Fifth Third Bank, National Minority Development Council Launch Certificate Program for Small Businesses

CINCINNATI—Fifth Third Bank, National Association, in collaboration with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, has announced the launch of its NMSDC Centers of Excellence Certificate Program (COECP). The program will last for nine months and will involve selected minority-owned private businesses that are NMSDC-certified Class II businesses, with annual sales between $1 million and $10 million and that have a minimum of five employees. It will strengthen corporate supplier selection processes and help minority businesses compete in a global environment. The program is made possible through the Bank’s relationships with the Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Mid-States and Chicago MSDC regional councils.

Kala Gibson, head of Business Banking and chief enterprise corporate responsibility officer at Fifth Third and NMSDC board member, explained the Bank’s dedication to providing resources to MBEs. “Small, minority businesses are vital to our nation’s stability and economy. We are committed to offering best-in-class services and equipping these business owners with the information and access they need to help them successfully compete and secure business growth opportunities in the marketplace.”

The new certificate program is designed to empower minority entrepreneurs and give them a competitive advantage that will assist them with securing contracts with Fifth Third and other large companies. The virtual program includes instruction from Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, as well as coaching, mentoring, meetings, seminars and assignments from Fifth Third and NMSDC executives and NMSDC-certified minority business owners. The program will:

  • Support the growth of NMSDC-certified Class II MBEs by sharing business skills and best practice information that is necessary to grow their company to the next level.
  • Enhance opportunities for NMSDC-certified businesses to enter partnerships, joint ventures, strategic alliances or teaming agreements, secure larger contracts, and grow to a global scale.
  • Develop results-focused coaching and mentoring relationships between MBE participants, Fifth Third corporate and corporate plus members and Class III MBEs.
  • Create a stronger supply chain for Fifth Third and additional NMSDC corporate members.

We are delighted to support this capacity building and learning experience to position MBEs to add value to the Fifth Third Bank supply chain and the communities in which many of our employees and customers reside,” said Marsha Thornton, vice president and director of supplier diversity.

The Bank’s new certificate program is part of Fifth Third’s $2.8 billion commitment that will provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, $60 million in financial accessibility and $40 million in philanthropy as part of its Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The commitment is focused on four strategic pillars that directly impact customers and communities with targeted outcomes enabling the Bank to track progress and measure success in the areas of strategic investments, access to capital, financial inclusion and education, and social justice and advocacy. Establishing the certificate program at Fifth Third is part of the Bank’s commitment to financial education and inclusion.

The national Centers of Excellence Certificate Programs are part of the NMSDC’s In This Together campaign, which started in 2020. The campaign focuses on amplifying the organization’s advocacy for supplier diversity and economic inclusion domestically and globally.

Jose Turkienicz, NMSDC Board Chairman, said that the organization is pleased to collaborate with the Bank. “Corporate partners like Fifth Third are essential in our creating and delivering valuable opportunities for MBEs that will empower them to thrive.”

To learn more about Fifth Third’s COECP, please send an e-mail to

About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of Dec. 31, 2020, Fifth Third had $205 billion in assets and operated 1,134 full-service banking centers and 2,397 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 52,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of Dec. 31, 2020, had $434 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $54 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.

Chartered in 1972, The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) was stood up because of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and continues to be the leading minority business development organization in the United States. NMSDC supports the economic sustainability of more than 12,000 certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) and advances minority business development by facilitating procurement opportunities between its certified MBEs and its network of 455 Corporate Members. NMSDC’s Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native America businesses provides products and services in many industries. The NMSDC network includes a National Office in New York, 23 affiliate regional councils, five international partner organizations and the Business Consortium Fund (BCF) as its funding arm.