New Day. New Administration.

This Women’s History Month, we celebrate the incredible contributions of women to our communities, nation, and economy. Madame Vice President Harris exemplifies how women continually shatter glass ceilings and demonstrate incredible resilience and dedication. Powerful female leaders show us that anything is possible with courage and dedication, despite unequal pay, unequal contracts, unequal access, stereotypes, and societal expectations.

Women business owners represent one of the most powerful forces in the modern American economy. As we embrace a new day under a new administration, we recognize women-owned businesses’ incredible potential for growth and economic impact. According to the American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, as of 2019, women-owned businesses represented 42% of all businesses and employed 9.4 million workers generating revenues totaling $1.9 trillion. Minority women leaders were at the front of this growth surge, representing 89% of new women-owned businesses from 2018 to 2019. We proudly call many of these minority women- business owners Council members.

This year, however, we must address the new circumstances women-owned businesses face because of the pandemic. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), minority and women-owned businesses disproportionately suffer because of the pandemic. By April 2020, the number of Black-owned businesses fell by 41% and women-owned businesses dropped by 25%. NBER warns that these early losses may portend extended economic inequality, reversing decades of progress for minority- and women-owned businesses.

Where do we go from here? The Council reaffirms our mission to help diverse entrepreneurs create resilient and successful enterprises. We continue to provide educational webinars and connect certified MBEs with each other and our corporate members.

This Women’s History Month and throughout the year, I ask you to match our efforts:

  • Never stop learning
  • Refine your goals for this new day
  • Reach out for help
  • Navigate the new administration
  • Work with another MBE
  • Try something new

Together, we can help to regain lost ground and build a thriving minority business community that uplifts our entire country.


Terrence Clark






Terrence Clark
President & CEO


Hetal Parikh

Hetal Parikh is famous for carrying out Rangam’s vision of “Employment for Everyone”. These three words continuously inspire her to pave the path for many achievements, on both personal and professional fronts. Read More.


Rondu Vincent

Rondu Vincent is an Executive Director, Global Supplier Diversity & Sustainability at Bristol Myers Squibb. Read More.


Insights: Conversations with Certified WMBEs

Elisabete Miranda

Elisabete Miranda, President & CEO, CQ Fluency

On contributions women have made to the US Economy…

Around the world, women still suffer from a lack of economic opportunity and continue to fight for gender parity. However, their contributions to the US economy continue to rise. Women invest a higher proportion of their earnings in communities and families than their counterparts; a whopping 90% of women’s income versus 35% of men. Since women comprise almost half of the US workforce, empowering women yields greater economic progress in advances toward better health, nutrition, financial stability, education of our children, and more.

On your own business, its history and its success…

CQfluency has been a certified M/WBE since 2009. We grew from an NMSDC Class I supplier to Class III and expanded globally with entities in Europe. We are a language services company, providing culturally relevant translation and communication services to the healthcare and life sciences industries. Our success over the last twenty years is linked to our high priority and concentration on global economic impact through our internal efforts and programs with our clients. We have been included in the Inc. 5000 ‘Fastest Growing Companies in America’ list for seven consecutive years. Our CEO, Elisabete Miranda was named one of Inc.’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs of 2020. We are proud to serve Fortune 500 clients from all over the globe, such as Merck, UnitedHealthcare, CVS Health, Anthem, Pfizer, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, MetLife, and many more. CQfluency is a purpose-driven company with a mission to improve lives and have a phenomenal people-centric culture.

On your experiences with the NYNJ Council…

Our CEO, Elisabete Miranda and CQ fluency has been involved with the Council since 2009 as a certified MBE and a former board member actively involved for over ten years. Our relationship with the Council has led us to amazing business prospects and client contracts through networking and collaboration. Our certification also opened the door for lasting relationships with Supplier Diversity Managers. In addition, we have been involved in many informative and educational programs afforded by the Council, such as the COE program (sponsored by Novartis), Executive Program at Tuck School of Business (sponsored by Merck), A2CA, and more. The Council’s support contributed to CQ fluency receiving Regional Supplier of the Year, Class I of 2011 (nominated by EY), Class II of 2016 (nominated by University Hospital), Class III of 2018 (nominated by MetLife) as well as being inducted to the Corporate program in 2020 (nominated by our client, Anthem).


Avis Yates Rivers

Avis Yates-Rivers, President, Technology Concepts Group International

On contributions women have made to the US Economy…

Women have been making tremendous contributions to the U.S. economy for decades. The largest driver of our economy is consumer spending (over 70%) compared to business investments, government spending, and net exports of goods and services. We know that women make (or influence) approximately 85% of all purchase decisions. That’s an amazing statistic. Yet, there is much to be done to increase women’s wage equality and access to business capital in this country. I think the real question is, “What would America’s economy be without women?”

On your own business, its history and its success…

I’ve been a Tech CEO for over 30 years, and during that time, have acquired 2 firms and sold 1 company. I’ve also succeeded in growing my businesses over the years with the help and support of key advisors, mentors and advocates. Notably missing, however, were large capital raises that could have fueled the exponential growth my companies beyond where I was able to take them alone. Reaching the $10-$50 million levels is one thing; growing a business into a billion-dollar enterprise takes more than hard work. It takes access to capital networks that are still relatively closed to women and people of color. In fact, only about 2% of all venture capital raised in 2020 went to women-owned firms. Solving this problem and creating a free flow of growth capital for women-owned firms would create a boon for the U.S. economy in the areas of job creation, business investment, innovation, global expansion, etc.

On your experiences with the NYNJ Council…

I have maintained certification with the Council throughout my time in business. To me, membership is an amazing investment that continues to yield benefits to this day.  The Council continues to bring us promotion, access to opportunities, strong advocacy, linkages, network building, special requests, and strong friendships. Whenever I have a need and reach out to the Council, I get an immediate response. Terrence and the entire team have extended themselves on my account numerous times, and I will always value my relationship with them. My annual recertification fee is a small price to pay for the many benefits. I highly recommend all eligible firms get certified and maintain their status for as long as they are in business. It is so worth it!



In honor of Women’s History Month, the NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council presents a listing of Council-certified women-owned businesses. Learn More

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