SBE Green Business Education

SBE Sustainability Education – Fall/Winter Schedule

Cincinnati is one of more than 1,000 U.S. cities that has committed to reducing its contribution to global climate change. To support this effort, the Department of Economic Inclusion provides sustainability education, training and technical assistance for small and diverse businesses to transition to sustainable operations.

The SBE Sustainability Education Program consists of webinars, brown bag workshops, online sustainability training, a sustainability assessment and report, and technical assistance to develop a sustainability action plan. Businesses participating in the program can receive an Advanced Sustainability Education Certificate and/or SEMS™ Certification in partnership with the City of Cincinnati Department of Economic Inclusion. SEMS™ is an acronym for Supplier Excellence in Managing Sustainability.

Upcoming Webinars And Classes You Don’t Want To Miss!

Join us for a series of 60-minute webinars and classroom-style seminars to help your business scale up and grow. Learn how and why sustainability has become the core business strategy in a variety of industries. The sessions are specifically designed to allow participants to interact, converse and learn from industry experts. 

Webinar No. 1 - Inclusion as a Business Growth Driver in the 21st Century

In today’s economy, the best suppliers have a business growth strategy that builds organizational culture, productivity, creativity and innovation. Sustainability and inclusion are a core business strategy and have never been more vital.  As the Greater Cincinnati region strives to have meaningful and substantial levels of minority and women business participation, a new “culture of inclusion “will become the norm. This webinar will help you recognize change and different approaches your small company can take to build new client relationships for long-term business growth.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Three follow up classes will examine the challenges of creating an inclusion culture in Cincinnati.  While a Department of Economic Inclusion office is essential in building a foundation where differences are not only acknowledged, but embraced, small and diverse businesses must also embrace their own responsibility for inclusion success.  The purpose is to share best practices of SBEs, MBEs, WBEs, government agencies and corporations.

Class No. 1: Building a Sustainable Economic Future for Small Business - September

Class No. 2: Cultivating a Culture of Inclusion Through Collaboration - October

Class No. 3: Engaging Small Business with the Green Cincinnati Plan - November

Webinar ID: 104-319-683    

Click here to register:


Webinar No. 2 - Increase Your Chances of Winning Construction Contracts

Position your company to be among the first to be included in upcoming construction projects by learning the ropes of the bidding process. This is a “must attend” webinar for contractors, subcontractors and specialty trade firms seeking to scale up in the area’s construction industry. The session includes a wide array of reliable information about procurement opportunities.

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Follow up classes will provide an in-depth overview of the various activities which become part of the construction bidding process. Participants will gain practical insights and strategies for handling each stage of the bidding process, including bidder qualification, bid preparation, bid evaluation and bid selection. Legal, ethical and administrative issues encountered during the bidding process will also be covered.  Each one-hour class will be conducted by a professional and classes will be held at various locations.

Class No. 1: How to Become a Qualified Bidder - October

Class No. 2: Understanding the Procedural Requirements of Bidding - November

Class No. 3: Dealing With Issues During the Bidding Process - December

Webinar ID: 131-550-083

Click here to register:


Webinar No. 3 - Breaking Into the Corporate Supply Chain

Corporations are an enormous potential market for small and diverse businesses. While core suppliers are critical to the production line, there are plenty of business-changing procurement opportunities for smaller firms. Learn from supply chain experts what it takes to unlock the doors to a corporate supply chain, as well as how to avoid being assessed as a “risk” during the interview process.

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Follow up classes provide tips and techniques on how small and diverse businesses can become suppliers to the region’s largest corporations. Participants will not only learn how to open doors of opportunity to become a corporate supplier, but also the risks involved for small businesses that take on a large client. Fortune 500 companies spend hundreds of billions of dollars in procurement, and even a modest amount going to small businesses could have a significant impact on growth. But small businesses need to understand the requirements for new suppliers, and where specific doors of opportunity are in corporate procurement. The classes will be conducted by corporate members of the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council and the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council.

Class No. 1: Innovation & Collaboration: The Key To Unlocking A Supply Chain Door - November

Class No. 2: A Corporate Model for Increasing Small Suppliers - December

Class No. 3: Focusing on Core Suppliers for Growth Opportunities - January


Webinar No. 4 - Rethinking Strategic Alliances With a Green Focus

The Green Economy is becoming big business in virtually every major city in the United States. This webinar provides information on how small and diverse firms can form strategic alliances as the nation shifts to sustainable real estate, renewable energy, green products and, much more. The Greater Cincinnati region expects to see increased green infrastructure as neighborhoods and building owners transition to healthier and more efficient green building practices. Find out what’s new and what’s needed for your business to be included in Greater Cincinnati’s growing green economy.

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Follow up classes feature successful MBEs and WBEs who have formed strategic alliances to scale up their businesses. Presenters share their experiences and discuss the role of each strategic partner in successful alliances, how to structure a solid, long-term relationship and best practices for delivering a world-class experience to a mutual client. Participants learn about a range of strategic agreements, including joint ventures mergers, and understand why trust is critical to any successful partnering relationship. The first class focuses on a review of key alliance concepts and the next two classes are case studies designed to encourage participants to explore the possibilities of partnering.

Class No. 1: Strategic Alliances, Mergers & Acquisitions: Managing the Risks   - December

Class No. 2: Growing Your Business With Strategic Alliances and Partnerships - January

Class No. 3: Forging the Future by Partnering for Success - February


Webinar No. 5 - Leveraging Sustainability for Inclusion in Service Industries

Major corporations in every industry are realizing that smaller suppliers are often better positioned to provide niche or highly localized professional services. This informative workshop focuses on how service providers can leverage sustainability for a competitive advantage in areas such as legal, consulting, architectural, engineering, marketing, public relations, information technology and finance. Participants will learn how to capitalize on specific professional service needs.

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015    2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Three follow up classes conducted by Procurement Professionals focusing on services will be in November, December and January. The purpose is to help small and diverse businesses that provide services owners to understand new procurement standards in various service industries and how service firms should respond to these changes in order to take advantage of opportunities.

Class No. 1: Service Opportunities in Health Care and Other Industries - January

Class No. 2: Driving Sustainability Performance in Information Technology - January

Class No. 3: Optimizing Services to Meet Manufacturing Challenges - February


Webinar No. 6 - Developing a Brand Identity for a Home Based Business

More than half of U.S. businesses are operated out of an owner’s home. These businesses can be just as lucrative as a company that operates out of an office. To get the most out of your home-based business model, you need a sustainability branding strategy. In this webinar, not only will you learn how to operate more efficiently for increased profitability, but also branding and sales strategies to grow your business for years to come. Find out how sustainability can give your home-based business a competitive advantage.

Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016    2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Three follow up classes conducted by the Green Umbrella, Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative and the Small Business Development Center will focus is on requirements for sustainable neighborhoods. Small and diverse businesses will learn tips and techniques to brand a home-based business as “green” in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Class No. 1: Make Your Home Based Business a Green Showcase - February

Class No. 2: There’s No Place Like Home For A Green Business - February

Class No. 3: Make Sure Your Home-Based Business Is Ready For Business – March



Sustainability is not an option for small and diverse suppliers that want to do business in Greater Cincinnati’s growing economic hub. The Department of Economic Inclusion is partnering with ACF Enterprises LLC /Institute for Sustainable Business Education to help small, minority- and women-owned businesses work through the key steps to create a customized sustainability plan. The courses and tools are completely online and include:

•   A risk-assessment tool helps you analyze the company’s sustainable performance in five categories.

  • A 2-hour e-course helps you build a business case for a transition to sustainable operations.

•   An easy-to-use tutorial and template assists in the development of a customized sustainability plan.

•   A sustainability auditing tool makes it easy to monitor and measure sustainability progress.

•   A case study of the Procter & Gamble global scorecard demonstrates how the tool is used by major corporations to monitor sustainability in the supply chain.

Participants earn a non-credit “Advancement in Sustainability Certificate” from the City of Cincinnati Department of Economic Inclusion upon completing a sustainability plan and passing a final exam with a score of 70 or better. The company is also listed as a Green Business in the City’s Small Business DirectoryProgram Scholarships are available.

Contact the Department of Economic Inclusion for scholarship information.


Phone: 513-352-3144