The University of Illinois is looking to increase spend with minority and women owned businesses.  In addition, the university is also looking to increase its spend goal with small businesses owned by veterans and disabled veterans to 3%.

The increase in small and diverse business goals has been brought on by a change in the state’s supplier diversity spend goal percentage.  The state of Illinois has raised the percentage from 10% to 20% for all construction based projects within the state.  While the University of Illinois already had a somewhat high goal of 15%, they are now looking to raise their bar even further.

While many people may take issue with the idea of mandatory purchases from minority, women, and veteran businesses, I do want to make it clear that in most cases, these are goals and not mandates.  For example although the University has the goal of 15%, they are currently spending about 6% or $71 million with qualified diverse suppliers for contracts meeting the state’s 20% push.  Obviously the university is making efforts to increase the number but again, these are goals that each organization is trying to push in an effort to match the growing population distribution of their state.

Below is a quick look at the current spend from the University.  For a more indepth outline of their program, check out

Race/ethnicity/gender of firm owners Amount
Black men $10.75 million
Black women $3.89 million
Hispanic men $6.40 million
Hispanic women $1.45 million
Asian men $8.97 million
Asian women $1.02 million
Native American men $21,235
Native American women $0
White women $33.59 million
People with disabilities $88,212
Sheltered workshops $5.06 million
Total $71.26 million

If you’re a small or diverse business looking to connect with organizations like the University of Illinois, check out

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