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Supplier Diversity

Doing Business with the University of Illinois System

BEP and VBP Vendor Search

  • To search for Illinois Central Management Services certified vendors, go to Diverse Vendor Search.
  • To search the list of Architects and Engineers Prequalified with the Illinois Capital Development Board, go to Vendor Search.


Only BEP and VBP certified vendors are recognized by the University of Illinois System's Supplier Diversity Program. To certify, go to the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Vendor Registration page.

Minority, woman, or person with a disability-owned businesses criteria:

  • At least 51% owned and controlled by a person(s) who is minority, woman or disabled.
  • Must be a United States citizen or resident alien.
  • Annual gross sales of less than $75 million.

Veterans owned businesses criteria:

  • At least 51% owned and controlled by a veteran or service-disabled veteran
  • Annual gross sales of less than $75 million
  • Owner must be Illinois resident and home office in Illinois

Vendor Requirements

Responding to a Bid or Proposal

A Bidder or Proposer shall document its commitment to meeting the Contract specific diverse participation goals by submitting a Utilization Plan with the Bid or Proposal. The Utilization Plan shall include (1) one or more Letter(s) of Intent from the relevant diverse firms; and (2) current IL CMS BEP/VBP certification. Alternatively, the Bidder or Proposer shall submit a written request for waiver, which documents its preceding Good Faith Efforts and an explanation of its inability to meet the goals for diverse business participation. The Utilization Plan shall be submitted at the time that the bid or proposal is due.

Utilization Plan

For any solicitation where a diversity goal has been established, the Bid or Proposal shall include a complete Utilization Plan as set forth in the BEP Utilization Forms. The Utilization Plan shall include the name(s), mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the principal contact person of the relevant diverse firms. If the Bidder or Proposer plans to utilize one or more subcontractors which are BEP certified firms, the subcontractor shall be identified by one of its certification statuses within the Utilization Plan.

Letter of Intent

A Bid or Proposal shall include, as part of the Utilization Plan, one or more Letter(s) of Intent, as set forth on the BEP Utilization Forms, executed by each diverse subcontractor and the Bidder or Proposer. The Letter(s) of Intent will be used to confirm each BEP certified vendor shall perform work as a subcontractor, supplier, joint venture, or consultant on the Contract. Each Letter of Intent shall accurately detail the work to be performed by the relevant BEP certified vendor, the agreed dollar amount, the percentage of work, and the terms of payment. Each BEP certified Vendor must perform a "commercially useful function" to be counted towards the participation goal.

Waiver Request

Where a solicitation requires a Bidder or Proposer to meet an established goal, the Bidder or Proposer has the right to request a waiver from such requirements and must demonstrate "Good Faith Efforts" to comply with diversity goals. The waiver request shall be supported by sufficient evidence and documentation to demonstrate the Bidder or Proposer's Good Faith Efforts in attempting to achieve the applicable diversity goals, and its inability to do so despite its Good Faith Efforts.


Last Updated: March 9, 2022

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