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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Procurement Diversity?
Procurement Diversity is a Northwestern initiative focused on creating an inclusive supply base, developing small businesses which will ultimately lead to greater economic opportunities for Evanston and Chicago communities.

What is a diverse business?
At Northwestern University, we consider diverse businesses as Small, Minority owned, Women owned, and Locally owned businesses.

What is the criteria to qualify as a diverse business?
All diverse businesses must be certified by a third party organization or government entity.  We can verify the company status through the CVM tool our office uses.

Does Northwestern have diverse business goals?
Consistent with many private Colleges and Universities we do not have a stated percentage goal for procurement spend with diverse businesses at this time.  Our goal is to continue increasing opportunities for diverse businesses so our spend with them continues to rise.

Does Northwestern have bid or contract language encouraging the utilization of diverse businesses by its suppliers?
Yes, there is standard language included in the bids that Procurement and Payment Services handles on behalf of the University and how it will be taken into account when making award decisions.

How do I find diverse businesses?
Preferred vendors that are diverse are identified on the Preferred Vendor List.  We are also working on the creation of a more robust list of diverse vendors for departments and schools to consider.  In the meantime, if you are looking for a diverse vendor for a particular product or service, please contact Procurement and Payment Services.

Does Northwestern have Procurement diversity goals for its suppliers?
No, we do not have a stated goals for suppliers, but they are required to report spend to Northwestern on a monthly or quarterly basis.