Guest blog post by Justin G. Nelson, Co-Founder and President of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
Last month, I had a chance to talk about international supply chain opportunities to a packed room of attendees at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s National Business & Leadership Conference in Chicago. We were so honored that the conference sold-out and we had more than 500 people in attendance, including LGBT business owners, affiliate chamber leaders, allied organizations, and corporate representatives from more than 130 NGLCC partner companies.
Next week, the NGLCC will be in Colombia for the first-ever U.S. Government-certified LGBT Trade Mission to Colombia and the first-ever LGBT Summit of the Americas. We will bring together regional leaders, multinational corporate executives, leading entrepreneurs, and organizational partners like The Council for Global Equality, from across the region to discuss LGBT business imperatives.
The Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Government at large, understands the need for inclusive business models. In our meeting on August 28, Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Dr. Rebecca Blank made clear that information on underserved business communities, be they gay, minority, women, disabled, or veteran-owned, was lacking, and that partnerships with community business organizations like the NGLCC are vital to understanding the needs of these businesses and their inclusion in wider programs – and more importantly, in the supply chain.
The NGLCC is proud of the network of LGBT Chambers of Commerce we’ve built across America and globally. We are so excited to be launching an affiliate chamber in Colombia during our trip, and as we continue to expand internationally, we know that our work with The Council for Global Equality will continue to advance the cause of LGBT equality around the world.