On February 22, 2023, Karp Strategies and MRV Group, and The Ampersand Group announced the launch of a nationwide series to uplift small and diverse business enterprise involvement in the growing offshore wind industry and clean energy more broadly.
Led by two small/diverse businesses in the offshore wind and clean energy space, the partnership brings together Karp Strategies, a New York-based, equity-driven WBE/DBE/SBE - certified economic development and analysis consultancy, and MRV Group, a New York-based supplier diversity and development consultancy, alongside The Ampersand Group, a strategy firm that promotes cross-sector partnerships to foster regenerative economies.
The new initiative comes at a critical moment for the clean energy industry. As the rapidly evolving industry continues to grow in the United States, small, diverse business participation—and harnessing diverse expertise—will be crucial to its success. Yet, despite the critical role they play in the industry, small/diverse businesses experience many hurdles in securing their seat at the table.
This is where the Karp Strategies, MRV Group, and Ampersand Group partnership comes in.
In 2023, the partnership will kick off the new initiative with eight networking events for small/diverse businesses as well as offshore wind and other clean energy providers. Four of these events will take the form of state clean energy diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) days that will connect small/diverse firms across the country with prime firms and energy providers. These DEIJ days will bolster the case for S/DBE involvement in offshore wind and clean energy, bringing a laser focus to equity and inclusion within clean energy, through panels, presentations and discussion. An additional four networking events will be held in advance of major national clean energy conferences to connect small businesses casually to skillshare, troubleshoot, and strategize their entrance to and growth within the offshore wind space. Together these initial networking opportunities will provide a robust offering of events for small/diverse businesses to connect and seek support as they find their footing in the offshore wind and broad clean energy industry.
As Karp CEO & Managing Principal Rebecca Karp shares, “Participation of small and diverse businesses will be crucial to the success of the offshore wind industry, and really the whole clean energy landscape in the United States. Standing up a new industry within the blue economy isn’t easy, and ensuring diverse voices are in the room from strategy to execution will be one of the most important elements of its success. Together, we have the opportunity to shape what this industry will look like, who benefits, and how we can lead with DEIJ at the forefront.”
As offshore wind takes off up and down the east coast (MA, RI, NY, NJ, MD, VA, NC, CT), on the west coast (CA) and in the south (LA, TX), more attention is being paid than ever to coalition-building efforts and helping to overcome uncertainty in local communities around clean energy technologies, from offshore wind to solar and hydrogen power.
Ensuring that community benefit agreements are effective—that jobs and educational opportunities go to where they’re needed, and that voices are meaningfully heard—will be a key element to moving offshore wind and clean energy technologies more broadly from the realm of ‘big idea’’ to a multi-billion dollar economic powerhouse and path forward for the nation’s energy-independent future. Successfully doing so means engaging small/diverse professional services firms, along with construction firms and trades people. Engagement efforts must seek to raise awareness of industry opportunities and ready firms and the workforce to complete the critical trainings and certifications they must undergo to be hired in the clean energy arena.
As Glenn O. Vickers II, Managing Director at MRV Group explains, “Exceeding climate policy local content mandates with both international and domestic public-private stakeholders is a task that has to be led with meaningful and measurable deliverables for American businesses. We look to continue to share full comprehension of the development timelines of these projects to save small businesses and local non-profits valuable time and resources to properly navigate the clean energy industry.”
The Karp Strategies, MRV Group, and the Ampersand Group partnership, organized under the National Supplier Diversity Institute, represents a strategic collaboration that leverages resources and networks to propel inclusive supply chains and workforce development in the renewable energy industry. The firms’ work within the Institute drives a supplier diversity training network, and advances opportunities and capacity building for small and diverse sellers with public-private buyers. Through business development pathways and resource sharing opportunities to peers breaking into the industry, the partnership will work to uplift small, diverse businesses and help them establish themselves within the clean energy industry.
“The renewable energy industry opens the door for small and diverse businesses to be at the forefront of this industrial revolution—providing opportunities to build sustainable economic infrastructures that equitably bridge enterprise and community development—shaping the future of the energy sector for generations to come,” shares Angelé Doyne, Managing Partner at the Ampersand Group.
The partnership’s announcement marks an exciting beginning to Karp Strategies, MVR, and the Ampersand Group’s collaborative work in this crucial industry.
An initial calendar of upcoming networking events is below; more details and additional dates to follow.
March 27, 6:30 PM: Baltimore, MD networking reception in advance of IPF
April 18, 6:00 PM: Washington, D.C networking reception in advance of ACP Capitol Hill
May - TBD: Sacramento CA in association with Pacific Offshore Wind Summit (tentative)
May 21, 6:00 PM: New Orleans, LA networking reception in advance of ACP CLEANPOWER
DEIJ State Days:
May 2, 11:00 AM: Raleigh, NC
June 15, 11:00 AM: Philadelphia, PA
September 19, 11:00 AM: Houston, TX
September 21, 11:00 AM: New Orleans, LA
To learn more about these opportunities, including attendance and sponsorship, please visit https://www.nationalsupplierdiversityinstitute.com/
Stay tuned for additional information and announcements coming soon as the partnership works to develop an inclusive economy.