Business, Community & Economic Development
Business, Community & Economic Development aims to serve as an access point to connect diverse business owners in the Champaign County region to University of Illinois resources.
Diverse Supplier Development Program
The University of Illinois System’s Diverse Supplier Development Program reflects our university’s commitment to empowering diverse businesses and creating a more inclusive economy. Workshops led by University of Illinois academic instructors and other leading professionals, along with student-led consulting opportunities, will help diverse small business owners expand their capacity and knowledge, empowering them to grow their business.
Polsky Small Business Growth Student Consultant Program
The Polsky Small Business Growth Student Consultant Program supports small business owners to help them grow and scale their businesses through consulting work completed by top University of Illinois student talent under the direction and support of University of Chicago Booth faculty, Polsky staff, and external coaches. This program is a collaboration with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago.
Office of Procurement Diversity
The Office of Procurement Diversity in the University of Illinois System is committed to vendor diversification by ensuring that diverse businesses are included in the University procurement process. The Supplier Diversity Program provides access to procurement opportunities by creating an equitable and competitive business environment through encouraging campus departments to proactively consider qualified certified businesses owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans for their contracting needs.
What is a Diverse Business?
At least 51% owned and controlled/operated by a U.S. Citizen and one of the following categories or ethnicities:
- African American
- Asian American
- Native American
- Person with a disability
- Service Disabled Veteran*
*Must be Illinois resident and with a home office in Illinois.
Diverse businesses can apply for certification through the State of Illinois’ Business Enterprise Program website (BEP), which includes detailed information about BEP, eligibility criteria and an online application to get certified.