Small Businesses: Get Connected…Learn How to Engage.. So That UF Buys from You!

Are you a small business interested in in making UF your customer? Then this is the workshop for you! Come learn about UF departments and the necessary tools to accomplish your goals with the university.

UF Business Development Workshops is a comprehensive monthly program designed to give small business owners the tools needed to become a successful vendor for UF. Conducted by UF departments, project managers and industry professionals, these workshops help businesses learn how to:

  • CONNECT – to the various area resources that can help your business.
  • ENGAGE – with our programs and event.
  • BUY – learn what items we buy and how we buy them.


How to Successfully Contract with UF!

Interested in being a contracted vendor with the University of Florida? Learn key information and the steps necessary to be successful.

UF Business Development Workshops is a comprehensive monthly program designed to give small business owners the tools needed to become a successful vendor for UF. Conducted by UF departments, project managers and industry professionals, these workshops help businesses learn how to:

  • CONNECT – to the various area resources that can help your business.
  • ENGAGE – with our programs and event.
  • BUY – learn what items we buy and how we buy them.


2018 Mentor Protege Program Graduation

Designed to facilitate effective working relationships between mature established companies and emerging small businesses, the University of Florida Mentor Protégé Program has seen a growing number of participants.  Since the onset of the program in 2008, approximately 67 firms have graduated, including our recent class of 2018.  As one of many offerings for the small business community, the objective of this program is to increase the pool of availability and qualified small businesses seeking opportunities with the University of Florida.  In doing so, this initiative will foster increased business development and contribute to the economic advancement of the community resulting from small business mentorship. All of our mentors have participated in our program from previous years and/or have grown from being protégés to becoming mentors to emerging businesses. We are proud to note that our program attracts companies within various industries such as leadership consulting, branding, catering, construction and technology, with proven mentors who are more than capable to provide the quality insight and guidance necessary for success.  Each year, we anticipate connecting with small businesses throughout the state as these entities continue to grow, only seeking opportunities like our program to help them along the way.

So, it is with great pleasure we extend a hearty congratulations to our recent 2018 Mentor Protégé Program graduates! We wish them the best in all of their endeavors as they capitalize on the knowledge gained from this program.

Take a look at the photos from this year’s graduation here!


Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange

The Florida Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD), in collaboration with the University of Florida’s (UF) Division of Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations, will be hosting its 2nd Annual Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange on March 1, 2019 at the Reitz Union. This free event aims to help area small business owners better understand and secure state and local government procurement opportunities. The Supplier Diversity Exchange includes presentations from government buyers and MyFloridaMarketPlace and also provides an opportunity for small businesses to network. During the event’s Business Exchange, small business owners can market their goods and services directly to local and state buyers during scheduled one-on-one interviews.


Register HERE!






Internships Available!

Are you a college student who is interested in business and entrepreneurship and…


ENJOYS being on social media?! Join the team as a “Social Media Strategist Intern“… More details HERE!!

LOVES being creative through graphic art? Join the team as a “Graphic Design Intern“… More details HERE!!

ENJOYS marketing, writing and event planning? Join the team as a “Marketing & Communications Intern“… More details HERE!!

Any questions, contact Dwan Courtney dwan@ufl.edu 352.392.0380

Putting Our Best Foot Forward as We Dress for Success!

We often hear, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Yet, often times our cover communicates a certain message about who we are to a potential employer or stakeholder. Question: How many times have we walked in the office and thought disapproval of the young man’s untucked, wrinkled shirt? Or the number of times we raise our brows at a colleague’s skirt that is a tad bit too short? Is this being judgmental or simply expecting a level of professionalism?

No matter how much society shifts to focus on your capabilities, rather than your appearance, there will always be a level of expectation with your attire. This unspoken belief presumes that the way someone cares for their appearance, is a key indicator of the quality of work they can provide, amongst other things. Though this belief is sometimes refuted, it still goes unspoken.

In certain situations, being a woman can be perceived as a disadvantage, yet our presentation can either leverage our skillset or sabotage any possible opportunity. Yes, as a woman, we often dress how we feel, but as we take charge of our road to destiny, we must not forget our daily encounters. These subtle moments many times are our unexpected interviews. This isn’t to say that we must wear our power suits when running to the store to get some eggs. However, this is to advise that not every opportunity will be presented in a formal setting, so be ready!

Overall, dressing for success, empowers us to take business and our life to the next level. Whether you are looking to gain that promotion, or lock in that new deal, put on the attire that if no words were spoken, your constituents know you mean business.  So put on those slacks with confidence. With every button you fasten, speak what great things you will accomplish this day. And top it off with your favorite lip shade because being a woman is an amazing thing!

Before we leave home to conquer our tasks ahead, we must always remember to start with putting our best foot forward as we dress for success!

University of Florida’s Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations 2018 Women’s Business + Leadership Conference

What an event! There were women entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals from throughout the region who gathered to be a part of this eventful day. In celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month, we connected, educated and inspired every women in attendance to go forth with great success. It was a pleasure having women with diverse backgrounds identify common grounds with other women in business to build a network of support and resources. A highlight of the conference was our partnership with Dress For Success® – Greater Orlando Chapter, as one of their core competencies is to fill the critical need for interview attire for low income women entering the workforce.

From the introduction of the conference, well into the lunch hour, registrants  brought loads of professional items to include: suits, blazers, blouses, slacks, shoes, purses and accessories.  It was evident that the women were delighted to have the opportunity to give for such a notable cause. One speaker was noted as saying “Giving is the New Black”. This mantra capitalized on the enthusiasm of the conference, which continued to stir the hearts of attendees as it opened our eyes and further awakened the connection that every woman has to one another. So whether we are finding our “Wow Factor” or standing confidently in our “Power Pose”, every day we should be purposeful to accomplish our goals!


UF’s Kathey Porter Wins Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year Award from the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council

Our own director, Kathey Porter, was recently named Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year by the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council at its 43rd Annual Awards Gala.

According to the council’s website, this award is given to those who are visible in the business community, a strong supporter of the FSMSDC organization and actively seeks to promote the Council’s mission of fostering and enhancing minority business development.

“I am honored to accept this award which recognizes supplier diversity excellence in the state of Florida. The success of our program rests in our ability to develop internal advocates within various university departments and divisions as well as our external partners – suppliers and vendors – who are vital to our university’s success,” says Kathey.

“This award demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our diverse supplier base through new ideas and techniques. It recognizes our hard work and dedication to diversifying our supplier base, and the continued growth of our supplier diversity program, which offers minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses a chance to succeed,” she adds.


Demetria Sloan, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) & Founder/CEO Vantage Point Coaching

Demetria Hill Sloan is a results-oriented coach, influential mentor and outspoken motivator. She founded Vantage Point Coaching after a major career transition and decided to live her passion of helping others achieve their absolute best in leadership and in life. She combines nearly 20 years of sales, leadership, facilitation, and training experience with a candid, balanced communication style and unique ability to “cut through the clutter”. Demetria has utilized her dynamic skills in both public and private sectors to help leverage individual strengths, uncover hidden talents, facilitate leadership development and create a performance-driven culture. She is the Board Director and Program Chair – National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Orlando.