ConnXus Partners with the National Urban League to Increase Diverse Businesses, Support Entrepreneurs

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Mason-based supplier diversity platform will donate 10 percent of revenue from diverse supplier subscribers to support Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program.

We have a huge gap in this country of wealth among minorities. And it’s not going to be addressed fully if we aren’t able to develop successful minority businesses. -- ConnXus Advisor John Pepper, former Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble

ConnXus, Inc., the Mason, Ohio-based online diversity procurement platform, and the National Urban League, the nation's largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization, today announced a partnership that will support diverse entrepreneurs nationwide by investing in the Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program.

The ConnXus Thrive Initiative will donate 10 percent of revenue from its ConnXus Plus subscribers to the National Urban League, which operates the entrepreneurship program in 12 cities, including Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Los Angeles. The goal of the Entrepreneurship Center Program is for minority entrepreneurs to experience increased competitiveness and profitability, start more businesses with higher survival rates, and break in to new markets and higher growth.

ConnXus Advisor John Pepper, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Procter & Gamble, is a key supporter of the initiative. Pepper has spent decades working on the issue of developing a diverse supply chain and believes now is the time to do more.

“We have a huge gap in this country, and we all know it, of wealth among minorities,” Pepper said. “And it’s not going to be addressed fully if we aren’t able to develop successful minority businesses.

National Urban League President & CEO Marc H. Morial said the initiative is an innovative way of supporting diverse businesses, which are key drivers of America’s economy.

“This partnership between the National Urban League and ConnXus will provide tremendous value as our organization continues to deepen our community impact by directly supporting small businesses through management assistance, training services, financing and other wrap-around support they need to thrive long-term,” Morial said. “Our 2014 State of Black America® report found that the Black-White Equality Index™ for wealth was a dismal 6% and the Hispanic-White Index was an as disappointing 7%, on a 100% scale. Entrepreneurship makes it possible to begin the asset-building that can help put these communities on the path to increased generational wealth.”

ConnXus Founder and CEO Rod Robinson said creating opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses in the United States is an important part of the DNA of ConnXus.

“The vast majority of small businesses are minority businesses, and they are creating 60-80 percent of the new jobs in the country,” Robinson said. “It is imperative that these businesses have opportunity to succeed, and have access to capital.”

For the 14 million women or minority-owned businesses in the United States today, Morial and Robinson believe the opportunities have never been more abundant. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to support businesses with great potential and lift them up to help them become businesses with great performance and profitability,” Morial said.

Pepper said there has been progress in increasing the capacity of diverse business, but not enough progress. He envisions the ConnXus Thrive Initiative will provide support for the next-generation’s women and minority entrepreneurs, creating a “self-renewing base” of what exists now.

Pepper called the creation of ConnXus a “golden” idea that allows the coupling of major companies like McDonald’s with minority and women suppliers who can make their offerings known and who can have their quality validated by other people who use them.

“This is nothing more than what you see on eBay and Amazon every day,” Pepper said. “And it’s now being brought to this vital area of our nation, societally and economically.”

About ConnXus
Headquartered in Mason, Ohio, ConnXus helps grow small, woman- and minority-owned businesses by connecting them to Fortune 2000 corporations seeking a competitive edge through supplier diversity. Our membership-driven platform champions quality buyer and supplier relationships through bid, marketing and direct communication opportunities. Learn more about the power of ConnXus and its diversity goals. Also, connect via Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.

About the National Urban League
The National Urban League ( is a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization dedicated to economic empowerment in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League has improved the lives of tens of millions of people nationwide through direct service programs that are implemented locally by its 95 Urban League affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The organization also conducts public policy research and advocacy activities from its D.C.-based Washington bureau. The National Urban League, a BBB-accredited organization, has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top 10 percent of all U.S. charities for adhering to good governance, fiscal responsibility and other best practices.

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