Supplier Diversity

One out of every forty businesses in Canada is LGBTQ-owned, but these businesses continue to deal with discrimination and prejudice. There’s a need to connect them directly with supportive business leaders to help them sustain and grow their business.

At the same time, progressive corporations are recognizing the social and economic benefits of diversifying their supply chains. Some of these corporations now even have procurement staff with annual objectives for supplier diversity. By certifying LGBTQ businesses and connecting them to organizations looking to contribute to an inclusive Canadian economy, we’re helping create a more level playing field in the corporate supply world.

LGBTQ Owned Business

If you are a business that’s at least 51% LGBTQ-owned, operated and controlled, and you meet the rest of our qualifications, we can certify your business and help you leverage your position as a diverse supplier.

Corporations, Organizations & Government Bodies

We work with you to understand the LGBTQ market and connect you with our certified LGBTQ suppliers. Stay on the leading edge of diversity practices with us. We can assist you in setting up your supplier diversity program and to leverage the tools that exist to support your corporate goals.

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The Benefits of Certification

As a certified supplier, you’ll be exposed to unique purchasing opportunities and contracts. You’ll also have the opportunity to network directly with procurement staff for large organizations with goals for diverse practices.

In order to access our network of supplier diversity professionals and to enjoy the benefits of their diverse procurement practices, you need to certify your business. CGLCC has a certification program that ensures corporations’ resources go to deserving suppliers like you.

How to Obtain Certification

Certification Criteria

Consistency in the review and certification of LGBTQ-owned, operated and controlled businesses is key to a fair system. Because there is a concerted effort to put real resources toward working with diverse suppliers in Canada, it needs to be authenticated.

As the certifying body for LGBTQ businesses in Canada, we work with similar bodies that certify businesses owned, operated and controlled by women, visible minorities and Indigenous people. Together, these groups form the Supplier Diversity Alliance Canada. CGLCC has developed standardized procedures to ensure certification remains an indicator of legitimacy and that each business we certify meets strict criteria.

As long as the below criteria are met, CGLCC will certify sole-proprietor businesses as well as larger companies.

To be certified by the CGLCC as an LGBTQ business enterprise, an applicant must:

  • Operate in Canada
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • Be able to operate as a supplier of products or services to other businesses


In addition, the applicant’s business must:

  • Be a for-profit enterprise
  • Be substantially owned, operated and controlled by LGBTQ individuals

For the purpose of certification by CGLCC, that means:

  • The business must be at least 51% owned and operated by self-identified LGBTQ individuals (self-identification is corroborated and verified)
  • In the case of publicly-owned businesses, at least 51% of the company’s shares would have to be owned by one or more such individuals meeting the same criteria
  • The management and daily operations of these businesses must be controlled by LGBTQ individuals

Certification Process

Step 1: Application

As part of your certification, you will need to complete the below online application and submit the below document:

  1. A declaration of LGBTQ status – That individual must also complete and sign a declaration self-identifying as LGBTQ.

Once your registration with the chamber is complete, an auditor will connect with you to review these forms and related supporting documents. All information supplied is kept confidential and applicants will receive a notification confirming receipt of their application forms and payment.

Step 2: Review & Verification

Once CGLCC has reviewed your application and ensured its completion, we will contact you with a checklist of documents, reports and related information that must be made available for assessment.

If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be notified and invited to resubmit.

Step 3: Assessment

After all the documents on the checklist are received, CGLCC will coordinate an assessment to review the company documentation and verify information in the application.

Step 4: Certification

Once the assessment is complete, the assessor sends the completed report and checklist to CGLCC.

If all requirements have been met, CGLCC will approve the certification and notify the applicant. Then, the certified business will be added to our national database, with basic contact and company information provided to our network of organizations seeking vendors and business partners.

The business will also receive a certificate they can use as proof they meet the criteria of a diverse supplier, as well as logos that can be used on websites and correspondence to identify the business as a CGLCC Certified Supplier. The certification is valid for one year, after which time, a certification renewal is required (including all applicable charges).

If, at this time, all certification requirements have not been met, CGLCC will notify the applicant that their request for certification has been declined (with reasons identified). No refund is provided.

Need more information?

View our FAQs below, or email us at

What is CGLCC?

Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) is the only chamber of commerce uniting and advocating for the over 100,000 LGBTQ owned and operated businesses in Canada.

What exactly does it mean to be certified with CGLCC?

If you are a business that’s at least 51% LGBTQ owned, operated and controlled, and you meet the rest of our qualifications, we can certify your business and help you leverage your position as a diverse supplier.

As a certified supplier, you’ll be exposed to unique purchasing opportunities and contracts. You’ll also have the opportunity to network directly with procurement staff from large organizations with goals for diverse practices.

In order to access our network of supplier diversity professionals and to enjoy the benefits of their diverse procurement practices, you need to certify your business. CGLCC has a certification program that ensures corporations’ resources go to deserving suppliers like you.

Is my company eligible?

An eligible company is an independent business that is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by one or more members of the LGBTQ community, whose business formation and principal place of business are in Canada OR they are majority owned, managed and controlled by one or more member of the LGBTQ community who are Canadian citizens or lawful permanent residents. Your taxes MUST be paid in order for your company to receive and retain your CGLCC certification.

Which documents are required as part of the application and certification process?

This depends on whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, or incorporated company.  You need to upload ALL the required documentation which we will review in advance of your assessment. Documentation that is required to be submitted is indicated in the Assessment Documentation Checklist. We ask that you upload your supporting documentation to a READ ONLY google drive or dropbox to be share with CGLCC’s supplier diversity manager and your assesor. Once your assessment is completed sharing permissions can be revoked and the drive deleted.

CGLCC may require additional documentation beyond the list depending on the circumstances of your business. Once certification is confirmed, a confirmation package including a Certificate will be sent to you. The certification process entails an audit of a number of documents in order to confirm the eligibility of your business. All information and documents submitted by your business are kept completely confidential, See our privacy agreement.

Alternatives methods for document submission can be arranged on a case by case basis. Please contact for more details.

What is the fee for certification?

The annual fee is currently $449, plus tax and is subject to change. This a non-refundable processing fee.

Why do I have to pay to be certified by CGLCC?

Verification of your business compliance with CGLCC standards takes time and money. The fees cover the costs associated with the certification process and help us maintain our Supplier Diversity Program. CGLCC certification provides additional benefits and opportunities and is a very effective way to provide you with access to corporate and government buyers and growth opportunities for your business.

How long does it take to get certified?

Upon receipt of your completed application and fee, you will be contacted to start the certification process by a member of the Supplier Diversity team. Generally the process can be completed within 6 weeks, however, the time frame is highly dependent upon the applicant’s ability to prepare documentation and be available for their assessment. Applicants are provided 90 days to complete the certification process from payment to assessment. If an applicant has become non responsive and the 90 day period has lapsed the application will be cancelled, all fees are non-refundable. *Extensions to the 90 day timeline may be granted on a case by case basis. 

Why do you need all the information that you ask for?

We review the information in order to verify that your business is at minimum 51% owned, operated and controlled by an LGBTQ community member. It is critical to our corporate members that our certification is of the highest standard to comply with international supplier diversity criteria.

How long do you allow for the application to complete their requirements (Documentation & Assessment)?

We allow 90 days from the date of application to meet with the owners and conduct our review. If there are extenuating circumstances, an extension may be granted.

How is my documentation submitted?

You will be asked to create a Google Drive or Dropbox shared folder and share it with our supplier diversity manager for review, and then again with your independent assessor before your interview. You should set viewing privileges of the drive to READ ONLY. There is never a reason why CGLCC staff or independent assessor should have to download your documentation. Once your assessment is complete, sharing access should be revoked and the drive can be deleted.

We acknowledge that some of the documentation required for certification is of a sensitive nature. Alternative methods of document submission can be arranged on a case by case basis. Please email for more details.

Who will have access to my documents when I submit them?

The only people who will be able to access your shared drive are the supplier diversity manager, and your independent assessor once they have been assigned. The supplier diversity manager will review your shared documents to ensure that what has been submitted is sufficient for certification before your assessment takes place. Insufficient supporting documents may lead to your assessment being rescheduled. Additional fees may apply.

Who has access to the members directory? Can certified suppliers search the directory too?

All levels of membership (National Associates, Certified Suppliers, and Corporate Members) have access and the ability to search the member directory. Corporate members and certified suppliers are also able to filter search results for certified suppliers specifically.

What information is shared in the members directory?

Like most large corporations, our corporate members will require some detailed information about your company before they will agree to do business with you. Therefore, the more information you are willing to share with them, the easier it will be for them to accept you as a supplier. Many of the corporations are interested in certain criteria such as revenues and number of employees in order to determine your ability to respond to an opportunity. Ultimately, the information you share is up to you.

I am a private company and I don’t want to share my financial information with CGLCC or others. Why do you ask for this information?

Financial statements provide evidence that you are conducting business as described in the application. Governance document and financial information are used collectively to verify the ownership, operation and control by members of the LGBTQ community. Please note that the audit process does not evaluate the company’s profitability, financial viability or ability to undertake contracts. This is the purview of a buyer. CGLCC is able to provide alternative submission options for sensitive supporting documents upon request. Please contact for more information.

How will I know when I’m approved?

Once your documents have been submitted for review and your assessment has taken place, your application will be brought before our certification committee for a final decision. The certification committee will review your application and either approve/reject/or defer for additional information. Once a decision has been reached, a member of the supplier diversity team will be in touch to communicate the board’s findings. If your application has been approved our digital collateral as well as your certificate of certification are immediately accessible through the members portal.

Please note that your supporting documentation is not shared with the certification board. Only the Board sees the final report provided by your assessor. 

How long does my certification last?

The certification is valid for a year from the date of payment. Provided that your company continues to meet CGLCC criteria for certification, you may renew in years 2, 3 by updating your information in each of these years. In year 4, a documentation review including an additional virtual assessment will again be required. The annual fee payment is required before each annual renewal period is confirmed.

Is certification with CGLCC recognized in the US and with other corporations around the world?

Yes, CGLCC certification is an internationally recognized designation.

What is the benefit of attending CGLCC’s Global Business Summit, amongst other events?

The primary advantage of attending events like the CGLCC’s annual global business summit or other supplier diversity events is meeting a multitude of corporate buyers in one place who have a commitment to sourcing from LGBTQ business enterprises (LGBTBE’s). Our events are an excellent opportunity to meet supplier diversity professionals and buyers along with other LGBTBE’s.

For those LGBTBE’s that are interested in scaling up their global business operations, CGLCC does frequent trade missions all over the world.

Why is third-party supplier diversification more reliable than self-declaration?

Self-declaration in supplier diversity refers to a process where a supplier voluntarily claims diverse ownership without any external verification. In contrast, third-party certification involves an independent assessment conducted by external organizations, such as CLGCC, and fellow Canadian certifying organizations specializing in the review of Canadian for profit entities that are diversely owned. These organizations thoroughly evaluate the supplier’s ownership, control, and operational practices to ensure compliance with globally recognized supplier diversity criteria.

When it comes to ensuring accountability in supplier diversity business and procurement strategies, third-party certification through vetted organizations is considered more reliable than self-declaration for several reasons:

Credibility and trust: Third-party certification provides unbiased verification of a supplier’s diversity. Certification is typically conducted by independent organizations that have established credibility and expertise in assessing and verifying the businesses ownership, operation and control. This verification process helps build trust among stakeholders, including customers, partners, and government agencies.

Rigorous evaluation: Third-party certification involves a thorough evaluation of a business’s ownership, control, and operational practices to ensure compliance with specific criteria. This evaluation often includes an in-depth review of financial documents, legal structure, and other relevant information. The rigorous nature of the certification process ensures that only eligible diverse suppliers receive certification.

Compliance with regulations and requirements: Many corporate supplier diversity programs require third-party certification as a prerequisite for participation. By obtaining third-party certification, suppliers  demonstrate their compliance with these requirements, making them eligible for contracts, grants, incentives, and/or other benefits associated with supplier diversity programs.

Avoidance of conflicts of interest: Self-declaration can be susceptible to conflicts of interest or biases. Suppliers may have an incentive to overstate or misrepresent their diversity status to gain a competitive advantage. Third-party certification eliminates such conflicts by providing an independent assessment that is not influenced by personal or organizational interests.

Consistency and standardization: Third-party certification establishes a consistent and standardized approach to assessing supplier diversity. Certification organizations follow internationally recognized guidelines and criteria, ensuring that suppliers are evaluated against the same set of standards. This consistency helps maintain the integrity and comparability of supplier diversity programs across different industries in the national and global business markets.

Enhanced program integrity: Third-party certification adds an extra layer of integrity to supplier diversity programs. It helps prevent fraud, misrepresentation, or abuse of the system by ensuring that only diverse suppliers receive certification. This, in turn, strengthens the overall effectiveness and legitimacy of supplier diversity initiatives.

While self-declaration may be more convenient and cost-effective for suppliers, corporations, and government bodies initially, third-party certification offers greater credibility, objectivity, and accountability within supplier diversity programs. It promotes a fair and transparent supplier diversity ecosystem that benefits both diverse suppliers and the organizations that seek to engage with them. Through certification, CGLCC ensures that the benefits that come with supplier diversity are truly being realized by those for whom they are intended: underrepresented diverse suppliers.