Stellantis and the National Business League (NBL) concluded their pilot of the National Black Supplier Development Program, graduating a group of 13 Black-owned business participants who either secured or are being considered for contracts on some of Stellantis’ most important projects including Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Durango and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer marketing programs.
“The program strives 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. “It generated significant business opportunities and many key learnings about finding fair and impactful ways to engage and empower Black businesses, Black entrepreneurs and communities.”
As the larger program is phased in, Stellantis will support development of the online portal at the heart of the program with assistance from Detroit-based Computech Corporation. A virtual resource marketplace also will provide access to capital, mentorship and executive coaching, supplier training and development, bid posting, matchmaking, and more.
Moses J. Shepherd, the owner and CEO of Detroit-based ACE Petroleum, a national gasoline provider, and pilot program participant said, “We’re receiving calls from across the country. A lot of people have heard about the program. At the rate that we’re growing, we’re going to be a strong force in the fuel business from a minority standpoint.”
More than half of the initial program participants are based in southeastern Michigan, including three from Detroit. The program will seek applications for the second collective of Black businesses after June 19.
“The Stellantis-National Business League Supplier Development Program is well on its way to leveling the playing field and achieving economic justice for Black communities and millions of Black businesses,” said Dr. Kenneth L. Harris, president and CEO of the National Business League, during the program’s virtual graduation ceremony on Feb. 28. “The insights leadership has gained from the pilot will ensure that we build a sustainable program of value for Black businesses for decades to come in the supplier diversity space.”
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