Create a more diverse and inclusive supplier base and provide increased access and opportunity to underrepresented diverse businesses, both locally and nationally, to provide products and services to the State System.

By increasing the competitive landscape for State System business opportunities, universities can achieve best total value when contracting for goods and services and realize valuable cost savings, which can be leveraged for more strategic initiatives.

  • Advocate: Promote and strengthen the campus-wide understanding on the value of supplier diversity in the supply chain.
  • Identify:  Establish, promote, and maintain a database of certified diverse suppliers that have the viability, business practices and capacity to support university business.
  • Cultivate: Assist diverse suppliers to expand their knowledge of the State System, provide them with training and opportunities to build and improve relationships that will allow for growth of the SDB sector. 
  • Connect: Introduce and facilitate mutually beneficial business relationships with SDBs, university procurement professionals and their business partners.
  • Align: Ensure alignment of Procurement's Small Diverse Business initiatives with the broader overall goals and objectives of creating and building sustainable relationships across the Commonwealth.

Small Diverse Business Guidance

If you are already registered with the SAP Business Network (formerly Ariba) and transacting with the State System, please confirm your information and upload your SDB certification. This can be done through your Network account. To update your registration, view the Update Supplier Registration Questionnaire on our Doing Business with the State System page.  

What is a Small Diverse Business?

The State System is following the same eligibility requirements as promulgated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of General Services, Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities. Please review the Application Instruction Guide for those requirements.

Businesses interested in participating as a small business must first register to do business with the State System and self-certify as a “small business." To self-certify and participate as a Small Business, a business must meet each of the following requirements:

  • The business must be a for-profit, United States business.
  • The business must be independently owned.
  • The business may not be dominant in its field of operation.
  • The business may not employ more than 100 full-time equivalent employees.*
  • The business may not exceed three-year average gross revenues of $47 Million, regardless of business type (effective 01/02/24).

When registering, suppliers will have the opportunity to specify that they are an SDB on the State System Supplier Registration Questionnaire. When the State System or one of our universities is ready to do business with a supplier, an invitation to register will be sent to the supplier. 

How do I Certify as a Diverse Supplier?

First, certification is not a condition of doing business with the State System. The State System does not certify suppliers. The State System follows the same certification eligibility requirements as promulgated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities. Please see the link below for those requirements and the agencies through which suppliers can obtain small business certifications. 

DGS Small Diverse Business Verification

How do I find Solicitations?

The State System uses the SAP Business Network (formally known as Ariba) as its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and data management program. This Business Network uses the Ariba Discovery platform for planning, organizing, posting and tracking bidding events. Once registered in the SAP Business Network and your account is linked to the State System, you will be notified and can track bidding events posted by the State System.

To learn more about the bidding tool and how to find bid events, please visit the Doing Business with the State System page.

Resources for Businesses

Small Business Contracting Program

Small Business Self-Certification