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Stellantis, National Business League create the National Black Supplier Development Program

The maker of Jeep and Ram vehicles is partnering with the National Business League to create a one-stop solution for Black suppliers across industries to obtain training as well as access to capital and contracts with Fortune 500 companies and the federal government.

The National Black Supplier Development Program will seek to support the development of more than 2.9 million Black businesses around the country and internationally to ready them to conduct business with the public and private sectors. Black businesses will have access to a portal that will provide the resources for talent acquisition, supply-chain sourcing, executive mentorship, bid opportunities, funding access and more.

“There is a huge demographic that’s out there that needs to be developed with resources and provided education and training to qualify them for future opportunities in the marketplace,” said Kenneth Harris, CEO of the league founded by Booker T. Washington to promote the interests of African American businesses.

“We’re being intentional about addressing the Black equity issues that exist through the community, but, more importantly, we are tapping into an untapped marketplace that will not only drive commerce-driven activity but to make businesses that are competitive in the future.”

Kenneth Harris is CEO of the National Business League.

The automaker, Stellantis NV, will anchor the development of the virtual training and development portal. A formal application will go later this year for a free pilot of the program, and approximately 10 Black businesses will participate. It will be open to home-based, one-employee “solopreneurs” and larger businesses. The pilot will be designed around each participant’s needs, providing virtual training, manufacturing facility reviews, efficiency assessments and more during the first half of 2022.