North­eastern played the role of match­maker on Thursday as the uni­ver­sity hosted the third annual Local, Minority, and Women-​​Owned Sup­plier Net­working Event, which aimed to forge working rela­tion­ships between small busi­nesses and some of the Boston area’s most promi­nent institutions.

This event was held in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ball­room and co-​​sponsored by North­eastern and the Sup­plier Diver­sity Office, a state agency ded­i­cated to pro­moting minority-​​​​owned busi­nesses and non­profit organizations.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 300 small busi­nesses attended the event and pitched their goods and ser­vices to about 25 ven­dors, including uni­ver­si­ties from around New Eng­land, state agen­cies such as the MBTA, and the casino industry, a new and growing market in Massachusetts.

During his wel­coming remarks, North­eastern Senior Vice Pres­i­dent and Chief Oper­ating Officer Steven Kadish expressed the university’s con­tinued com­mit­ment to sup­porting small busi­nesses in the Boston area and the impor­tance of these net­working events. In the past year alone, North­eastern, he noted, has engaged with about 15 new firms as a direct result of the event.

We know these larger insti­tu­tions aren’t the eas­iest to find your way around,” Kadish said. “So we are very much trying to make it easier for you to do that through one-​​on-​​one contacts.”

Susan Payne Bacher, vice pres­i­dent of Steere Engi­neering, a struc­tural engi­neering firm based in War­wick, Rhode Island, said the event allows new small busi­nesses like hers the chance to see where their ser­vices are most needed.

Because we are a small and new busi­ness, this event helps us intro­duce our ser­vices to people and learn what these larger insti­tu­tions needs are and how we might be able to meet those needs,” Bacher said.

As she made her way around the room, Bacher stopped to speak with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Museum of Fine Arts, which has been rep­re­sented at the net­working event every year since its incep­tion. Before attending Thursday’s event, Bacher had never con­sid­ered the MFA as a poten­tial insti­tu­tion to work with, but was she soon found her­self learning about how the museum hires struc­tural engi­neers to make ren­o­va­tions to the building.

Kath­leen Yoffe, assis­tant director of pur­chasing for the MFA, noted that the event gives the museum the oppor­tu­nity to expand its vendor net­work. “We are part of Boston and this is Boston,” he said. “We want to uti­lize what is out there. It’s very impor­tant for us to be here and it gives us the chance to grow our vendor database.”

In addi­tion to estab­lishing working part­ner­ships, the event gave the small busi­ness owners the chance to meet with orga­ni­za­tions geared toward helping small busi­nesses grow and flourish, including the Mass­a­chu­setts Small Busi­ness Asso­ci­a­tion and Interise, a Boston-​​based group that pro­vides small busi­ness owners with entre­pre­neurial edu­ca­tion, new net­works, and access to markets.

It’s very impor­tant to be able to offer small busi­nesses access to addi­tional net­works and oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth,” said Johnny Charles, Interise’s Boston pro­gram manager.