Norman D. Roussell, CEO, Start SmartNorman D. Roussell, CEO
In times of increasing disruptions and business uncertainties, organizations must focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) to benefit their culture and bottom line. In this pursuit for greater business efficiency, companies are often implementing D&I programs and employing people from various marginalized communities. However, they overlook the fact that D&I is more than policies, programs, and headcounts; it’s about respecting their team’s unique needs, perspectives, and potential.

Established to handhold clients through this complex D&I journey is Start Smart, a company dedicated to helping businesses build competitive and high-performing organizations.

A highly experienced, mission-critical consulting and training firm, Start Smart specializes in helping government agencies, corporations, small businesses, and non-profits address their demanding D&I challenges. With its in-depth domain expertise, the company is ideally positioned to offer best-in-class consulting and training services, helping foster a more inclusive business ecosystem. Its holistic, strategic, and analytical approach to D&I is instrumental in enhancing organizational performance and the bottom line.

Team Start Smart has over 15 years of experience in the D&I space, helping them better understand clients’ unique requirements and develop programs that best aligns with a client’s business objectives. Its proprietary equal business opportunity (EBO) compliance website, EBOComplianceSuite. com, helps the team manage diversity compliance and outreach on everything from small, short-term projects to multi-year, multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects.

Illustrating Start Smart’s service excellence and how the firm began in the D&I space, was its collaboration with a prominent client from New Orleans. The client approached Start Smart to manage their supplier diversity consulting initiatives for post-Katrina/ Rita* (hurricanes) infrastructure rebuilding programs.

To meet their requirements, Norman and his team re-engineered and supervised the $1.2 billion-dollar state and local disadvantaged business enterprise program (SLDBE) and increased D&I participation on city contracts from 16 to 32 percent in less than 15 months.

Start Smart also offers comprehensive training workshops like Success through Certifications to help small and emerging firms secure D&I certifications, and multiple module training programs, Contractor’s College and the RETI Program to help entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. Since Start Smart owns all their intellectual property, the company can deliver customized training solutions to clients without the extraordinary cost of starting from scratch.

All of Start Smart’s service offerings are specially crafted to make a difference in the D&I space, ensuring high levels of quality at a competitive pricing

“All of Start Smart’s services are designed to make a difference in the D&I space for our clients and the communities where they operate,” says Norman D. Roussell, CEO of Start Smart. “Our goal is to provide equal business opportunities to the small business clients of our clients, regardless of their socio-economic status as entrepreneurs. This helps create a level playing field for small, disadvantaged, minority-, and women-owned to bid and perform on large public and private sector contract opportunities.”

Reporting is another area where Start Smart excels. To facilitate error-free data accumulation for reporting, Start Smart creates customized forms and management tools to present critical and relevant data in an easy-to-understand dashboard format.

For example, one of Start Smart’s clients had to report its diverse supplier spending and participation to local government agencies and boards. To meet the specifications, Start Smart created customized, client-specific forms and reports to capture all the information in a way that all the stakeholders could understand more easily.

“Start Smart will continue to work with clients to build world-class D&I programs and improve opportunities for the small businesses they serve,” Norman D. Roussell.