On June 19, 2019, The World Games 2021 hosted a kickoff event for its supplier diversity initiative, the World of Opportunity. With the goal of engaging local, small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses, the event hosted more than 300 local entrepreneurs.
Attendees at the kickoff event heard from an array of speakers and local leaders at the event, including Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.
“As excited as we are about hosting The World Games here in our city in two years, we’re equally excited about the World of Opportunity, a program designed to be an incredible turning point for our entire city,” said Woodfin.
The event also marked the launch of the World of Opportunity database, an online network that will feature future opportunities to supply goods and services for The World Games 2021. Thus far, more than 250 suppliers have engaged with the database, which The World Games 2021 has committed to donating to the city, as a tribute and legacy gift following The Games. Long-term, the positive impact of the database will be twofold: it will be an asset for Birmingham in attracting and supporting large-scale events in the future and will provide local businesses with premier access to business and growth opportunities.
During the formal program, the co-chairs of The World Games 2021 Supplier Diversity Steering Committee, Marcus Lundy of Regions Bank and Glenda S. Thomas of Southern Company, both spoke to the importance of supplier inclusion and diversity.
“We’re extremely proud to play a role in this important step for the city of Birmingham,” said Thomas. “Not only will the opportunities from this program be transformational for local businesses, but it will also prove valuable for the city moving forward.”
Following introductory remarks, participants enjoyed a panel discussion, moderated by Darlene Wilson, a local entrepreneur, accounting service provider and managing principal of her firm, Relay Accounting Management. During the panel, titled “Creating a Legacy with Diverse Supplier,” Wilson posed questions to Glenda S. Thomas, Tene Dolphin, Deputy Director for Business Diversity and Opportunity for the city of Birmingham and Chincie Mouton, Vice President of Community Engagement and Projects for the Atlanta Basketball Host Committee.
Mouton noted the abundance of supplier opportunities associated with large sporting events such as The World Games 2021 and offered advice to attendees hoping to get involved.
“What you want to do is make sure that you are starting to build relationships early on [and] you are utilizing the different resources that are available to you now,” Mouton said.
Participants had the opportunity to follow Mouton’s advice and network with fellow entrepreneurs after the panel. Using Mixtroz, an app founded by a mother-daughter duo in Birmingham, attendees were placed into groups and connected with other business owners in the area. Not only did this create an inviting atmosphere for the event, but it also allowed businesses owners to begin cultivating lasting relationships with each other – a vital part of the mission of World of Opportunity.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.