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Resilience Beyond Boundaries: 2SLGBTQI+ Entrepreneurs and the Importance of Diversifying Canadian Supply Chains

January 8, 2024

Originally published by CanadianSME

January is often a time of reflection and goal setting for me. Looking back on my year in review, reflecting on successes and setbacks, and taking these lessons forward into the new year. 2023 was certainly a busy and exciting year; one that I characterize with the words resilience, diversity, and celebration, for many reasons.

Notably, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate the incredible resilience and strength demonstrated by the 2SLGBTQI+ business community over this past year. 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs in Canada face unique challenges, navigating societal biases and overcoming hurdles that are often invisible to those who do not share their experiences. In the face of challenges and adversity, this diverse community has not only persisted but thrived, making significant contributions to our economic landscape.

In this context, I want to emphasize the importance of supplier diversity. Recognizing and purchasing from businesses and entrepreneurs from diverse communities is not just an act of inclusivity, it’s an investment towards a more robust Canadian business landscape. Supplier diversity fosters innovation, creativity, and a more equitable distribution of economic opportunity.

As businesses and entrepreneurs, we have the unique opportunity to contribute to a more inclusive future by actively and purposefully diversifying our supplier base. This benefits not only us, but society as a whole. Integrating diverse-owned businesses into supply chains is a tangible way to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create opportunities for those who have been historically marginalized.

The resilience of 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs in Canada is a source of inspiration for me, and should be for us all. As we continue to navigate the ever-changing landscape of business, let us champion and prioritize supplier diversity. Together, we can build a more inclusive and resilient economy that benefits us all.

Darrell Schuurman
Co-Founder and CEO of Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC)
Darrell Schuurman is an advocate of effecting social change through the economic empowerment of 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs. He is the co-founder and CEO of the CGLCC, Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce, a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to expand the opportunities and advancement of the 2SLGBTQI+ business community in Canada. He has been committed to CGLCC’s mission since 2003. He is a Former Managing Partner at DNA Marketing Group and also the Co-Founder of Travel Gay Canada.
Darrell Schuurman
Co-Founder and CEO of Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC)