The Women’s Business Council – Southwest works hard to provide valuable programming to connect our women-owned businesses with opportunities to grow their businesses. We are able to achieve this with the support of our sponsors.

Today we are highlighting one of our Champion Circle Gold Sponsors, Capital One. See below for a conversation with Allison Kube, Supplier Diversity Manager, Capital One.  

How does Capital One prioritize Supplier Diversity and working with women-owned businesses?  
Supplier Diversity is a key component of Capital One's commitment to advance racial equity and grow diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Our program focuses on creating diverse spend and creating programs to help grow and develop diverse suppliers.

Creating Diverse Spend -

The Supplier Diversity team is actively involved in the sourcing efforts for every category at Capital One regardless of where the category falls in our supply chain. Before an opportunity arises to bring on a new supplier, whether direct-sourced or through an RFP, our team works closely with the team looking to bring on the new supplier to understand the requirements. From there, we reach into our supplier diversity database as well as contact our local and national partners to seek potential suppliers to introduce to our business partners and include them in their sourcing opportunities.  We maintain a close touch to these events after providing suppliers to the sourcing team to help address and manage any questions that may come up. 

Creating Programs to Help Grow and Develop Diverse Suppliers - 

Capital One has a variety of mentoring opportunities to help businesses be successful. We take great pride in building capacity and creating development opportunities for diverse businesses through our 3 developmental programs: SAGE Advice, Catapult, and Diverse Supplier Mentoring programs.
Diverse Supplier Development | Capital One 

SAGE Advice 
The Strategies to Advance and Grow Enterprise (SAGE) Advice program is one  way that Capital One’s Supplier Diversity team demonstrates its commitment to implementing innovative ways to develop and bring opportunities to certified women owned businesses. Launched in 2016, in partnership with the Women’s Business Enterprise Council Greater DMV and Metro NY out of our Mclean and New York offices, SAGE Advice leverages the power of networking and mentorship to develop small business owners and enable them to grow their revenue. We are proud that in June of 2021 we expanded to the Women's Business Council Southwest Dallas and the Women's Business Development Center Chicago.

"Supplier Diversity is a key component of Capital One's commitment to advance racial equity and grow diversity, inclusion and belonging." – Allison Kube, Supplier Diversity Manager, Capital One

What are you proud of that your supplier diversity program has been able to accomplish?
During the pandemic, Capital One reached out to our diverse suppliers to let them know we were here to support them. We quickly moved to action on a number of fronts. One was to offer any diverse supplier the opportunity to attend a number of development classes that we were offering, including Design Thinking and Change Management. These classes are typically only offered to participants in our development programs but we felt that given the move everyone had to quickly make to take their business online, these were two classes that would allow the businesses to first, learn how to gauge customer needs and interests through empathy interviews and how they might consider pivoting as a result, and second, better understand how recent changes might be impacting their teams and what to think about as they set about to deliver bad news or business changes.

As we were learning about many suppliers pivoting their business to be able to supply PPE, we wanted to use as many of these suppliers as possible. Upon receiving names of such suppliers from WBENC and other certification agencies, Capital One sent out a survey to ask the businesses questions that would allow them to pre-qualify them. We could then refer our purchasing team to these pre-vetted suppliers when the need arose, and in some cases, our teams simply accessed our lists directly. In the end, we were able to source approximately 30% of our PPE spend through diverse-owned businesses.

Where should WBEs start if they want to work with Capital one?
Check out Supplier Diversity | Capital One

The best thing for a WBE to do is to register with us in our supplier diversity portal. That way when we have opportunities that fit their capabilities, we will have your information readily available. Please reach out to [email protected] to notify us once you have registered.  We will review your profile and make a note that we have connected.

To properly identify your company and complete the registration process, perform the following steps:
•    Click on the following link to register: Capital One Supplier Registration
•    Click on “Register Your Company” (located next to New to the Portal)
•    Enter information on self-registration page
•    Click Register