The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) started in November 2002 when co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell realized that the impact of LGBT people on the American economy had gone largely unnoticed despite economic equality being an important component of the LGBT equality movement. The two co-founders sought to showcase that as in addition to being LGBT, many LGBT people were also business owners, employers, taxpayers, providers of healthcare and a vibrant, essential part of the small business engine that makes the U.S. economy run.

Their goal was to create an organization that could support LGBT business owners and showcase the diversity of talent in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. NGLCC has succeeded in large part due to an amazing team and board combined with the caliber of businesses, corporate partners, and individuals that have become involved over the years. In early 2004, NGLCC created a best-in-class diversity certification program, making the organization the exclusive national third-party certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses.

LGBT Supplier Diversity Initiative Milestones:
  • HRC Corporate Equality Index changed to make LGBT supplier diversity a standalone scored criteria (2016)
  • Massachusetts becomes first state to include LGBTBEs in contracting (2015) first-in-the-nation statewide inclusion of LGBT business enterprises enacted by MA Governor Charlie Baker with the guidance of the NGLCC
  • Passage of California’s AB1678 (2014) first-in-the-nation public mandate requiring the intentional inclusion of certified LGBT Business Enterprises in contracting with CA Public Utilities
  • MOUs signed expanding access to over $13.8 Billion in federal contracts for LGBTBEs USDA (2016), HUD (2015), Transportation (2014), Labor (2013), SBA (2012), and Commerce (2011)
  • LGBT Business Builder partnership with SBA (2015)
  • NGLCC Global launched (2013)
  • HRC Corporate Equality Index includes LGBT supplier diversity (2012)
  • Launched National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) in 2011 forming working group of executive leaders from diverse agencies including: Women’s Business Enterprise National Council; U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.; U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Business Leadership Network: Disability at Work; and WEConnect International
  • Created first in class LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE) Certification now in use by over 1/3 of Fortune 500 and federal, state, and local government supply chains nationwide.