Consider Certification for Your Business Success.
Have you been asked by your clients or prospects, "Do you have a women-owned business certification?" or "Are you certified as a minority business enterprise?"
Certification must make sense for your company, as it is an investment in your success. Some questions to ask are:
- How much revenue is generated by customers who want you to be certified? Will that increase with a certification?
- Are prospective customers asking if you are certified?
- Are you losing contracts because you are not certified?
- Are you competing in a market where you are the only woman or minority business providing services?
If the answer is yes to any of these, you should strongly consider certification.
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There is a wide range of benefits to being certified as a minority-owned business enterprise, including:
- Inclusion in Minority Supplier Database
- Access to the Minority Supplier Database
- MBE Designation for your marketing materials
MBE Eligibility Criteria
The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to participate in a local MBE program run by a city, county, or state or the National Minority Supplier Development Council. A for-profit company with headquarters in the United States; 51% owned, run, capitalized, and controlled by a member(s) of the supposed group listed below, who serves the highest defined position and has technical knowledge (experience) in the company's core business;
MBE programs run by a city, county, or state accept US Citizens or legal residents (green cards);.
Group member(s) often consists of:
- Black American: Any black racial group of African descent;
- Hispanic: Individuals from any of the Spanish-speaking areas of the following regions: Mexico, South, and Central America, and the Caribbean Basin; Brazilians (Afro-Brazilian, indigenous/Indian only) shall be listed under Hispanic designation for review and certification purposes.
- Native American: Alaska or Hawaiian native, or member of a state or federal-recognized Indian Tribe. Native American individuals must be documented members of a North American tribe, band, or otherwise organized group of native people who are indigenous to the continental United States and proof can be provided through a National Blood Degree Certificate.
- Asian Pacific: Individuals from the Pacific Islands, China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines,
Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Samoa, Guam, Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, or Indonesia, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific or Northern Marianas.
- Asian-Indian: origins in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, or the Maldives Islands
Certification as a women-owned business can open opportunities with clients who have supplier diversity programs. WBE Certification includes:
- Listing in procurement databases for WBE
- Procurement list of over 1,000 private and public sector purchasing contacts
- WBE designation for your marketing materials
WBE Eligibility Criteria
The following standards must be met in order to participate in a Women's Business Enterprise National Council program or a WBE program run by a city, county, or state:
- a U.S.-based corporation that is for-profit;
- 51% held by a woman or group of women who would have acquired ownership without an inheritance by making a proportionate capital contribution;
- When applicable, a woman or group of women controls the governing board;
- a woman who holds the position and is skilled (has experience) in the company's main line of business;
- female business owners are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Women-Owned Small Business Certification is required for certain federal purchasing programs and has restrictions on the size of the company. There is also a disadvantaged component called the EDWOSB which has further requirements.
- The federal government must award 5% of its prime contracting dollars to WOSBs!
There are other certifications to consider. Most are women or minorities; however, we also work with you to determine suitability for:
- Veteran Owned Business
- LGBTBE Owned Business
- Disabled Owned Business
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Eligibility Criteria
The following minimum standards must be met in order to be eligible for DBE Certification under the program run by the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- By a preponderance of the evidence, applicants must satisfy all criteria for group membership, including those related to individual social and economic disadvantage and company size, ownership, and control as stated in 49 CFR 26 Subpart D;
- The applicant company must be minimally 51% owned, capitalized, controlled, and operated by one or more Americans, or permanent residents (green card), who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
- be a for-profit company within the United States.
- The average annual gross sales for a company may not exceed $23.98 million; the owner's personal net worth does not exceed $1.32 million.
- The qualifying company owner's acquisition of fifty-one percent (51%) business ownership must be genuine, substantial, and in line with the ownership percentage (%);
- An eligible business owner must occupy the top executive position, be in charge of running the day-to-day operations, and have technical expertise in the company's main line of business.