Intentionality with Dominique Featuring Reuben Essandoh of Capital One

Intentionality Episode 12

Welcome to another episode of Intentionality with Dominique with your host Dominique Simpson Milton, sponsored by the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council and Capital One. In today’s segment, we are joined by Reuben Essandoh, Director of Procurement and Supplier Diversity at Capital One.

The mission of this show is to improve the success rate of entrepreneurs and their businesses by sharing the strategies and tactics of successful suppliers.

Understanding Supplier Diversity as Capital One’s Keystone

The narrative of Capital One’s growth is not just a testament to innovation in financial services but a beacon of implementing supplier diversity at the heart of business operations. Reuben Essandoh, Director of Procurement and Supplier Diversity at Capital One, unfolded the company’s commendable journey towards becoming a “technology company that happens to do banking.”

Yet, beyond its technological advances and international expansion, Capital One’s foundational approach to supplier diversity reflects a keen commitment to uplifting communities and embracing the full spectrum of talent and solution providers in the marketplace.

Why Supplier Diversity?

Supplier diversity is not about ticking boxes for Capital One; it’s an integrated mission aiming to “Change Banking for Good.” The design of potentially world-altering programs such as Catapult, Sage, and their mentoring initiative is hinged on the belief that supporting businesses at the local level propels economies forward, proving mutually beneficial.

The economic impact speaks volumes, with every dollar invested in minority-owned businesses returning approximately $1.72 to the economy. But beyond raw numbers, the ethos of doing business at Capital One revolves around creating viable, lively, and diverse economic ecosystems where businesses, especially those owned by minorities, can thrive and contribute meaningfully.

More Than a Check: Intellectual Capital and Developmental Programs

Capital One’s approach goes beyond financial contributions, venturing into realms of providing intellectual capital through robust developmental programs. Whether through Catapult’s innovation-driven problem-solving sessions or Sage’s enablement of concise business planning, the goal remains consistent: to develop entrepreneurs who are resilient, adaptable, and ultimately more successful in their ventures.

For instance, the tale of a business transition sparked by participation in the Catapult program illustrates the transformative power of supplier diversity initiatives. From identifying a fundamental problem to iterating a business model that subsequently revolutionizes market offerings, Capital One’s programs provide more than just funding—they empower visionary rethinking of entrepreneurial endeavors.

A Vision Worth Rallying Around

Capital One’s intentional inclusivity and dedication to nurturing minority businesses showcase a pioneering vision that champions diversity not only as a moral imperative but as an invaluable business strategy. Investing in heterogeneous supply chains and supporting minority-owned businesses affords Capital One, and any organization walking this path, a vantage point resonant with innovation, broadened perspectives, and deeper community engagement.

Taking Action

As we peel back the layers of Capital One’s dedication to supplier diversity and the fostering of minority businesses, it becomes apparent that their actions serve as a template for intentional inclusivity—a model that transcends industry niches and sizes.

  • Are your organization’s diversity and inclusivity efforts mirroring your mission and values as concisely as Capital One demonstrates?
  • How might your business realign its strategies to empower and elevate diversity both within and in the broader community it serves?

It’s about re-envisioning the role of supplier diversity as the cornerstone not just for corporate responsibility but as a strategic innovation lever, one that anticipates and adapts to the evolutionary keeps of the marketplace.

Key Takeaways

  1. Embracing Supplier Diversity: Recognize the mutual benefits that come from investing in diverse, minority-owned businesses—economic returns, community upliftment, and a richer, more ambitious supplier network.
  2. Intellectual Contributions Matter: Extending support beyond financial investments by volunteering knowledge, training, and mentorship can forge deeper connections and have a longer-lasting impact on minority-owned businesses.
  3. Build With Intentionality: Supplier diversity and intentional inclusivity should permeate every layer of business strategy and operations, reflecting a genuine commitment to changing business for good.
  4. Be Data-Driven: Let facts lead the way. The statistics showing the economic impact of investing in minority-owned businesses bolster the case for diving headfirst into supplier diversity efforts.

Visit for more resources on supplier diversity and to connect with a community dedicated to intentional business growth. Remember, in the words of Dominique Simpson Milton, “we must always, always remain intentional to gain knowledge, skills, and connections so we can grow and thrive in business.”

Connect with Reuben Essandoh

Don’t miss this chance to unlock new opportunities for your minority-owned business. Register for the Business Opportunity Conference 2024 today and take the first step towards a brighter, more successful future.

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