Economic Empowerment: GCP Marketplace Connects Minority Business Owners with Regional Resources

Case Study at a Glance


Greater Cleveland Partnership


Because minority-owned businesses (MBEs) and large corporations had little visibility into each other’s potential services and needs, opportunities for their economic advancement were limited or completely missed. GCP needed an easily accessible portal to allow MBEs, large companies and suppliers to connect to opportunities, services, and capital.


Vertex built the GCP Marketplace Portal to connect corporate buyers with MBE suppliers. This virtual space serves as a database of MBEs, service providers, buyers, and capital resources.


Because the portal provides visibility of the needs and offerings of large companies and MBEs, these organizations can now utilize each other’s services far easier. Marketplace has become the go-to resource for MBEs to find opportunities in the local market and for corporate buyers to find MBE firms they can engage for business.

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Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Launched Marketplace, a Digital Portal that Connects Northeast Ohio MBEs and Large CompaniesGcp Case Study

The Problem and Background

Minority-owned businesses have a unique set of challenges. Workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion issues have long persisted as MBEs seek opportunities to market themselves. Northeast Ohio minority businesses possessed a wealth of talent, ideas, products and services but ensuring that buyers could find them proved difficult.

Our client, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), represents the collective voice of more than 12,000 members, serving as a catalyst for business growth, development and economic inclusion. Their Equity and Inclusion Department works to engage the region’s employers to address systemic racial inequalities which hinder economic growth. This team had been focusing on two parallel and equally important areas:

  1. Growing businesses owned by people of color and increasing workforce diversity, equity and inclusion through high-quality and effective initiatives, workshops, and conferences
  2. Providing consulting services to stimulate minority business growth and increase workforce inclusion

The Equity & Inclusion Department needed a digital tool to enable its key mission of enhancing the economic opportunities for minority businesses. Additionally, the portal needed to provide a means for large corporations in the region to find and identify minority businesses with which to do business.

What’s Your Big Problem?


6090 Royalton Road #343, North Royalton, Ohio 44133


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