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  • Businesses of Diversity

Businesses of Diversity

NSBI defines a Business of Diversity to be 51%+ owned, managed, and operated by Women, Aboriginal and/or Indigenous Peoples, Visible Minorities, LGBT+, Disabled Persons, or Veterans.*

Nova Scotia Businesses of Diversity are growing their revenues and forging new partnerships with the help of NSBI through participation in Supplier Diversity procurement programs. 

What is Supplier Diversity?  

Supplier Diversity is a strategic business case that provides Businesses of Diversity the equal opportunity to become suppliers to major corporations across Canada, the US and Europe. It is defined as reaching out to groups not traditionally included in the supply chain or within the purchasing process of corporations. Some of these underrepresented groups include Women, Visible Minorities, Aboriginal and/or Indigenous Peoples, LGBT+, Veterans, and People with Disabilities who own and operate their own businesses.

Why should I certify my business?

Becoming certified as a Business of Diversity allows you to:

  • Gain market-access to corporate procurement opportunities & contracts
  • Enhance your company's competitiveness and build capacity
  • Build a network with other diverse businesses and corporations
  • Support business development within diverse communities

How do I certify my business?  

To be certified as a Diverse Business Enterprise, the applicant must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be a for-profit enterprise
  • Operate in Canada
  • Be a Canadian citizen / permanent resident
  • Be able to operate as a supplier of products or services 
  • Be 51%+ owned, managed and controlled by member(s) of the identified diverse group. 

Canadian certifying councils include WBE Canada, WeConnect International in Canada, the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), and the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLC). Along with certification, these organizations provide valuable educational programs and networking opportunities for their members, as well as, forums for their corporate members to share best supplier diversity practices. 

How can NSBI help?

Whether you are new to exporting, expanding to new markets, or looking to grow your diverse export business, NSBI can help. Our team of experts have sector and market know-how, and can help you gain access to:

  • Guidance on Diverse Business Enterprise certification
  • Trade Mission trips for Businesses of Diversity to access new markets
  • Information and Access to Government Programs and Services
  • Export Education and Training Sessions
  • Trade Market Research and Intelligence 

Contact Karen Willams, NSBI Export Development Executive, to learn more. 


"Businesses owned by women and minorities are vital to Canada’s economic prosperity. Diverse, well-developed supply chains can help companies reduce costs, enhance innovation, successfully integrate acquired businesses, and reach new markets.”​ - Whitfield & Farrell

*NSBI’s identification and definition of Businesses of Diversity are based on the eligibility requirements for certification within Canada’s four national certifying organizations; WBE Canada, WeConnect International in Canada, the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), and the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLC).