Disparity Study Finds Major Growth in MSCS Contracts with M/WBEs. Recommends Efforts to Promote Local Small Business Enterprise Opportunities

The Memphis-Shelby County Schools (MSCS) Board of Education today announced the release of the latest Market Availability and Disparity Study findings and recommendations, analyzing the utilization of Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) doing business with MSCS.

In July 2022, the Board of Education contracted with Griffin & Strong, P.C. (GSPC) to conduct a disparity study to evaluate and make recommendations for contracting and procurement policies and practices concerning minority- and women-owned firms. Griffin & Strong, P.C. is a law and public policy consulting firm based in Atlanta that provides best-in-class Disparity Study research, as well as Supplier diversity, Contract compliance, and Program development consulting.

GSPC analyzed the prime and subcontracting activities for the District’s purchases of Construction, Architecture & Engineering (“A&E”), Professional Services, Other Services, and Goods during the five-year study period based on the District’s fiscal years from FY2018 through FY2022 (“Study Period”). 

The study focused on the availability and utilization of Minority Business Enterprises (“MBE” or “Minority-owned”), and Non-minority Woman-Owned Business Enterprises (“WBE” or “Non-minority Woman”) (collectively “M/WBEs”) and examined the relevant findings to determine if there were statistically significant race or gender-based disparities in the District’s contracting.  

“MSCS has done an excellent job during the study period of ensuring that all firms have an equal opportunity to compete for business,” said Rodney Strong, Esq., a native Memphian and CEO of Griffin & Strong P.C. “Our recommendations are very carefully designed to ensure that MSCS can continue to ensure equal opportunity going forward under the current legal guidelines.” 


  • GSPC recommended policies to continue to eliminate barriers to include locally certified MWSBEs.
  • Due to the success of the MSCS-M/WBE utilization in Construction, Other Services, and Goods/Supplies, 
  • GSPC recommended that MSCS tailor its contracting program to promote opportunities for Small Business in general, which would include small M/WBEs
  • The Small Business Program will provide subcontracting opportunities for SBEs on some of the District's largest supply, service, and construction projects
  • Recommendation to enhance use of Sheltered Market Program
  • The study clarified the MSCS Relevant Marketplace, which includes: Shelby, Tipton, Fayette, DeSoto, Marshall, Tate, Tunica and Crittenden counties. 

Please visit scsk12.org/mwbe to learn more about MSCS SBE/MWBE Program and for more information on doing business with the District.


Please contact MSCS Media Relations at [email protected] for interview opportunities.


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