Economic equity creates healthier communities
Everyone should have a fair opportunity to succeed in business and contribute to their local economy. At Independence Blue Cross, we firmly believe economic equity leads to happier, healthier communities. That’s why we are committed to advancing diverse-owned businesses and supporting organizations that strengthen diverse communities.
Here's how we see our role in advancing economic equity in our region:
As an economic engine
Supplier Diversity Program
Established in 1991, Independence Blue Cross’s Supplier Diversity Program creates opportunities for businesses to grow while promoting job creation and helping to stimulate the economy. Through this program, we build alliances with businesses that are owned and controlled by women, veterans, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
We are proud to make a positive impact on these businesses and our community. One way we do this is by continuing to increase our annual spend with diverse suppliers and businesses. In 2022, Independence spent $280 million with diverse suppliers, up 32 percent from 2021. In fact, since 2018 Independence Blue Cross and our affiliates spent nearly $1 billion between 2018-2022 with diverse suppliers.
How to become an Independence supplier
We look for businesses that offer a high-quality, competitively priced product or service that comes with an assurance of excellent customer service. Some of the products and services Independence currently purchases include: facility supplies and maintenance; information systems, including staffing; AV equipment and services; marketing materials and promotional items; and staffing and consulting.
If your company is interested in working with Independence Blue Cross, we invite you to complete our online supplier application. Upon successful registration, your company will be added to our database and promoted as a provider of goods or services within Independence.
To be eligible to participate in Independence’s Supplier Diversity Program, a company must be certified as at least one of the following:
- Women-owned business
- Minority-owned business
Vendors must provide us with certification from one of the following agencies:
- National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
- Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
- Other — certifications from additional city, state, or federal agencies may also apply.
Questions? Email us at email@example.com.
Economic impact study
The most recent study of our Supplier Diversity Program found that among Independence Blue Cross and our affiliates, our hiring of diverse suppliers contributed $375 million to the national economy in 2018, up from $238 million in 2014. In addition, in the same timeframe, this program created 1,703 jobs paying $94.1 million in salaries and benefits, and generated $30.1 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue. Learn more about the study.
As a source of capital
Helping diverse businesses to scale and grow
“Helping minority- and women-owned companies access capital is critical to setting them on an equal footing for growth and success,” said Gregory E. Deavens, Independence president and CEO.
- Investing in small businesses. Independence invests in the Enterprise Center’s Innovate Capital Growth Fund through the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. This Small Business Investment Company fund focuses on opening doors for minority- and women-owned business.
- Supporting diverse investment companies. We committed to spend $5 million each within four diverse investment firms for a total of $20 million. This commitment allows those firms to continue providing early-stage funding to diverse venture capitalist, accelerating DEI in private markets, and addressing the underrepresentation of Black entrepreneurs in the venture capital community.
- Using diverse portfolio managers. With our affiliates, we have more than $1 billion in assets* managed by diverse managers within our corporate, foundation and pension portfolios. This represents 24 percent of our total assets under management.
*As of December 31, 2022
As a coalition builder
We are invested in the long-term success of our diverse suppliers and diverse businesses in our community. Here are some of the ways we’re working to positively impact diverse-owned businesses:
We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to partnering with diverse suppliers
- Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Paving the Way Award
- Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Emmett T. Vaughn Corporate Advocate of the Year
- Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council Regional Corporation of the Year Award
- Top 25 Diversity Change Leader (Diversity Plus)
- Women’s Business Enterprise Center-East Advocate of the Year