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Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunity

The Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO), was created following Governor Tom Wolf's signing of Executive Order 2015-11 on September 23, 2015.  This Executive Order also established a statewide Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities.

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Who We Are

BDISBO is comprised of dedicated Commonwealth professionals who believe the utmost degree of importance to our mission is creating a more fair and equitable landscape whereby both small and diverse businesses can compete for state contracting opportunities. Whether it involves the areas of compliance, certification/verification, policy, technical assistance or outreach and education, the BDISBO team stands ready to make your experience with the Commonwealth a positive and productive one. 

Our Mission

BDISBO seeks to educate and advocate for the small, and small diverse businesses. As an advocate, we seek to influence policy, programs and legislation to meet the needs of the small business community.  Our primary mission is to actively, equitably and successfully engage small, disadvantage and minority businesses in the Commonwealth's public procurement process as one of the ways to fuel our economy. 

Our Vision

BDISBO facilitates an open, inclusive and accessible business environment where small businesses can develop or expand their competency, capacity and footprint in the Commonwealth marketplace. ​

What We Do

The Department of General Services' (DGS) BDISBO is responsible for assisting small and diverse businesses, including Minority Business Enterprises, Women Business Enterprises, Veteran Business Enterprises, Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises, Disability-Owned Business Enterprises, and LGBT Business Enterprises with competing for Commonwealth contracting opportunities.  BDISBO's duties and scope of services encompass the following areas of influence:

  • Policy – Developing more efficient protocols and re-examining existing policies to ensure that they are conducive to the advancement of our bureau's mission and vision.
  • Outreach – Proactively engaging both diverse communities and business owners to educate them about the vast number of contracting opportunities that presently exist and will be emerging with the Commonwealth.
  • Technical Assistance – Providing direct guidance and employing a hands-on approach in the way that we assist our existing and prospective customers who are interested in doing business with the Commonwealth.
  • Agency Liaison Program – Establishing and broadening the lines of communication between BDISBO and the state agencies under the Governor's jurisdiction to ensure that there is greater utilization of small and small diverse businesses relative to available Commonwealth contracting opportunities. 
  • Certification Verification – Ensuring that entities that wish to do business with the Commonwealth are eligible to participate in DGS's Small Diverse Business Program or its Small Business Contracting Program.  BDISBO facilitates the verification of certifications for participating businesses.
  • Goal Setting/Waivers – BDISBO is charged with the important task of setting goals for certified small and small diverse businesses seeking to do business with the Commonwealth. These include mandatory goals for our race-neutral 'Small Business Reserve Program (15 percent) and Veteran Small Businesses (4.6 percent).  Establish an overall aspirational subcontracting goal for our race-conscious Small Diverse Business program for all solicitations over $250,000 (26.3 percent). The Bureau prides itself on utilizing a highly objective and methodological process to determine goal setting on a contract-by-contract basis.  BDISBO assists agencies with determining the issuance of waivers by reviewing satisfactory Good Faith Effort (GFE) documentation submitted by an offeror when stated goals in full or partially cannot be feasibly attained.  
  • Compliance – One of the most important functions of BDISBO is to monitor the actions of program participants to ensure that they are honoring their contractual commitments.  Therefore, it is not lost upon the Bureau that any aspirational goals advanced by the Bureau cannot be realized without some semblance of oversight and accountability. 
  • Stakeholder Engagement – Success of any kind cannot be achieved in a vacuum.  It is for this reason that we actively solicit the ideas and input of individuals, business owners, policymakers, and other interested parties to ensure that the Bureau's efforts and internal policies are collaboratively forged.
  • Disparity Study – BDISBO fully intends to utilize this tangible document as a touchstone for driving our programmatic and measuring the overall success of DGS's Small Diverse Business Program and the Small Business Contracting Program.  For more information about DGS's 2018 Disparity Study, or visit:  https://www.dgs.pa.gov/Businesses/Small%20Diverse%20Business%20Program/Documents/Disparity%20Study%20Documents/2018%20DGS%20Disparity%20Study%20Final%20Report.pdf

BDISBO, through DGS's Verification Program, verifies self-certified small businesses as Small Diverse Businesses (SDBs) when they hold certifications from third-party entities including:

What We Value

Diversity and Inclusion – In light of the findings highlighted in our October 2018 Statewide Disparity Study, we recognize now more than ever that there needs to be greater parity in the way that the Commonwealth engages and awards opportunities to small and diverse businesses.  Although BDISBO has always placed a very high premium on the principles of diversity and inclusion, the findings of the statewide disparity study serve to undergird our efforts to expand access to Commonwealth contracting opportunities for duly certified small and small diverse businesses.

Customer Service – In an effort to dispel the notion that doing business with the Commonwealth is both daunting and complex, BDISBO professionals make themselves readily available to answer agency/bureau-related questions and assist our customers with navigating throughout the state procurement/contracting process. 

Innovation & Efficiency – In recognition of the fact that there is always room for improvement in every sphere of human endeavor, the BDISBO staff are constantly exploring ways to make your experience more meaningful and efficient.  The Bureau also encourage and welcome feedback from the public about ways that we can make your interaction and experience with the Commonwealth a favorable one.

Integrity – Given that BDISBO's mission is predicated on the principles of fairness and equal access to economic opportunities, the BDISBO staff take great pride in applying these very same principles in the way that we administer our Commonwealth-sanctioned duties. Therefore, our customers -- whether small, large, upstart or experienced -- can rest assured that they are receiving a standardized level of customer care and professional service.

Stakeholders - BDISBO values its stakeholders and recognizes their experience and influence are vital to BDISBO's mission and vision.  Towards this end, BDISBO takes an immense degree of pride in collaborating with its stakeholders in areas that include but are not limited to the development of public policy, the convening of business development forums, and community engagement.