Four Quick Points around LGBT Ecomonic Development

Part 2 of a 2-part series around LGBT economic development – including lots of useful links!

In the first part of this series (link to it) I recounted the exciting privilege of participating in the historic first ever US Federal Government Procurement Fair for LGBT Businesses. Now I would like to follow that up with four quick lessons around LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Economic Development.

1) There is a direct tie to strong economic health and eliminating LGBT bullying in our schools. By allowing the demoralization of a segment of our society, instead of bullied children growing up into healthy society-contributing adults, they could be more prone to engage in destructive behavior, thus becoming a drain on our society and economies. (Link LGBT bullying blog) And unaddressed bullies in the schoolyard often grow up into future work place bullies and harassers, negatively impacting business productivity. (Link to blog on this.)

2) LGBT people and other oppressed minorities can build inner strength through fighting this oppression, making them more resilient (hence stronger employees) and more creative (hence becoming successful entrepreneurs.) As an example, in 2013, look for a new exciting and innovative product in the pill container industry to hit the market from the winner of the annual LGBT entrepreneur competition held at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce conference. (Link here to read about LGBT-owned CapsulePen*)

3) As the world becomes an increasingly interconnected global economy due to electronic connectivity, LGBT equality is now on the forefront within the younger generation of almost every country. These business leaders of the future will be

US President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the Export-Import Bank’s annual conference in Washington DC on March 11, 2010, including discussing his new National Export Initiative. (Photo UPI/Kevin Dietsch)

looking for LGBT friendly products and diversity / LGBT equality training. This is a tremendous exporting opportunity for American Businesses. The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has already realized this potential by leading global trading missions overseas with LGBT-owned businesses traveling to Argentina and Colombia. (Link to info on 2012 trade mission to Colombia). And these NGLCC-sponsored missions have been endorse by the White House as a key supporting activity of President Obama’s initiative to improve the US economy by increasing our exports. (Link to info on the National Export Initiative.)

4) These first 3 points are coupled with the more well-known strategic diversity initiatives within most major companies: the strong business case for executing LGBT-diversity initiatives. Employee engagement and productivity is improved among LGBT employees within a company, and increased sales revenue can be gained from the highly loyal LGBT purchasing constituency. Link to blog on the business case for LGBT Diversity.

Disclosure – Blog author Stan C. Kimer holds an equity position in CapsulePen.

Participating in an Historic Event – First Ever US Federal Government Procurement Fair for LGBT Businesses!

Part 1 of 2 of a series around LGBT economic development

On November 15, 2012, it was truly an exciting privilege to attend the first ever Federal Government Procurement Fair for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) owned businesses. The event was organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the certifying body for LGBT business enterprises. And the NGLCC provides a wide range of support services to LGBT-owned businesses as well as for the corporate partners who now include LGBT in the supplier diversity mix.

The afternoon session was appropriately held at the US Department of Commerce Building in Washington, DC. Before the 50 to 60 LGBT business owners started visiting with the approximately dozen Federal agencies that were represented, we had a dynamic and inspiring 45 minute session with several short addresses.

Dr. Rebecca Blank, the Acting Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Commerce delivered a compelling speech on

Dr. Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Commerce

the importance of encouraging LGBT owned business as a key to US economic growth. Dr. Blank spoke of the President’s US Export Initiative and how LGBT-owned business can and should contribute to it. Three of her key points:

• That LGBT entrepreneurs can start businesses that help spur economic growth
• That creative LGBT business owners can develop innovative products and deliver more efficient processes that will help our economy
• LGBT entrepreneurs starting business can help grow jobs

Dr. Blank also praised the work being done by the NGLCC with its US government sanctioned trade mission to Colombia, since LGBT business have special products and expertise that international markets want … and this also helps the US balance of trade.

Gautam Raghaven, White House Liaison to the LGBT community

A second speaker, Gautam Raghaven, White House Liaison to the LGBT community, spoke of the need to continue to stimulate and grow the economy, and that is an issue that LGBT business owners should deeply care about…. because what is good for the economy is good for LGBT people.

Later on this week I will write a second blog connecting several aspects of the LGBT community to our country’s economy.