Technical assistance and capacity building

We support a broad range of supplier diversity technical assistance and capacity building initiatives—many of these in collaboration with different community organizations. In particular, our Technical Assistance Program (TAP) offers industry-leading training to a broad base of Women Minority Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (WMDVBEs) and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs). The program divides the provision of technical assistance into three tiers:

  • Tier One is designed so that the utilities support and leverage the numerous existing programs for start-up, micro and small business training and incubation.
  • Tier Two is designed to support the mid-stage, midsize WMDVBEs and LGBTBEs that are ready to work on their growth strategies and strengthen their infrastructures.
  • Tier Three targets already strong and successful WMDVBEs and LGBTBEs that can succeed in the utilities' emerging technology supply chains.

Diverse business workshops (support Tier 1 and Tier 2 TAP)

We continue to strengthen our partnerships with expert organizations to develop diverse business workshops and training programs related to leadership excellence, business management, access to capital, business growth strategies, microenterprise business development, doing business with utilities and more.

Small business administration workshop partnerships

We partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to organize a series of successful, capacity-building workshops and training seminars throughout Northern and Central California. SBA is the only federal agency solely dedicated to providing loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.

Annually, we sponsor four SBA-partnered workshops in Sacramento, San Luis Obispo and San Francisco. We collaborate with the SBA, U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to conduct the trainings. Agenda topics vary in each workshop. In the past, they have included “How to Do Business with PG&E,” “How to Become a Well-Run Business,” “Money Matters—Reading Business Financials” and “Broadening Your Business Base.” PG&E representatives are on hand at each workshop to discuss potential contract opportunities.

Diverse business development training scholarships (support Tier 1 and 2 TAP)

We work with a number of universities to provide robust management development and business growth training programs for diverse entrepreneurs and businesses.

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) program

We sponsor WMDVBEs to attend the UCLA MDE Program. The MDE Program is an intensive certificate program offered to owners and managers of entrepreneurial businesses. It helps the owners develop their management skills and strengthen their ability to build effective organizations. The entrepreneurs devote four to 10 days to attend courses taught by the Anderson School of Business’ award-winning faculty, including Senior Associate Dean and Professor, Dr. Al Osborne.

University of Washington (UW) Minority Business Executive (MBE) program

We also partner with the University of Washington Foster School of Business’ Minority Business Executive Program and provide diverse suppliers with scholarships to attend a UW week-long summer program. UW launched the MBE Program to educate and increase the competitiveness of diverse businesses.

PG&E signature TAP initiatives (support Tier 1, 2 and 3 TAP)

We have developed our signature TAP initiatives to educate diverse suppliers on business topics that could help them gain a competitive edge. We regularly develop new initiatives and refresh existing initiatives to reflect current trends.

Diverse Suppliers are safe

The Diverse Suppliers Are Safe initiative educates diverse suppliers on the importance of developing and improving their company’s safety plans. We offer several workshops annually.

Diverse Suppliers go green

This signature initiative includes online resources and group-based workshops aimed at helping WMDVBEs and LGBTBEs develop and implement their own environmental business strategies.

Diverse Suppliers go global

The purpose of this initiative is to educate and share resources on how to evaluate and participate in the global marketplace. In the past, the initiative has included speakers from the White House, U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, the Center for International Trade Development, Export-Import Bank, eBay, PayPal and the Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.

Diverse Suppliers are cyber-secure

Small businesses are quickly becoming targets for criminals looking to access sensitive data. This is because attackers are aware that small businesses usually have limited resources that they can dedicate to information system security. With possibly the first cybersecurity initiative in the country specifically created for the diverse business community, we aim to strengthen the cybersecurity of our diverse suppliers through education.

Protection of sensitive data such as invoices, payroll records, client and employee data, and other proprietary information is essential to the success of small businesses. Business owners need to know how to identify information security vulnerabilities that could put their companies at risk.