Conclusion: The “Next” Supplier Diversity Disruption: Supplier Inclusion
Supplier diversity has passed through several phases since its inception. It has moved from the “compliance” phase to the “right thing to do” phase to the “business case” phase. As business evolves and as demographics change, it is likely that there will be another seismic shift in the arguments for supplier diversity. It may be the case that the next disruption will take the arguments full circle, so that supporters of supplier diversity again tout the transformation of communities as the prime justification for supplier diversity. Communities are strengthened and renewed when successful, diverse entrepreneurs support employment, contribute to the tax base, and improve the economic health of communities by increasing income and consumption. Increasingly, corporate leaders want to know that their economic support is partly responsible for these transformations.
Economists talk of the circular flow of an economic system. One person’s spend is another person’s income, and the interactions between buyers and sellers have long-term, measurable effects.