About Supplier Diversity
The CGLCC’s supplier diversity program connects LGBT+ businesses in Canada with corporations, organizations and government bodies eager to do business with them.
The corporate world understands the value, both economic and social, of having a diverse range of suppliers. To that end, more and more companies have made it a requirement that the businesses from which they buy services include companies run by women, Aboriginals, visible minorities and – increasingly – members of the LGBT+ community. In fact, some companies now incorporate supplier diversity goals into annual performance objectives for their procurement staff.
The CGLCC works on supplier diversity in two ways:
- It certifies LGBT+-owned businesses as diverse suppliers and helps them leverage that certification to grow their business.
- It works with corporations, organizations and government bodies to help them understand the LGBT+ market and connect with the CGLCC’s certified suppliers.
Start the Process Here
The Benefits of Certification
Companies that want to procure from a diverse supplier need be sure that a business they deal with actually is what it claims to be. For that reason, organizations exist to certify diverse suppliers. These third-party bodies have rigorous certification programs in place to ensure that a business meets strict criteria in order to be classified as a diverse-owned enterprise.
The CGLCC is the certifying body for LGBT+ businesses in Canada, and works with similar bodies that certify businesses owned, operated and controlled by women, visible minorities and Aboriginals. Together, these groups have formed Supplier Diversity Alliance Canada.
Supplier diversity programs level the playing field for groups that have been historically underrepresented in the corporate supply chain. For more information, the Government of Canada has published a study on the business case for supplier diversity in Canada.
About the CGLCC Supplier Diversity Program
Supporting supplier diversity in Canada is one of the CGLCC’s most important activities, and a significant part of the CGLCC’s mandate to help LGBT+ entrepreneurs thrive.
Launched in 2014 at World Pride in Toronto, the CGLCC Supplier Diversity Program works to certify and match LGBT+ business enterprises with the growing number of corporations proactively seeking to diversify their supply chains. And by linking certified businesses with each other, it creates opportunities for partnerships and business-to-business ventures.
Today, a growing number of certified LGBT+ businesses offer products and services across a range of industries and sectors of the economy.
The CGLCC works with certified businesses to help them:
- Gain access to purchasing opportunities and contracts
- Enhance their competitiveness and build capacity
- Learn from corporations and other business owners
- Take advantage of mentorship opportunities
- Network with other business owners and corporations
- Support business development within the LGBT+ community
How to Obtain Certification
The CGLCC has developed standardized procedures to assure consistency in the review and certification of LGBT+ owned and operated businesses. To be certified by the CGLCC as an LGBT+ business enterprise, an applicant must:
- Operate in Canada
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
- Be able to operate as a supplier of products or services to other businesses
In addition, the applicant’s business must
- Be a for-profit enterprise
- Be substantially owned, operated and controlled by LGBT+ individuals.
For the purpose of certification by the CGLCC, that means:
- The business must be at least 51% owned and operated by self-identified LGBT+ individuals. Self-identification is corroborated and verified.
- In the case of publicly owned businesses, at least 51% of the company’s shares would have to be owned by one or more such individuals meeting the same criteria.
- Furthermore, the management and daily operations of these businesses must be controlled by LGBT+ individuals.
As long as the above criteria are met, there is no limit on the size of the business that can be certified. The CGLCC will certify sole-proprietor businesses as well as larger companies.
Certification is a four-step process.
Step 1: Application
There are two documents to be filled in and signed.
- The owner or general partner of a 51%+ owned, operated, and controlled Canadian LGBT business must complete a certification application.
- That individual must also complete and sign a declaration of LGBT+ status.
The completed documents should be emailed to: email@example.com
A cheque for a non-refundable processing fee – $399 for members of affiliate LGBT+ business organizations, or $449 for non-members, plus applicable taxes – must be sent to the CGLCC in order to process the certification.
The cheque can be mailed to:
Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
ATTN: Supplier Diversity Certification
229 Yonge Street, Suite 400
Toronto ON M5B 1N9
No supporting documents are required with the application. All information supplied is kept confidential.
Applicants will receive a notification confirming receipt of the application forms and payment.
Step 2: Review and Verification
The CGLCC will review the application to ensure it is complete.
- If it is, the CGLCC will then contact a trained assessor in the region where the applicant is based to schedule an onsite inspection. The applicant will be contacted to confirm the date/time, and sent a checklist of documents, reports and related information that must be made available during the onsite inspection.
- If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be notified and invited to resubmit.
Step 3: Onsite Assessment
- The CGLCC will coordinate an onsite assessment of the applicant to review company documentation and verify information in the application. The assessor will complete a report and a supporting document checklist.
- Note that the assessor will not take or make copies of any documents.
Step 4: Certification
The assessor will send the completed assessment report and checklist to the CGLCC.
- If all requirements have been met, the CGLCC will approve the certification and notify the applicant.
- The certified business will be added to the national database, and basic contact and company information will be provided to the CGLCC’s network of organizations seeking vendors and business partners.
- The business will receive a certificate they can use as proof they meet the criteria of a certified diverse supplier, as well as logos that can be used on websites and correspondence to identify the business as a certified supplier.
- The certification is valid for one year, after which time a certification renewal is required ($299 plus applicable taxes).
- The assessor will send the completed assessment report and checklist to the CGLCC.
If all certification requirements have not been met, the CGLCC will notify the applicant that their request for certification has been declined (with reasons identified). No refund is provided.