Cambridge Community Development Department Supports Supplier Diversity

10/5/20238 months ago

The words "City of Cambridge Supplier Diversity Fair" in white letters against a blue background with graphics of black woman in a suit, a woman dressed as a chef and a woman dressed as a construction worker.

The City of Cambridge Community Development Department (CDD) supports supplier diversity as a way for diverse businesses (minority-owned / LGBTQ+ owned / disability-owned / veteran-owned / woman-owned) to grow and succeed. Obtaining contracts can help diverse businesses access new markets, gain new customers, and build relationships with large buyers.

Responding to bids and winning contracts can be complicated for any business and diverse businesses often experience challenges in key areas including finances, certification, and marketing. To address this, we have designed a series of events to help prepare diverse businesses to respond to bids and win contracts.

On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, MIT and CDD will host a Supplier Diversity Fair with buyers from MIT, the City of Cambridge, Harvard University, Cambridge Health Alliance, the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, and others. The goal is to promote diverse businesses and build relationships between the procurement agents and these businesses. Large buyers seek diverse businesses providing the following goods and services:

  • Facilities & Janitorial

  • Landscaping & Snow removal

  • Catering

  • Printing & Graphic Design

  • Consulting (IT, marketing, event planning, specialized services, etc.)

The City of Cambridge Economic Opportunity and Development Division invites MWBEs, other diverse businesses, and companies / large institutions who purchase goods and services to participate in the supplier diversity vendor fair. Buyers benefit from a diverse supplier pool because it promotes competition which can reduce costs while improving quality. 

This event offers free registration to diverse business owners, and you do not have to be certified to participate. Here are the details.

Supplier Diversity Fair

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Click here to register as a diverse business (minority-owned / LGBTQ+ owned / disability-owned / veteran-owned / woman-owned

Click here to register as a company or large institution that buys goods and services

Diverse businesses are encouraged to sign up to become a vendor with the City of Cambridge’s Purchasing Department. Click here to sign up


Cambridge diverse businesses are encouraged to add their business to the Cambridge Diversity Directory. Click here to add your business

Additional events include:

Pitch Perfect

Date: October 5, 2023

Time: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Location: Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge.

Let us help you prepare your pitch for the Cambridge Supplier Diversity Fair! In this workshop, learn the art of crafting a compelling story about your brand and its value. Participants will discover how to structure a pitch deck for maximum impact using data and visuals effectively to support your story. 

You will also gain the skills needed to succeed in pitching products or services to potential buyers. Learn to tailor your pitches to different audiences so your message is effective with different stakeholders.

This in-person session is the perfect setting for pitch practice and valuable feedback. Hosted by Victoria Downes of the Brand to Profits Consulting Group.

Registration is required. Click here to register


Knowing Your Brand Capabilities

Date: October 12, 2023

Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Location: online via zoom

Do you have a "Capabilities Statement" for your business?

In this workshop, discover and develop your business’ unique value proposition - a concise, straight-to-the-point statement about the benefits you offer to customers. Through expert guidance, learn how to clearly articulate your business's essence, target audience, and competitive edge.

Each participant will craft their own compelling Capabilities Statement. This document is a great marketing tool to leave with buyers at the Cambridge Supplier Diversity Fair. It showcases your business and forms the foundation for future pitches in various settings.

Registration is required. Click here to register


Please check back as events will be added. All workshops and events are free and open to all. 

In August 2023 during National Black Business month CDD hosted a networking event with financial institutions with non-traditional lending requirements, funding opportunities, and products specialized for minority business owners. That effort was followed by a series of workshops co-hosted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts explaining how to use the state’s online bid system and how to get certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE), or other disadvantaged status. CDD began offering a Supplier Diversity Marketing Bootcamp Series where businesses can practice their pitch and craft compelling marketing materials in September.