in contracts.
Clearly, it is time to honor those organizations that have led the support in their industries. We recently presented awards to these remarkable corporations and agencies for their support of small business and their commitment to diversity. Our champions included:
- Union Bank - Banking
- HP Enterprise - Technology
- Dun & Bradstreet - Financial
- PAR Electrical Contractors, Inc. - Construction
- Southern California Edison - Utilities
- CA Department of General Services - Government
The concept of a hall of fame has become a tradition in many aspects of American life. We want to extend it to supplier diversity by regularly recognizing individuals who go beyond their call of duty to open doors for women, minority and veteran owned small businesses. Our initial group of individual honorees include:
- Richard Chacon of Union Bank
- Brian Tippens of HP Enterprise
- Dan Sturdivant of Homeland Security
- Joan Kerr of PG&E
- Carole Bionda Of Nova Group
- Danetta Jackson of the CA Dept. of General Services
- Natalie Orta of the SBA
Small Business Travel Benefits
Business Matchmaking small business participants now have an opportunity to benefit in access, pricing and value-added activities on par with many of the nation's largest corporations. POTHOS, a disabled-veteran owned, San Diego based travel agency with a global reputation, has packaged benefits through Business Matchmaking, all available with a free new travel benefits card. The new POTHOS discount program for Business Matchmaking is FREE and provides a wide range of travel and accommodation advantages.
To begin the experience, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number.
POTHOS will email your login and password. The first time you access the site, you will need to change your password and create a profile.
Cyber SecurityA Must For MBEs
Following our San Jose Business Matchmaking session which included a briefing about cybercrime survival, this unsolicited review appeared by an attendee we met for the first time:
I was recently invited by a leader in Supplier Diversity, Richard Chacon - Director of Supplier Diversity and Development for Union Bank, to attend a Business Matchmaking (BMM) event held in San Jose. Union Bank is very active in the MBE community (I know Richard through the NMSDC) and they support a variety of organizations, including being a sponsor of BMM. If you're not familiar with them, BMM supports procurement opportunities for small businesses in every industry, producing regional face-to-face selling events, plenary seminars and workshops, online training and collateral material for MBEs. This was my first time attending one of their events and I must say I was very impressed by the efforts of the many corporate sponsors and participants that made this event so informational and thus successful.
In addition to Richard and his colleagues from Union Bank, there were many professionals from leading corporations such as HP Enterprise, PAR Electrical Contractors, PG&E, SoCal Edison, Nova Group, and other resource partners. They participated in a morning panel session that educated entrepreneurs and businesses about the importance of protecting your business from cyber threats and provided tips and best practices for doing so. The panel discussion was followed by scheduled matchmaking sessions
The panel focused on cyber threats and the related crime that affects businesses every day. Now for some of you, this may not seem like it would apply to your business; you might not think you have data that criminals want. The truth though, is that you most likely do and there are people out there waiting to hold your data hostage. It was great to hear from experts, right here in the technology capital, and get some practical advice on an issue that we should all be concerned about.
If you are an MBE looking to do business with a corporation, or really any business, you need to be aware of the issue and protect your data, not only for your own good, but so that the companies you do business with know they are protected as well. Many of the recent data breaches have occurred because of a weakness in a partner or third party supplier's security. Companies need to know that you are not a threat to their business because of lax protocols; it is your job to prove that you have done all that is needed to protect yourself, your customers, and your business partners from cybercrime.
The discussion and advice given during the session covered a variety of topics such as:
- Phishing and Hacking - How cyber criminals get you on the hook to spend money with tax related calls, emails asking for personal info verification, etc.
- Wiring money - Do you do business overseas? There are people monitoring emails that can see who you do business with and will pretend to be your legitimate business partner and try to get you to wire them money, and once you do, it is gone.
- Countering the threats - How having a pre-arranged fax number for payments can be helpful, as well as a dedicated computer and email that is used solely for business banking. This will help prevent you from getting hacked into easily.
- Education - How educating your employees about threats, how to recognize and prevent them by following the right protocols and processes, will help you avoid problems.
This is just a small sampling of the information shared but I think it shows how helpful the session was and could be for you. They are taking this cyber threat topic on the road and holding similar events in cities across the U.S. If you are interested, consider attending one in your area. They also have information available about cyber insurance for small businesses. Finally, they cover many other interesting topics, so if this one doesn't appeal to you or doesn't come to your neck of the woods, check out their other offerings. I'm sure something will appeal to you and the matchmaking opportunities are very worthwhile.
I believe the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" also applies in the business world. It takes companies like Union Bank who are willing to genuinely educate and empower businesses by actively helping them to grow by supporting events such as this. It is invaluable to have businesses that are willing to share their knowledge and experience, in this case on the topic of cyber threats. MBE participants can improve and grow stronger and more ready to do business with large corporations as a result. It's good for everyone: MBEs become better companies and corporations get better suppliers and business partners
I want to thank Business Matchmaking for hosting this great event, Richard Chacon for inviting me and introducing me to this organization, and Union Bank, and the other corporations, for giving their time and support to helping minority businesses learn, improve, and grow our businesses. Thanks again!
Corporate Outreach Manager, Supplier Diversity