03 July 2008
Financial services firm Citi has launched a supplier diversity programme with a focus on mentoring minority vendors.
The scheme will match the skills and expertise of Citi employees to specific minority suppliers to help them improve and grow their businesses. Staff will provide help with areas such as marketing, sales training and financial planning.
The firm hopes to have 15 suppliers and employees on board by September.
Victoria Hardie, supplier diversity manager, said the scheme would increase market competition and choice, and give the firm access to cost-effective and innovative products and services. Citi also wants its tier-one suppliers to develop their own mentoring schemes.
To launch the programme, three minority suppliers attended a Dragon's Den-type event. They had to convince four senior Citi employees why they needed mentoring, in front of an audience of 200 staff.
Robert Bell, of Evolution Events, won and will be mentored by Gerard Voogt, regional head of procurement EMEA at Citi.