The Diverse Supplier Development Academy was established as the first of its kind to empower diverse business enterprises and elevate their competitive presence in the market.
To be a nationally recognized and highly regarded academy whose diverse business enterprise graduates show consistent and sustainable business growth. By stimulating growth in these diverse businesses, the Diverse Supplier Development Academy (DSDA) will promote job creation on local, state and national levels. The DSDA will be a model of excellence in business education and professional mentorship, and maintain this aspiration through continuous improvement.
To equip small businesses with the tools and knowledge to attain their next level of growth in their business by regular and meaningful one-on-one mentorship, educational workshops on business skills, and hands on support of resources unique to the academy. The different facets of the DSDA will interact with and complement each other, providing complete transparency throughout the program.
Diverse small regional businesses (e.g., ethnic minorities, women and disabled veterans) supply a disproportionately low volume of business within their industries. The Diverse Supplier Development Academy (DSDA) seeks to equip these business owners with advanced business knowledge, skills and tools. The purpose of the DSDA is to bolster small business growth and increase the competitive presence in the market of participating businesses. This will in turn stimulate economic development and job creation in their regions. This should also increase pressure to lower the cost of goods sold in the market.
The DSDA will accomplish this through a 12 week program incorporating three core elements – education, mentoring and hands on support. First, the program will offer education in core business principals to sharpen the skills and knowledge of each business owner. Second, the DSDA will provide one-on-one mentorship through members of SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives) to provide valuable guidance specifically for each entrepreneur in pursuit of attainable goals that encourage their business growth. Finally, the academy will include hands-on support through the University of Connecticut to connect entrepreneurs to other tools, resources and networks that are unique to the academy.
The academy will follow an instructional model that is largely experiential and is expressly developed for the adult learner. The DSDA’s curriculum will incorporate study materials and research on their own business in advance of instructional sessions, workshop discussions, and final deliverables. The goal is that upon graduation, each participant will leave the academy with a briefcase full of work that they had completed for their own business with immediate application and benefit.
The DSDA will implement this program in a way that is transparent throughout the process. All parties involved will understand each other’s responsibilities and expectations, and there will be feedback mechanisms in place to ensure the effectiveness of all facets in the academy, as well as the progressive achievement of each entrepreneur’s self-declared goals.
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