What is MBE Certification?
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification is a denotation that is given to businesses that are majority-owned by Minorities or other economically disadvantaged segments within the American population. This certification applies to Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic or Native American owned businesses.The MBE Program was created in an attempt to make all state contracts, opportunities, and benefits available to economically disadvantaged businesses without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry.
Do you really need to be certified?
Large corporations have rolled out supplier diversity programs to help streamline their use of diverse suppliers and increase their overarching MBE spend. The United States Federal Government has requirements for businesses to maintain a certain level of MBE spend before they may be considered for any government contracts. Companies that source Minority Owned Businesses or suppliers often see the benefits of these symbiotic relationships come in the form of both state and federal tax breaks and incentives. There are numerous programs on both a federal level and state level that offer tax incentives for business that procure certified MBEs. However, many organizations require third-party or governmental certification for businesses to be considered eligible for supplier-diversity programs. Therefore, a third-party certification and vetting are necessary for you to take advantage of these benefits.
What other benefits are there to certification?
In addition to the access to corporations and diverse businesses mentioned above, other benefits to certification include:
Exposure for your business
Education and training opportunities
Mentorship from more seasoned certified MBEs in your field
-Business is at least 51% Minority owned and controlled
-Minority owner must be a U.S. Citizen or legal resident
-Minority owner must serve as either President or CEO (if both exist in corporate structure)
-Minority owner must have ownership and have been in her ‘officer’ position for at least 6 months
National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
The NMSDC offers assistance to all MBE-certified businesses. The NMSDC network was created to offer support to MBE-certified businesses as they grow into corporate supply chains. As an advocate for better business opportunities, this organization offers networking opportunities, programs, special events, educational resources, and information about the MBE certification.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
As an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MBDA promotes minority-owned business growth through programs, policies, and research. This includes advocating for these businesses with policy makers, business leaders, and elected officials. Through their work, they connect minority-owned businesses with larger contracts and markets to encourage the growth of a diverse supply chain.