NAIC Announces New Minority Business Certification Program

NAIC Announces New Minority Business Certification Program

WASHINGTON DC – February 26, 2024: The National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), the largest network of diverse-owned alternative investment firms, announces the launch of the NAIC Minority Business Enterprise Certification (MBEC) Program. Open to NAIC member firms and the more than 2,000 companies within their collective portfolios, the initiative allows well-capitalized, diverse-owned businesses to partner with large corporations seeking scalable, diverse suppliers to bolster their supply chain.

With diversity acknowledged as a critical driver of success, many multinational corporations have expressed their commitment to growing their engagement with diverse suppliers but have faced various challenges in achieving substantial expansion in their supply chain spend with MBEs. NAIC’s certification program addresses this issue by providing access to a network of well-funded and scalable MBE-certified companies, offering an effective solution that meets the demand for larger suppliers. The program also allows diverse-owned businesses that have received investment capital in exchange for equity to be certified.

Once an NAIC member firm secures its own MBE designation, its portfolio companies may then apply. Portfolio companies must demonstrate that the enterprise is at least 51% owned by a fund that is controlled by an MBE-certified NAIC member investment firm. Portfolio companies must also have a diverse board of directors and demonstrate that the affiliated investment firm has the ability to control the business’s day-to-day operations. Portfolio companies also must submit a compelling, measurable, community impact plan focused on empowering underserved communities.

Spearheading the program is Joset Wright Lacy, J.D., C.P.C., Founder and CEO of Waypoint Strategies, LLC., an executive coaching and consulting firm focused on leveraging leadership and diversity to drive business success. A former corporate procurement executive and past president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Joset was instrumental in driving significant opportunities between some of the country’s largest corporations and diverse-owned firms.

“NAIC’s MBE Certification Program addresses the need for more scalable MBEs for global corporations committed to supplier diversity,” says Lacy. “It creates an ecosystem that will deliver value and growth for corporations while driving economic and social impact in underserved communities.”

“The business world has changed drastically since supplier diversity initiatives were first put in place many decades ago,” says NAIC President & CEO, Robert L. Greene. “When the original policies were created, they did not contemplate that people of color would have significant investment and ownership stakes in private equity firms. As a result, the investments made by these diverse-owned firms have often been excluded from supplier diversity certification. This certification enables corporations to identify stronger, better funded companies that happen to be diverse-owned.”

The MBE Certification program is now open for applications, and interested companies may visit naicpe.com for more information.

About the National Association of Investment Companies

Celebrating more than 53 years of advocacy and performance, the National Association of Investment Companies (www.naicpe.com) is the trade association and largest network of diverse- and women-owned alternative investment firms. NAIC’s membership comprises more than 194 diverse-owned alternative investment firms that collectively manage over $406 billion in assets under management. NAIC member firms invest with more than 2,200 portfolio companies globally and consistently generate superior returns that help fuel the growth of the retirement and asset management industries.

Kristen Perlman
Director of Marketing and Communications
National Association of Investment Companies