The University of Oregon is encouraging UO departments to participate in the upcoming UO Reverse Vendor Fair to connect with diverse companies and small businesses owners. The vendor fair is part of the UO’s commitment to integrating diversity and inclusion into all its practices.
Shari Powell, operations manager in Purchasing and Contracting Services, said the university understands it must do more than just talk about embracing diverse business practices.
“It can be time-consuming to try to identify new diverse vendors to work with,” Powell said. “We know it can be challenging to navigate the websites that register businesses that are minority- or women-owned, and some small businesses do not have the bandwidth to demonstrate the goods or services they offer as clearly as larger companies with larger marketing budgets. So we are working to connect directly with these diverse businesses.”
In order to address this challenge, the UO took the lead in establishing the UO Reverse Vendor Fair. Founded in 2009, the Reverse Vendor Fair is a one-day event that allows UO buyers to host tables and invite primarily minority-owned, women-owned and emerging businesses, also known as MWESB registered, to come meet with UO buyers and share what they have to offer.
On Feb. 16, the UO is once again inviting campus buying partners to register to host tables at The Club Room at Autzen Stadium. The UO provides draped tables, chairs, food and speakers. The Duck will also pay a visit to the event. The fair kicks off at 9 a.m. and provides five hours to connect with a variety of businesses from around the state.
To get more information, register to host a table and enter to win one of several door prizes, visit the Purchasing and Contracting Services website.