CUFO Joins Panel at Inspire Enterprises Inc.’s Black Business Owners Forum

October 15, 2020

Tanya Pope, Assistant Vice President of University Supplier Diversity, was among the expert panelists at the Black Business Owners Forum: "Primed4Success" (BBOF2020), a one-day virtual event designed to support Black-owned businesses. Hosted by Inspire Enterprise, Inc., BBOF2020 virtually gathered 60 Black-owned firms on Thursday, October 15, 2020. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Black community, BBOF2020 was created to connect black-owned businesses to contract opportunities, other black-owned businesses, and resources to grow their businesses.  

At the forum, Tanya Pope participated in the Equitable Procurement Leadership panel, discussing how Columbia University has proactively responded to the barriers MWBEs face in securing procurement contracts.   In response to the many challenges MWBE businesses and their staffs faced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Columbia University Facilities and Operations hosted a virtual vendor town hall to provide helpful resources. Additionally, the CU Grow Vendor Development Program successfully transitioned all program events to an online format to continue offering the current cohort opportunities to learn more about upcoming University projects, network, and gain valuable resources to continue growing their businesses.

Joining Pope on the Equitable Procurement Leadership panel were Dr. Eleanor Ramsey, Principal, Mason Tillman Ltd., Carl Peters, Principal Business Analyst and Compliance Manager Port Authority of NY & NJ, and Carlos Bannister, Chief Diversity Officer, NYCDOT.   

Committed to helping businesses maximize strengths and achieve goals, Inspire Enterprise, Inc. works with businesses, government agencies, and community organizations to provide MWBEs with expertise in the areas of strategy and execution, capacity building, community engagement, outreach, and recruitment. Danielle is also a coach in the CU Grow Vendor Development program where she helps vendor participants grow their businesses through exercises in critical thinking and decision making to improve their business strategy. To learn more about Inspire Enterprise, Inc., visit