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Foundation Invests $1.1 Million To Boost Growth Of Black-Owned Businesses

The Fifth Third Foundation investment will go to the National Minority Supplier Development Council to recruit 100 certified MBEs to participate in the new program round.

Armed with new finances to help Black businesses grow, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) has secured $1.1 million from the Fifth Third Foundation.

The funding from the philanthropic arm of Fifth Third Bank will be used to continue NMSDC’s innovative Centers of Excellence Certificate Program (COECP) through 2026.

The effort facilitates the development and growth of NMSDC-certified minority business enterprises, readying them to compete for larger contracting opportunities. It makes opportunities for strategic partnerships, mentoring, and networking possible.

NMSDC aims to recruit 100 certified MBEs to participate in the new program round. The next cohort class will begin next month and run for nine months. NMSDC-certified MBEs with $1 million to under $10 million in sales can apply for the program here. The latest funding means that the Fifth Third Foundation will sponsor the program over the next three years — and three new classes of graduates. The foundation donated $1 million from 2020-2023.

The program will help MBEs develop skills in growing their knowledge and business by learning from participants’ competitive strengths and sharing business skills to help take their company to the next level.

They will discover new opportunities to enter partnerships, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and teaming agreements, which will help them secure larger contracts and grow globally. MBEs will align their sales methods with the procurement processes of corporate members, boosting their likelihood of closing contracts.

NMSDC CEO and President Ying McGuire stated, “The Centers of Excellence program is a prime example of how exponential MBE growth is possible when NMSDC and our corporate members, MBEs, and regional affiliates work together to create an ecosystem of mentorship and collaboration.”

Fifth Third Executive Vice President Kala Gibson, chief corporate responsibility officer at Fifth Third Bank and board chair at NMSDC, added, “We are proud to financially support the program through our Foundation and to lend our expertise as educators and subject matter experts to create an incredibly valuable experience that will pay dividends for all involved long into the future.”

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