Supplier Diversity Program

Office of Equal Employment and Minority Affairs

The Smithsonian and Small Business

The purpose of the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP), formerly known as the Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (SDBU) Program, is to provide advocacy for and direction to small businesses and historically underutilized small businesses (HUSBs).  The SDP seeks to ensure that these firms receive equal opportunity and appropriate consideration in the Smithsonian's procurement of goods and services.

The Institution's policy is to provide small, minority, socially and economically disadvantaged 8(a) women-owned, historically underutilized business zone (HUBZone) and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses - referred to collectively as small and disadvantaged businesses - the opportunity to participate, to the maximum extent possible, in all federal contracts entered into by the Institution. When appropriate, the Smithsonian also expends trust funds based on these principles.

In 1993, the Smithsonian established a Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Program in its Office of Equal Employment and Minority Affairs (OEEMA) to support and enhance initiatives already in place in the Office of Contracting & Personal Property Management. The Smithsonian is not an executive agency as defined in the Administration Procedures Act and, as such, is not subject to Public Law 95-507 and other relevant statutes and executive orders that mandate the establishment of an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilitzation. However, the Institution has long followed the spirit and intent of these statutes in its procurement actions and, by establishing the SDBU Program, chose a more active approach in promoting equal opportunity in its business relationships. In January 2000, the program's name was changed to the Supplier Diversity Program to recognize the utilization of both federal and trust expenditures and to acknowledge the diversity of the Smithsonian suppliers.

Key Program Components

  • Development of outreach initiatives to heighten small business and HUSBs awareness of contracting opportunities at the Smithsonian;
  • Development and implementation of creative initiatives that encourage the increased utilization of small businesses and HUSBs through "win-win" strategies;
  • Establishment and monitoring of goals for the participation of small businesses and HUSBs in the procurement process;
  • Management of Supplier Diversity Program liaison staff to assist in promoting SDP initiatives at the Smithsonian unit level;
  • Development of training seminars to educate Smithsonian buyers on the benefits of utilizing small businesses and HUSBs;
  • Evaluation of large prime contractors' subcontracting plans, negotiation of goals for small business and HUSB participation, and monitoring of performance following contract awards;
  • Maintenance of a database of qualified small businesses and HUSBs used to conduct vendor searches for Smithsonian buyers; and,
  • Publication of information materials that assist small businesses and HUSBs with their marketing efforts.

Supplier Diversity Program Links 

SDP Contact Information 

For further information, contact the Supplier Diversity Program at (202) 633-6410 or at sdphelp@si.edu.

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