“Black-Owned Businesses at Pitt: Opportunity & Commitment”

A Resource Guide Created for the 2020 University of Pittsburgh Diversity Forum

Read more about the workshop and featured panelists.


  • Purchasing Services/PantherExpress

    • The University’s Purchasing Organization operates under the Associate Vice Chancellor for Financial Operations. Our mission is to obtain the overall best value for purchases of goods and services for the University. The Supplier Diversity Program exists to increase the level of goods and services provided by diverse suppliers to the University and to increase the availability of meaningful business opportunities afforded to diverse businesses. 
    • Website: https://cfo.pitt.edu/pexpress/purchases/diversityPurchasing.php
    • Contact: Jennifer Barnes, Supplier Diversity and Sustainability Coordinator, Purchasing Services
    • Related Programs:
  • The Center for Sustainable Business (CSB)

    • The mission of the CSB is to maximize the value of investments in sustainable business strategies for all stakeholders. We accomplish this by leveraging the unique expertise and capabilities of an active research and teaching community together with the applied knowledge and industry experience of some of the world’s most influential companies.
    • Website: https://www.sustainablebusiness.pitt.edu/
    • Contact: Dr. Leslie Marshall, Associate Director, Center for Sustainable Business
    • Related Programs:
  • Office of Sustainability

    • The Office of Sustainability leads University-wide sustainability strategy, activities, policies, collaborations, & partnerships to advance the Pitt Sustainability Plan, which includes 61 measurable goals across stewardship, exploration, community, and culture.
    • Website: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/
    • Contact: Dr. Aurora Sharrard, Director of Sustainability, Office of Sustainability
  • Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation

    • Our mission is to catalyze sustainability research and education through the development and integration of curriculum, groundbreaking research, community outreach and innovation, the Center engages students, faculty and staff as well as our community to explore and experience sustainability in practice and performance.
    • Website: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/MCSI/
    • Contact:  Gena Kovalcik, Co-Director, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation
  • Innovation Institute

    • The Innovation Institute connects Pitt innovators to the programs, services, and funding they need to assess the commercial potential of their innovation or big idea and accelerate on the path to market. Coordinating with partners across the ecosystem, the Innovation Institute then helps launch innovations into the world. It is also the university’s front door for entrepreneurs, companies and other institutions who want to access Pitt’s people, facilities, and research in order to collaborate and drive innovation and economic growth.
    • Website: https://www.innovation.pitt.edu/ 
    • Related Programs:


  • Diversity Business Resource Center

    • A single point of contact for minority, women, veterans, and other disadvantaged business owners seeking information to start, sustain and grow their business.
    • Website: https://www.riversidecenterforinnovation.com/dbrc/home
    • Related Programs: BizFIT, Section 3, SWOT Analysis, DBRC Kiva Lending Fund, Reed Smith Pro Bono Legal Services
  • The Pittsburgh Foundation 

    • The Pittsburgh Foundation, established in 1945, works to improve the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy and connecting donors to the critical needs of the community.
    • Website: https://pittsburghfoundation.org/
    • Related Programs:
  • COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance

    • The recently enacted state budget includes $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Within this allocation, the Department of Community and Economic Development has been allocated $225 million for COVID-19 relief to small businesses through a distribution to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
    • Website: https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-relief-statewide-small-business-as...
    • Related Programs: Northside Community Development Fund
      • The Northside Community Development Fund is one of the 17 CDFIs that make up the PA CDFI Network and will be administering the $225M Coronavirus Small Business Assistance Program recently announced by Governor Wolf.
  • PA Department of General Services 

  • Allegheny County Equity and Inclusion

  • Pittsburgh's Inequality Across Gender and Race (Study)

    • Abstract: To rank Pittsburgh's livability and identify possible policy interventions, we introduce a new tool, the Relative Strengths Indicator. Using this tool, we calculate Pittsburgh's Index of Ranked Livability (IRL). This measure illuminates both Pittsburgh's standing relative to other cities and to what extent each outcome is driven by city-level factors. In doing so, the IRLs highlight Pittsburgh's strengths as well as areas where targeted interventions could make notable improvements to Pittsburgh's livability. Results suggest that for White residents, Pittsburgh ranks in the middle 50 percent of cities. That is, for the majority of indicators, Pittsburgh's White residents are comparable to their White counterparts in other U.S. cities. However, on some indicators, like poverty, the inequality between White men and White women is higher in Pittsburgh than in other cities. For AMLON residents, especially women, Pittsburgh ranks at or above average on the vast majority of indicators. However, for Black residents, Pittsburgh falls far below similar cities. Black women and men in other cities have better health, income, employment, and educational outcomes than Pittsburgh's Black residents.
    • Howell, Junia, Sara Goodkind, Leah Jacobs, Dominique Branson, and Liz Miller. "Pittsburgh's Inequality Across Gender and Race." City of Pittsburgh's Gender Equity Commission (2019).
    • Website: https://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/redtail/images/7109_Pittsburgh's_Inequality_Across_Gender_and_Race_09_18_19.pdf