Stellantis and the National Business League (NBL) today concluded their pilot of the National Black Supplier Development Program, graduating a group of 13 Black-owned business participants.
Many of the 13 companies either secured or are being considered for contracts on some of Stellantis’ most important marketing projects and vehicle programs, including work on Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Durango and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer marketing programs.
The pilot group also actively participated in coursework on a range of business topics and benefited from direct interaction with Stellantis leaders, business experts and Tier 1 suppliers.
The pilot is the initial phase of a larger program to develop Black suppliers for future contracting and procurement opportunities in the pursuit of greater racial equity in the marketplace.
“The Stellantis-National Business League Black Supplier Development Program strives to ensure that all Black business enterprises and suppliers have an equitable and inclusive stake in the global marketplace,” said Mark Stewart, COO, Stellantis – North America. “As a proof of concept, the program’s pilot generated significant business opportunities and many key learnings about finding equitable and impactful ways to engage and empower Black businesses, Black entrepreneurs and communities.”
Moving forward, Stellantis will continue to provide resources to NBL to support development of the online portal at the heart of the program. Detroit-based Computech Corporation is the program’s website portal developer.
Stellantis and NBL will also continue to create the virtual training tools that comprise the program’s resource marketplace. This marketplace will provide access to capital, mentorship and executive coaching, supplier training and development, bid posting, match-making and much more.
The program’s steering committee will now evaluate lessons learned from the pilot to inform a phased implementation of the larger program, including onboarding additional Fortune 500 partners.
“The Stellantis-National Business League Supplier Development Program is well on its way to leveling the playing field and achieving economic justice for Black communities and millions of Black businesses,” said Dr. Kenneth L. Harris, president and CEO of the National Business League. “The insights leadership has gained from the pilot will ensure that we build a sustainable program of value for Black businesses for decades to come in the supplier diversity space.”
At scale, the program will support the development of more than 2.9 million Black businesses around the country and internationally for future opportunities within the public and private sectors.
The program is expected to realize 20-30% of the untapped potential of Black businesses. The goal is to develop sustainable Black businesses that will impact local and global economies, creating jobs through entrepreneurship and growing the number of Black businesses of all sizes.
“My team is so proud to have been selected to participate in this historic program,” said Russell Westbrook of Russell Westbrook Digital, which secured contracts on Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Durango marketing programs. “We hope our leadership can open many new doors to level the playing field for millions of Black entrepreneurs, businesses and communities.”
The pilot companies participated in a virtual graduation ceremony on February 28 attended by business, government and company leaders, and advocates of the program.
The program will seek applications for the second collective of Black businesses after June 19.