OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Aug. 21-- Overland Park, Kansas-based Evolv Solutions has announced the launch of MBEConnect, a business social networking Web site created to enhance communication among minority- and women-owned businesses. MBEConnect was conceived as the result of Evolv Solutions' business relationships, networking events and involvement with various national and local business associations.
The site addresses specific concerns voiced by the MBE and WBE communities over the years. Evolv Solutions discovered a strong desire for a common platform from which minority- and women-owned businesses could better represent themselves with respect to awareness, contracting opportunities, business growth and improved networking. Equally important was input from corporate representatives who also expressed an interest in having a common platform for facilitating supplier search efforts, documentation, certification verification, collateral accessibility and other communication improvement capabilities.
MBEConnect is not intended to operate as an alternative social networking space. The site is specifically designed with the minority-owned business and women-owned business in mind. It aims to be the business social networking platform for MBEs and WBEs.
"Although the site is in its infancy, it contains a variety of capabilities and features found on other well established social networking sites," said Eric Harland, vice-president of IT projects for Evolv Solutions.
"MBEConnect isn't trying to re-invent the wheel, we simply set out to give the MBE better control of contracting opportunities and broader visibility," said Ron Harland Jr., vice-president of Evolv Solutions.
"It's an important mechanism for our profile members and the businesses we're trying to connect with. MBEConnect is a much needed tool and this is an opportunity for MBEs and WBEs to be considered on a broader scale, nationally or maybe even globally."
Evolv Solutions discovered that in order for MBEs to do business with more organizations they needed a way to showcase their services and products on a much broader scale. They also needed a way to connect with other MBEs and WBEs for collaborative efforts. MBEConnect also serves as a valuable tool for corporate, municipal and federal entities. The site provides these entities with a common platform allowing them to bridge gaps regarding time, distance, and overall awareness of who and where MBEs and WBEs are located, as well as what they bring to the table.
MBE owners report that they are accustomed to hearing, "I didn't know you were out there" or "I didn't know you had those capabilities." Additionally, sourcing managers seeking to hire MBEs often have to gather, assess and maintain a substantial amount of data about MBEs, which is expensive and time consuming, especially for larger organizations.
"We have every reason to believe that MBEConnect is the tool MBEs, WBEs and sourcing entities need,"
said Eric Harland. "Currently it provides efficiency for supplier sourcing and business development and as the site gains momentum, additional features and functionality will be added."
There are no fees associated with becoming a member of MBEConnect for an MBE, WBE or sourcing entity. The site allows individuals and organizations to create both personal and business profiles, each serving a distinct purpose. The business portion will allow users to create a data profile with 40-plus data points and document upload capability in a secure environment. Profiles support an array of document types such as certification forms, business collateral, white papers, presentations and video. In general, business profiles provide important information such as business size and scope, product or service descriptions, years in business, growth, special certifications, relevant associations, publications and awards. These attributes essentially provide the MBE and WBE with its own business data library that can be accessed from any location.
Sourcing entities will be able to establish contact, post opportunities, press releases or event notifications, query reports and review contracting statistics. MBEConnect will facilitate organizational search efforts for supplier matches across varying lines of business, including keyword searches. Other benefits include: Up-to-date information, national/regional/local search capability, access to collateral downloads, historical contract and performance data, billing and invoicing capabilities, and D&B reports. Sourcing entities will also have the option of making direct and secure requests for financial data from identified MBEs and WBEs.
"Our greatest challenge will be raising awareness about the MBEConnect site," said Ron Harland Sr..
"Our continued involvement in the minority- and women-owned Business community will be critical as well as our ability to properly assess member feedback about the site's functionality and value.
Evolv Solutions, LLC is a certified MBE that provides document management services, and print solutions and information technology services that improve document workflows and output infrastructures for small, medium and enterprise customers. For additional information visit www.mbeconnect.com and www.evolvsolutions.com
Eric W. Harland
SOURCE Evolv Solutions, LLC