How Disney Parks is Helping Diverse Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Grow

Ralph Sagaille

by , Executive Director, Disney Supplier Diversity

When everyone participates, everyone wins!

We believe that providing opportunities to diverse suppliers creates a domino effect that positively impacts everyone. That’s why we are thrilled to support the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) Supply Chain Accelerator pilot as a lead sponsor!

Attendee of a Disney Institute program with Mickey Mouse

RICE’s accelerator program helps diverse entrepreneurs and small businesses prepare for long-term success. The pilot includes 35 companies owned by Black entrepreneurs, 66% of whom are women-owned. This month, 60 participants came to Walt Disney World Resort to engage in sessions focused on storytelling, leadership, customer service and supplier diversity.

“Disney understands the importance of diversity in business and is helping RICE create and accelerate opportunities for Black business owners,” said Jay Bailey, President and CEO, Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs. “Disney is giving our entrepreneurs an inside look and exclusive knowledge on how the company operates. They are helping RICE expand the possibilities during a time when equitable opportunities have never been more important.”

Our sponsorship of RICE’s program is part of our commitment to invest in communities by sharing knowledge and experience and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. In fiscal year 2021, Disney set a goal to spend at least $1 billion annually with diverse suppliers by 2024, placing the company among the top in spending with diverse suppliers and impacting the communities by creating jobs and opportunities.

Attendee of a Disney Institute program with Mickey Mouse

We recognize that supporting suppliers of all backgrounds, sizes and industries makes a profound impact in the community. The power of possibilities and the collaboration with RICE is part of our commitment to invest in supplier diversity while encouraging entrepreneurs, creators, and innovators to dream.

The second year of the program will expand to 50 participating businesses and an enhanced curriculum. We look forward to continuing to share more stories about our work with RICE. To learn more about Disney’s Supplier Diversity efforts, visit supplierdiversity.disney.com.

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