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Higher Education Diverse Business Opportunity Fair

Higher Education Diverse Business Opportunity Fair

Opportunity Fair Overview

Are you a minority, woman, disabled, and/or veteran business owner and want to do business with State of Illinois Universities?

Are you seeking diverse businesses to partner with to fulfill the State of Illinois' diversity goals?

If yes, then this event is for you!

The "Higher Education Diverse Business Opportunity Fair" is part of an initiative organized and sponsored by the Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative (IPHEC) through its Diversity Working Group to significantly increase diversity among higher education vendors through an event designed to help diverse businesses gain more access in the procurement process.

The business opportunity fair will take place on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Southern Illinois University—Edwardsville in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. This inaugural event offers face-to-face opportunities for dialogue and networking between diverse business owners and university leaders. The fair is open to all businesses who desire to do business with any public universities.

This event is an excellent opportunity for diverse businesses across southern and central Illinois to:

  • Speak directly with key purchasing staff representatives from state universities and community colleges in areas such as commodities, equipment, services & construction
  • Learn about procurement opportunities
  • Learn about valuable programs and resources to help build business capacity
  • Network with attendees across many industries
  • Learn how to become a certified MBE/FBE/PBE/DBE/VOSB/SDVOSB vendor that will qualify them for additional opportunities.

The business opportunity fair will also include representatives from various State agencies, such as the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Department of Central Management Services Business Enterprise Program.

We also anticipate attendance from local business associations including the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, Saint Louis Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and various Women's Business Development assist agencies.

"Our universities are constantly seeking out diverse suppliers so we can expand the number of companies participating in the public procurement process," said Sharla Roberts, University of Illinois Director of Procurement Diversity and IPHEC Diversity Chair. "We do this by urging departments to seek quotes from diverse vendors, actively seeking out new vendors at vendor fairs and symposiums, conducting 'How to Do Business With the University' workshops, and by maintaining an open-door policy to meet with new vendors." We look forward to your attendance.

What is IPHEC?

IPHEC consists of the nine (9) state of Illinois universities and thirteen campuses that work together as a single buying group to leverage their group purchasing power across a wide range of goods and services. The IPHEC Diversity Working Group was formed to support diversity outreach initiatives and focuses on developing programs and initiatives to increase procurement opportunities for diverse groups such as women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities at higher education institutions.

IPHEC created this initiative to facilitate greater synergy between diverse business and the state's nine (9) member universities. The program provides tools to enable diverse businesses to increase interaction on quote and bid submissions for goods and services utilized by IPHEC institutions.

Southern Illinois was targeted as our first region to conduct a higher education business opportunity fair to increase procurement opportunities for diverse businesses at higher education institutions in this region.

Last Updated: September 11, 2014

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