A Behind the Scenes Look at the NC Supplier Connection


The Sunbelt is often associated with retirement, but the North Carolina Supplier Connection isn’t slowing down anytime soon. It’s working hard every day to help small and diverse businesses join corporate supply chains.

The North Carolina Supplier Connection is led by The Institute, a nonprofit management consulting and services firm focused on harnessing diversity to achieve business and economic objectives.

Farad Ali, The Institute’s CEO, joined Supplier Connection because he thinks its “phenomenal database” of corporations that are actively looking for small and diverse business partners represents a “great value proposition” for the business development goals of his clients.

Ali said Supplier Connection presents a unique opportunity for small and diverse North Carolina businesses to reach a national network of buying members. He explained:

“People do business with people they know.”

He identified the ability of suppliers to input their diversity certifications as one of the best features of the Supplier Connection platform.

Ali also said that buying members’ ability to prominently enumerate the capabilities necessary to secure a contract was helpful, as it would assist The Institute’s efforts to provide any necessary training or education.

In addition to providing hands-on instruction to clients, the North Carolina Supplier Connection will be working with numerous local chambers of commerce to help promote Supplier Connection to small and diverse businesses across the state.

Ali and The Institute know a little something about helping small and diverse businesses in North Carolina. Since its founding in 1986, it has served 10,000 clients and has helped them create more than 3,000 jobs and receive $700 million in financing and contract awards.

Expect those already lofty numbers to grow.