Impact Small Business Supplier Diversity has on Gainesville
The Office of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD) at UF actively helps small businesses no matter what stage the business may be in. From the Mentor Protegee Program to the Emerging Small Business Program, there are numerous opportunities available for small and diverse businesses and their owners to participate in at UF.
Joe Burns and David Delancy are two business owners who have participated in SBSD programs in the past. According to both, the department has had a positive impact on their respective companies.
David Delancy is the President and CEO of One Day Came Inc. He discovered the SBSD through their Mentor Protegee program in 2017. Mr. Delancy states that he keeps returning to the program because of the “opportunities to become a partner with the University and grow my company. Also, I could one day become a mentor to other up and coming small businesses.”
Similarly, Joe Burns also participated in the Mentor Protégé Program with his company BBI Construction Management Inc. This was around 2009, when the program was a part of Planning Design and Construction. However, Joe Burns returned to the program ten years later, in 2019, to participate with the SBSD.
Mr. Burns has participated in a variety of SBSD programs. He and his company have been active in the Mentor Protégé Program, Small Business Fair, and various seminars and workshops. He says that he continues to return due to the “exposure, networking, education, and monthly Eye Opener Speaker Breakfasts.”
Helping small businesses grow and develop relationships within the University of Florida is what the SBSD is here for.
Connections help businesses to grow and become stronger. Both Mr. Burns and Mr. Delancy have established strong connections with UF through their companies.
“The SBSD has given me the opportunity to start establishing the relationships needed with the right staff on campus and get involved with events to learn how to do business successfully with them. They have also provided me with resources and knowledge on how to improve my processes within my company. The SBSD shares lots of information and keeps me informed of the latest opportunities in small business,” writes David Delancy.
Both Mr. Delancy and Mr. Burns are looking forward to participating with the SBSD in the future. Mr. Burns states that he is looking forward to workshops and working with his protégé, Jessica Matthews. Meanwhile Mr. Delancy states that he is looking forward to “Continuing to provide resources and staff to assist in the success of becoming a great partner in business with the University.”