The Advocacy-Mentoring Program (AMP) was launched at the recommendation of the University of Missouri System's Advisory Council, a volunteer group convened in 2008 to brainstorm ideas to increase the number of businesses owned by minorities and women that work with the university. The program had two graduation classes (links below) with a third scheduled for July 2015. These mentoring relationships are meant to increase the number of competitive minority and women-owned firms that can do business with the University of Missouri and/or other large firms in the state. Each business is paired with a mentor from a larger firm, and with a team leader from one of the University of Missouri’s four campuses. The Advocacy-Mentoring Program helps businesses grow and become more competitive through strengthening their core business competencies, along with providing good networking opportunities.
The Advocacy-Mentoring Program is just one example of the University of Missouri’s overall commitment to helping entrepreneurs and businesses grow, thereby improving the state’s economy. Through University of Missouri Extension, small businesses can participate in free or low-cost assistance through Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers. One of the goals of these centers is to prepare businesses to compete for government contracting jobs. Additionally, the University of Missouri has a statewide network of 10 research parks and business incubators, designed to help faculty, entrepreneurs and businesses collaborate to move innovative research to the marketplace. As we move forward in our supplier diversity efforts, the university will continue to seek ways to help develop, educate and grow suppliers to be able to compete for larger pieces of business both with us and within the state of Missouri with other large firms.
Torch Award Recipients