Many small businesses find it difficult to get contracts with municipalities and government funded institutions. The Health Foundation of South Florida realized this challenge, especially for Black-owned businesses, and decided to invest in creating a marketplace that would house many of the major institutions in South Florida to help local entrepreneurs streamline the procurement process. The South Florida Anchor Alliance kicked in May with 11 influential institutions participating in the Regional Marketplace.
The marketplace is an innovative, AI-powered tech platform intended to create a free, streamlined “one-stop shop” for Broward and Miami-Dade County small businesses to scale their operations through easier and greater access to procurement opportunities.
Through a $1.38 million investment and the collective effort of the SFAA and its participating anchors, the Regional Marketplace promises to simplify the process of large institution contracting. This initiative is the first in Florida to see anchor institutions come together to pool contracting opportunities and vendor lists. While the platform is open to any business, regardless of size, South Florida location or minority designation, its purpose is to help reduce barriers for small businesses, primarily those owned by underrepresented minorities.
This unique partnership, powered by the Health Foundation of South Florida, allows participating partners to expand their vendor resources, while affording registered vendors an environment to nurture and expand business relationships with a curated group of anchor institutions, including:
· Broward College
· Broward County
· Broward County Public Schools
· Broward Health
· City of Miami
· Florida International University
· Jackson Health System
· Miami-Dade County
· Miami-Dade County Public Schools
· University of Miami
· University of Miami Health System
The SFAA, University of Miami and Broward County will hosted launch events in late May for vendors and suppliers to learn how they can use the Avisare user-friendly platform to unlock procurement opportunities and increase their visibility to the 11 participating anchor institutions.
About the Organizations that make this program work:
The South Florida Anchor Alliance is a collaborative of regional institutions-hospitals and healthcare systems, education enterprises and municipalities-coming together to harness their collective multi-billion-dollar spending power and vast human and intellectual capital in order to create a more just and inclusive local economy. It was founded by the Health Foundation of South Florida in partnership with Citi.
The mission of Health Foundation of South Florida is to invest in and be a catalyst for collaborations and policy and systems changes that improve the health of South Florida communities, with a focus on vulnerable, low to moderate-income populations. Established in 1993, the foundation has awarded more than $131 million to nonprofits that provide programs and services in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. For more information, visit http://www.hfsf.org or follow us on Twitter @HealthSFL
The Office of Economic and Small Business Development is responsible for promoting economic development and supporting Broward County’s small businesses. Areas of focus include: workforce development, business expansion and retention, small business growth, business development and outreach, international trade and export readiness, entrepreneurial development, and promoting Broward County as a film destination. Services are delivered by the agency and through partnerships with federal, state, local and private sector organizations. The office promotes equal access to Broward County’s procurement opportunities for small business enterprises in local and federal small business programs and helps position small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities and grow their businesses beyond Broward.
Avisare is a procurement and eCertification SaaS platform built to enable small businesses to compete for public and private sector contract opportunities. The platform leverages artificial intelligence to help government entities and private institutions find and certify vendors while promoting innovation, environmental sustainability, and diversity in the global supply chain. By taking the guesswork out of the process, Avisare is the vendor-facing layer in the procurement stack that can connect with all back-end systems to provide one seamless, interconnected sourcing and eCertification experience.
Local businesses interested in catapulting their contracting opportunities are invited to join the Regional Marketplace by visiting: southfloridaanchoralliance.org/marketplace/ or for general information about SFAA, visit southfloridaanchoralliance.org.
This is a Hy-Lo News Staff Report, with edits by Hy-Lo News Publisher Janey Tate.