Advocate and matchmaker for local minority businesses Beatrice Louissaint works to cultivate supplier diversity
Haiti-born, Miami-bred Beatrice Louissaint runs what she calls "matchmaker central" — the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council, an organization that links minority businesses to procurement opportunities, and larger corporations to minority suppliers. She sees her work as "economic empowerment" that opens doors for minority companies and the eyes of big businesses.
Minority businesses "are an integral part of this community, and the better they do in business the more they are able to give back," Ms. Louissaint says.
The council offers also education and training opportunities.
The economic crash has hit hard many of the organization's 600-plus minority business members, but has also led to an increase in companies seeking minority certification as a way to expand business.
And now's as good a time as any to expand, or to become an entrepreneur, Ms. Louissaint says. "Is it a great time to be in business? I say yes. You have to sharpen your pencil."
She shared her take on the business climate and the community in an interview with Miami Today reporter Risa Polansky.
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