Vision Advertising and Our Women Business Enterprise Certification

Photo of Vision Advertising COO, Julia Becker Collins.

We’ve been women-owned and -operated for more than 20 years since our CEO Laura DiBenedetto started the business from her dorm room in Becker College, and now with our COO Julia Becker Collins at the helm. However, we just took our business to the next level by getting our Women Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification.

What is a Women Business Enterprise (WBE)?

Diversity is something we value here at Vision, especially when it comes to women-owned businesses. Not only have we always been one, but our own Julia Becker Collins is also co-founder of the MetroWest Women’s Network, a mutually supporting group of women-owned businesses in MetroWest and Central Massachusetts. However, there’s a distinction from being a women-owned business on paper and being legally recognized as one on a state and federal level.

Company Level Diversity Certification

Of course, there’s a complicated certification process to go with this, as our own Julia Becker Collins can attest to: starting the process roughly a year ago with a state-run pre-certification seminar, interviews, and – you guessed it – a ton of paperwork. At the end was our Company Level Diversity Certification, a certificate that verifies us as an organization at least 51% owned and controlled by a female U.S. citizen (or in our case, 100% with two women).

Why Get Certified – The SDO and SDP

So, this all sounds like a lot of work for a piece of paper signifying diversity. Why did we get it? We work with clients of all sizes and walks of life. Just as some are non-profits, others work as state or federal contractors. For these contractors, part of the funds they get from the state are earmarked to be used with companies that hold Company Level Diversity Certification (namely women, veteran, or minority-owned) through the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP). Getting our certification through the Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) of Massachusetts opens opportunities with current and new clients.

From the SDO website:

Through the Supplier Diversity Program (SDP), the SDO sets benchmark spending goals for state agency buyers to purchase non-construction goods and services from SDO-certified minority-, women-, and veteran-owned firms. The SDP also requires prime vendors holding large contracts (greater than $150,000) with the state to buy goods and services from SDO’s network of certified firms.

What This Means for Vision

For us, it means the larger clients we work with suddenly are incentivized to invest in more beyond just our expert marketing services, including business strategy and larger campaigns. It also opens up the door for new clients seeking out a certified business through the SDO’s searchable database (you can find us by searching for “Vision Global”). Beyond this, it provides another way to showcase what makes us different as a company.

Everything aside, we’re glad we took the plunge and got our certification. Whether you’re part of the SDP program in Massachusetts, want to support local women-owned businesses, or are just looking for holistic marketing that works, please reach out and contact us. Have a question about the WBE? Drop us a comment below or reach out to us on social media!

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by background, Alex writes “content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to website copy and beyond. In addition, as Senior Brand Strategist, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision, manages multiple client projects, and herds many meetings. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, reads a copious amount of fiction, plays video games, and an enthusiastic chef at home. He’s trying to become a better plant daddy.

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