How We Define Diverse Suppliers
At MillerKnoll, our goal, passion, and mission is to foster relationships with diverse suppliers to build a better community and quality furniture.

MillerKnoll follows established definitions for diverse suppliers created by:

  • The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • The National Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
  • Disability:IN
  • The United States Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • WEConnect International
  • Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC)
  • Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK)

For your convenience, we've included a brief explanation of these organization’s guidelines and criteria below. For more detailed information, please use the links provided below or visit each organization's website.

National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Certification Process
The NMSDC(or one of its Regional Affiliates) uses standardized procedures to ensure consistent and identical review and certification of minority-owned businesses.

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) defines a minority business enterprise (MBE) as a for-profit business that is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by a member(s) of a qualified minority group. To be considered a member of a qualified minority group, a person must be a United States citizen who is Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, or Native American (NMSDC’s Definition of an MBE). Ownership by qualified minority individuals means the business is at least 51% owned by such individuals or, in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals.

Women's Business Enterprise National Council Criteria for Certification
WBENC Certification is completed by a Regional Partner Organization (determined by location of the applying business) and validates that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. The WBENC Certification Eligibility Criteria are as follows:

  • Majority (at least 51%) ownership by one or more women
  • Demonstrated proof of female management and control of business
  • Unrestricted female control of the business in legal documents and day-to-day operations
  • A woman holding the highest defined title in the company’s legal documents
  • Documented evidence of female contribution of capital and/or industry expertise
  • Status of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident for woman owner(s) constituting majority ownership

National Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Criteria for Certification
NGLCC is the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBTQ people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBTQ-owned businesses. The NGLCC guidelines require a business to meet the following:

  • Be at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBT person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
  • Exercise independence from any non-LGBT business enterprise.
  • Have its principal place of business (headquarters) in the United States.
  • Have been formed as a legal entity in the United States.

The Certification Criteria and Process can be found here.

Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Disability:IN certifies disability-owned business enterprises and veteran-disability owned businesses and links them to organizations looking to diversify their supply chains.

Eligibility starts with:

  • Having a disability – a physical and/or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • Owning at least 51% of your business (that is evident and verifiable on all supporting business and financial documents).
  • Owning an independent business enterprise that is not substantially reliant on another business in order to operate.
  • Making the day-to-day business decisions for your company.
  • Willing to submit the required financial and business information for a confidential review.

The above criteria, Standards & Procedures, and document checklist can all be located under the “Get Certified” portion in the Supplier Diversity section on the Disability:IN website.

United States Small Business Administration Small Business Categories
To be eligible for government contracts reserved for small businesses, your business must meet size requirements set by SBA. These size standards define the maximum size that a business and its affiliates need to be to qualify as a small business for a particular contract.

SBA assigns a size standard to each NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code. Most manufacturing companies with 500 employees or fewer, and most non-manufacturing businesses with average annual receipts under $7.5 million, will qualify as a small business.

However, there are exceptions by industry. You can view these in Title 13 Part 121.201 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) or in SBA’s table of small business size standards.

The SBA defines the following categories of small businesses:

WEConnect International
WeConnect International helps drive money into the hands of women business owners by enabling them to compete in the global marketplace.

  • Businesses will be considered eligible for potential certification if they are formed/have their principal place of business in a country for which WEConnect International provides certification as well as for businesses that are based in the USA and are owned by a non-U.S. citizen.
  • The Applicant must demonstrate that a woman/women own, 51% of the business. “Ownership” is determined based on title to, and beneficial ownership of, stock, membership interests, or other equity in a business.
  • The Applicant must show evidence that the woman owner(s) manage the business. “Management” is defined as having the ability to control basic business functions and day to day management.
  • The Applicant must show evidence that the woman owner(s) have control of the business. The ability to perform in the business’ area of specialty/expertise without substantial reliance upon finances and resources of males or non- woman business enterprises.

Certification requirements can be found here.

Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC)
The Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) facilitates the growth of Aboriginal and minority owned businesses, by connecting them to procurement opportunities with companies and governments committed to a diverse and inclusive supply chain.

Certification Requirements

  • Must operate in Canada
  • Must be a for-profit enterprise
  • Must supply products or services to other businesses
  • Must be at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by visible minority(ies) or Aboriginal person(s).

Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Due to reciprocity with NMSDC, US citizens and permanent residents are also accepted.

Certification requirements can be found here.

Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK)
MSDUK unites pioneering and fast-growing ethnic minority businesses with global corporations that are dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive supply chain.


  • The Business is a for-profit enterprise.
  • The business is physically located in the UK. It must be registered and found at Companies House to verify that the business operates under UK Company Law.
  • The Business is at least 51% owned by individual/s of a non-white ethnic origin.
  • The Non-White ethnic minority owner(s) of the business are UK citizens or have an indefinite leave to remain the UK or any other visa that leads to the ILR.
  • The non-white minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business must be active in management and daily business operations.

Certification requirement document can be found here.


These resources may help you expand your knowledge of supplier diversity and provide business development assistance.

Supplier Diversity Organizations

Business Development Links