It’s no secret that the population of America is changing. But did you know just how dramatically it’s changing for businesses and consumers?

America’s changing demographics

Next week, key U.S. business leaders and I will be attending the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Conference in Chicago. Why do I bring this up? Because we weren’t surprised to read numbers like these when it comes to America’s population stats and predictions:

  • Since 1996, the number of Latino business owners has more than doubled to 20.8%
  • By 2024, Hispanics are expected to make up 20% of the U.S. labor force. Women are expected to make up 47.2%.
  • By 2044 (or sooner), minorities will constitute more than 50% of the population in the U.S.

Business leaders invested in minority suppliers aren’t surprised by these stats because we live them. The US Census estimates that there are eight million minority-owned firms across America (including our very own Populus Group). These numbers demonstrate something we know to be true: investing in minority suppliers yields more than just meeting quotas or getting a tax break.

Here are the secrets we know and wish more companies would acknowledge:

What smart leaders know about investing in minority suppliers

1. Tapping into minority buying power has an immediate pay-off. 

One frequently-shared benefit to working with a certified MBE is that you’re tapping into minority buying power. A quote from Nielsen sums up this impact well: 

"Multicultural consumers are rapidly becoming the core of the U.S. population… With expansive buying power and unique consumption habits, multicultural consumers are an emerging consumer force in the country.” 

People want to buy from companies who share their core values. In today’s political climate, it’s more important than ever to demonstrate your values by partnering with minority suppliers. When you demonstrate your commitment to diversity through your actions, multicultural consumers will be more likely to choose you for a purchase or service.

2. A healthy economy depends on supplier diversity and investment. 

As America’s minority-owned business population grows, minority-owned businesses will be a critical measure of the nation’s economic health. Supporting local, minority-owned businesses is an easy investment in overall health of our national economy. 

If you’re primarily manufacturing your products outside of America, for instance, investing in a minority supplier for other parts of your business is any easy way to support your local economy without raising overall costs.

3. When diverse suppliers work together, magic happens. 

Investing in minority suppliers isn’t just for businesses that aren’t minority-owned. As many of us in this space know, becoming a certified minority-owned business (MBE) opens many doors for networking and collaboration.

Events like the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Conference in Chicago create opportunities for typically smaller, more nimble businesses to join together to create innovative business solutions. When MBEs invest in each other, they tend to see a great return on investment.

4. Social responsibility matters to you, your brand, and your customers. 

Last month Bloomberg wrote that, “this year, nine companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 -- the most ever -- faced official demands from shareholders that they adopt new diversity plans.” The call for accountability isn’t going away – instead, with the increased visibility on social media and national news, the demand for corporate diversity is only growing. 

If you aren’t actively pursuing diverse employees or suppliers, how are you showing your customers that you actually care about diversity? One of the easiest ways to demonstrate your commitment to diversity is to engage with minority suppliers. What are you waiting for?

Lessen risk by investing in the future

The increased focus on globalization, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, supplier diversity, and other socially responsible initiatives have made minority-owned businesses an important supply base for buyers. Knowing that 2024 isn’t so far away, it’s important to invest in minority suppliers now so that you’re not at risk of being left behind.


Is your company at risk because you're not investing in minority suppliers? Learn more about the benefits of working with an MBE and consider making an investmet in your future:

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And if you'll be at the National Minority Supplier Development Council Conference in Chicago next week, make sure to stop by booth #631 to say hello.