University of Diversity

A New Age For MBE’s

As businesses and institutions move toward a more inclusive business approach, buyers of goods and services for large corporations and institutions have more diverse ways of meeting spend goals. There was a time when an emphasis was placed on MBE (Minority Business Enterprises) sourcing, but now goals can be met outside of traditional minority groups. Initiatives like the State of Ohio EDGE (Encouraging Diversity Growth and Equity) program now allow socioeconomic certification to groups outside of the traditional minority groups.
Most minority business owners seem to be frustrated at the system because of the perception that the old rules of affirmative action still apply. The reality is that there is a shift in the population of minority groups because of America’s globalization and the increase of access to higher educational opportunities for certain minority groups. As a result, there is now a more broad pool of business owners who are considered minorities and consumers now have more options in sourcing to accomplish their diverse spend goals.
Minority Business Enterprises must realize that business will not be secured based on entitlement programs or historical injustices. In today’s global competitive market, consumers are sourcing to businesses that are cost conscious and innovative in their delivery of goods and services. The traditional ways of doing business is rapidly fading away as we engage more feverishly in this technological society.
Change is always required, because change is inevitable.

is Erik C. Johnson is the University of Toledo Minority Business Development Center Manager. As an Entrepreneur, Erik has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in Minority Business Enterprise development. He started his first certified minority business enterprise in 1994 and grew that venture to become one of the largest minority owned firms in the state of Ohio. As an Intrapreneur, employed by the University, Erik provides client assistance oversight, manages objectives for incubating firms, monitors the incubating firm's progress and participates in recruitment, screening and lease arrangements. He also, facilitates a personal & professional development class "Entrepreneur U" at the UT Catharine S. Eberly Center for Woman and provides Diversity Certificate Training for UT Culture Building Institute. Raised in Warren, Ohio, Erik now Resides in Toledo with his Wife and two sons. Erik is a Graduate of Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management. He enjoys watching movies and sporting events.
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2 Responses to “A New Age For MBE’s”

  1. Tonya Brown-Munn Says:

    Hello Erik!
    I would love to get involved with some of the MBE/EDGE projects. You know that I generate leads, contact new prospects and connect one business to another. I am a graduate student at UT now! I received my BA in Dec 2011. Please get in touch and send me your contact information, too. My business is still doing well, although I could expand. I do not have office space and cannot afford it. I am currently working by myself for four seperate clients. Thanks again!
    Mrs. Tonya Brown-Munn
    Founder, President Brown Cast L.L.C.
    419-754-7011 Office

  2. Amelia Acuna Says:

    Erik, great blog! UT is holding an event on July 20 called Supply UT. Numerous diverse suppliers will be on main campus in Centennial Mall from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Friday July 20. There will be a free BBQ, music and 3 iPAD give-a-ways. A great opportunity to encourage purchasing from diverse suppliers, meet new people and have fun! Your blog is very supportive of our event! Hope to see everyone there..

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About The Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement strives to create an organizational culture that is welcoming to all individuals regardless of their age, color, ethnicity, gender, religion, disabilities, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. This culture will result in an environment that allows individuals to have the opportunity to excel in all aspects of their academic and professional endeavors.

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