Landmark report by the Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK)

Landmark report by the Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK)

The report launch at the MSDUK 2012 Conference was accompanied by an award ceremony hosted by George Alagiah to recognise outstanding ethnic minority businesses and the corporations that are committed to supplier diversity

The winners were:
• Supplier of the Year – Business Growth: Halebury
• Supplier of the Year – Innovation: Gate Ventures
• Supplier of the Year- Responsible Business: Testhouse
• Overall Supplier of the Year: Gate Ventures
• Corporation of the Year- IBM

Report findings:
• Ethnic minority-owned businesses have demonstrated greater resilience against the economic downturn and faster rates of job creation – for example, the ethnic minority-owned businesses surveyed have grown their workforce by 4% per year, compared to 2% across the UK private sector.

• 71% of ethnic minority-owned businesses in MSDUK’s network are located in areas of higher unemployment and lower educational attainment.
• Ethnic minority business owners surveyed are twice as likely as other businesses to offer work placements for young people and mentor other entrepreneurs in their community.

London, 12 October 2012: A landmark report launched at the Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK) 2012 Conference highlights the role of ethnic minority-owned businesses in driving socio-economic growth in the country’s most deprived communities. Despite regional inequality still being an omnipresent issue in the UK. The results of the report are based on analysis of MSDUK’s 300+ corporate members and ethnic minority suppliers, with additional surveys and interviews with a smaller subset of corporates and ethnic minority business owners.

Mayank Shah, Director, MSDUK said, ‘This is a benchmark study on the impact of supplier diversity on both procurement organisations as well as ethnic minority communities and reiterates a strong economic case. I strongly believe that inclusive procurement leads not only to inclusive economic growth but brings bottom-line benefit to corporate supply chain and this report establishes this view.’

Ethnic minority-owned businesses make up 8% of all UK businesses and are more likely to be located in deprived areas. Within MSDUK’s network, 71% of ethnic minority-owned businesses are located in areas of above average rates of unemployment and lower educational attainment (as measured by the number of pupils graduating with less than 5 GCSEs). In addition, the ethnic minority entrepreneurs surveyed were more than twice as likely to volunteer in their community and offer work placements for young people, compared to the general population of British adults. As such, ethnic minority-owned businesses serve as vital agents for creating jobs and raising aspirations in these communities.

Furthermore, according to a Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) report on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2011, ethnic minority-owned businesses have demonstrated greater resilience against the economic downturn and are also more likely to have hired additional staff in the last 12 months than the general population of SMEs. Ethnic minority business owners also demonstrate more positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship and innovation, and are more likely to act as mentors to other entrepreneurs in the community.

Paul King, Global Supplier Diversity Program Manager for IBM, said: “Minority Owned businesses tend to be more responsive to the needs of IBM and help IBM achieve our key strategic diversity objectives by delivering innovation and quality goods and services. IBM has been a founding member of MSDUK and will always support organisations that promote diversity and can help IBM deliver added value to our clients.”

As public contracts are now assessed based on its ‘value for money’, policy makers should encourage greater participation from ethnic minority suppliers as they not only deliver competitive economic value but also generate greater social value for regional and more deprived communities. To promote a more balanced economy that encourages participation from all members of society, policy makers should work with MSDUK to promote the benefits of supplier diversity to UK private and public sector organisations.


Minority Supplier Development United Kingdom (MSDUK) is a not-for-profit organisation that has been playing a leading role in promoting the case for supplier diversity. Its core mission is to provide a common platform for corporates and ethnic minority-owned businesses to build commercially beneficial relationships. Founded in 2006, MSDUK seeks to promote fairness and equal opportunities for minority-owned businesses to compete for the supply of goods and services. It has sought to achieve this through networking sessions, workshops, training and harnessing corporate engagement. These actions have helped bring supplier diversity onto the business agenda.

Supplier diversity is not just an act of moral responsibility for corporations, it is sound business. Supplier diversity helps promote supply chain flexibility and lower prices as the relative smaller size of minority-owned businesses allows them to minimise overhead costs, innovate, and be more responsive to client demands. On top of this, it can help corporations access the growing ethnic minority markets which are the result of demographic changes. Within the UK, the number of people from an ethnic minority background is expected to double over the next 25 years, according to report published by Leicester Business School in 2008. Especially in this post-Olympics period, the value and importance of diversity has rarely been positioned so strongly for forward-thinking businesses.

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Venue: MSDUK Awards
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Name: Kreshany
Phone: 0207 195 1398