How To Get Certified As A Minority
Getting your business officially certified as minority-owned can open up new opportunities for federal, state, local and corporate contracts.
In addition to the National Minority Supplier Development Council certification, there are several federal and local certifications for minority-owned businesses, as well.
Governments and corporations around the United States often set aside a percentage of their contract budgets exclusively for minority-owned businesses. These entities want to ensure they are doing their part to buy from a broad set of suppliers that better represent all communities.
However, if a business wants its operation to be formally recognized as a minority-owned business or enterprise, it should seek to get an official certification. This shows first that the business is credibly established and second that it is ready to work with large public and private entities.
Read below to learn about how to get certified as a minority-owned business and how this certification can help a business get more contracts from large companies and governments.
Government Contracts For Woman
byKyle BernalMay 16, 2022, 11:11 am
Every year, government agencies spend billions on goods and services. Thats a lot of money to be spent on supplies, services, and equipment! Its also an opportunity for women-owned businesses to get a piece of these procurement dollars.
Whether you are just starting a female-owned business or looking for more information on the available resources, the following information will help you start or advance your business and take advantage of government contracting opportunities.
Certification And 8 Business Development Program
The governments primary goal is to allocate five percent of all federal contracting funding to small disadvantaged businesses. But there are more benefits that minority-owned firms can have.
In the 8 certification program, a disadvantaged business enterprise can:
- Participate in the programs set-aside and sole-source contracts.
- Obtain the assistance of a Business Opportunity Specialist to assist in navigating federal government contracting.
- Using the SBAs Mentor-Protégé Program, form joint ventures with established businesses.
- Get managerial and technical aid, such as business resources training, counseling services, business certification process, marketing help, and high-level executive development.
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Government Contracts For Minority
Did you know that the government has contracting dollars set aside for minority-owned businesses?
I know you may have heard about all the paperwork necessary to qualify to do business with the government as well as going through the bid process. But I have to ask is it not worth it?
My personal experience is that it takes just as much work to acquire a small contract as it does a larger contract.
Dont be afraid of a little work. To be positioned to do business with the government is hard work, time-consuming, but it can be very rewarding.
Believe me, its a totally different feeling between winning a $50,000 or $100,000 contracts versus a $100,000,000 contract. Just ask Ernesco. She shared how it changed her life and I know how it has changed not only my life but my child as well.
In this episode, Im sharing exactly what you need to know before you make a decision about government contracting for your minority-owned business.
Lets dive in!
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Small Business And Minority
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. With that in mind, various obligations are imposed by the government on federal contracts. As a result, opportunities are exclusively set aside for small businesses. They may consider the number of employees and annual revenue to determine eligibility. Additionally, vendors who promote affirmative action within their organization and focus on employing veterans and disabled individuals are given priority.
The federal government sets a monetary goal to award contracts to small and minority-owned businesses annually. In 2020 it exceeded its 23 percent goal for small businesses and three and five percent for service-disabled veteran-owned and small, disadvantaged businesses, respectively. Of the billions spent on vendors last year, 26 percent or $145.7 billion in prime contract dollars and $89 billion in subcontracts were awarded to small businesses.
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What Is A Wosb Contract
The women-owned small business federal contract program provides opportunities for WOSBs eligible to compete for set-aside contracts with women-owned businesses. The program also provides opportunities for economically disadvantaged WOSBs to compete for contracts set aside for EDWOSBs. This is an effort to reach their 5% goal of federal contracting dollars allotted for women-owned small businesses.
Eligibility requirements for WOSBs
- Must be a small business as stated in the NAICS code
- It should be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women that are U.S. residents
- Female owners should prove that they are economically disadvantaged
Local PTAC counselors can help you determine which certification option is right for your business. You can also contact your states PTAC office directly to determine if they offer certification or similar services. The following are some examples of businesses certification options:
Third-party certification process
Businesses can also apply for WOSB and EDWOSB certifications through organizations approved by the SBA or the third-party certifiers. The amount to pay starts at $380. Applicants pay more if they cannot provide the requested information on a specific date. The certification process lasts from 6 to 8 weeks to finish.
Minority Contracts: How They Work And Getting Funding
The federal government awards more contracts than nearly any other business in the United States. As part of a commitment to providing help to small businesses, the government commits to offering slightly more than 20 percent of all contracts to small business owners, including women-owned and minority owned businesses. Before obtaining a contract however, a business must apply for minority-owned business status.
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Stake Your Claim: How Minority
September 28, 2021 by ProPricer
Minority-owned small businesses face a unique set of challenges that come with being underrepresented. Nevertheless, potential is ripe in the field of government contracting.
For fiscal year 2020, the government awarded $145.7 billion in prime contracts to small enterprises, with minority-owned small businesses receiving a whopping $7.285 billion.
Federal law requires 23% of all federal contracting dollars to go towards small firms. With the right tools, minority-owned small businesses can position themselves to command an even larger piece of the pie than they currently have, collectively.
The best place to start is with certification programs. Not only do they offer a host of resources, they also provide access to set-asides and sole-sources, placing your business at the governments front doorstep.
Dont Be Limited By Industry Or Sector
As a contractor, its important not to focus on just one industry. There are several sectors to choose from. Below are some of the top sectors where government agencies are regularly soliciting products and services for to maintain operations:
Here are some of the top contracts listed by the General Services Administration :
- Information technology equipment, software and services
- Professional services
- Mission-oriented business integrated services
- Professional engineering services
- Total solutions for law enforcement and security
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What Is A Minority Owned Business
These are business entities which have received certification as a minority-owned business. According to Minority and Women Business Enterprises a business may be certified if they are:
A minority-owned business is a for-profit enterprise, regardless of size, physically located in the United States or its trust territories, which is owned, operated and controlled by minority group members. Minority group members are United States citizens who are Women, Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American.
Transparency In Government Contracting
The thing about government contracting that I absolutely love is that its designed to be fully transparent. As a regular citizen in Boston or New York or anywhere, you could go onto your local website and you could figure out when projects are coming up, whom products have been awarded to, andthrough accessing resources like the SBA, the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers , and agencies like the Womens Business Development Centers you could develop a strategy to identify what projects are going be a good fit for you and strategically go after them.
I think a lot of people get frustrated with the process because they think that its rigged or the project is just awarded to someone. The bottom line is that successful government contractors spend time and resources in marketing their services to specific agencies. Theres a relationship factor thats a part of it as well. Government people are regular folks, so they like to do business with people they know, like and trust. So in doing business with the government, theres a marketing aspect to be considered.
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Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency , an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses offers various targeted grants and loans throughout the year. Some examples of grants include an Entrepreneurship Education Program for Formerly Incarcerated Persons Grant and an Enterprising Women of Color Grant Competition. Minority-owned businesses can also take advantage of MBDA Business Centers that are located around the country. These centers can help companies with securing capital, competing for a contract, identifying a strategic partner, or becoming export-ready.
How To Become Certified As A Small Minority Woman Or Veteran
For a vendor, being certified as a small business, MWBE, VBE or other special designation has many benefits when it comes to bidding on government contracts. When a government agency posts a bid, they are obliged to award 23% of all contracting dollars to small businesses in addition, they have award sub-goals that they must meet for each small business category. For example, women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses must each be awarded 5% of a contracts total dollar value, while Service Disabled Veteran-owned and HUBZone businesses must each be awarded 3% of the total contract.
Government agencies also administer what are called Set-Asides, contracts that are reserved exclusively for small businesses, MWBEs or veteran-owned businesses.
If youre new to government bidding, you might have been unaware of the benefits that certification provides for your business. Becoming certified can take time, but its worth the effort because it guarantees you a fair shot at bidding on, and winning, government contracts.
One question that many small business owners have is How do I get certified? In this article we will discuss the steps you need to take in order to get certified, and link to some resources that will help you with your application and answer any questions you may have about the certification process.
Register Your Business
Working with the Federal Government
The Application and Certification Process
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Government Contracting Program May Be Failing Minority Businesses
A federal program that subsidizes minority-owned businesses is not equipping them for success, a new study finds.
Minorities face all sorts of headwinds when trying to start a business in the United States. Researchers have shown that black people have less access to higher education, receive worse terms when applying for loans, and have fewer self-employed family members from whom to learn the entrepreneurial arts. The fact is that Americans from minority communities are less represented than white people in the countrys business culture.
The U.S. Small Business Administration runs a program designed to change the status quo. Under Section 8 of the Small Business Act of 1953, Congress directed this federal agency to steer government contracts to businesses owned by citizens from minority backgrounds and others with socioeconomic hardships. The 8 Business Development Program, as its known, helps these people with management training, technical assistance and mentoring, and access to government contracts without competition for up to nine years. The idea is to grow businesses in disadvantaged communities, according to the SBA: The 8 program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. The program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.
Get To Know The National Minority Supplier Development Council
When it comes to getting certified, businesses first need to know more about the National Minority Supplier Development Council , the largest and most prominent certification body for minority-owned businesses. The organization says it has an unwavering commitment to advance Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American suppliers in a globalized corporate supply chain.
The NMSDC has a network of 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses that can then be connected to more than 1,400 large corporate members. NMSDC certification also holds a lot of weight in government circles, with many states and cities accepting NMSDC certification to help with public-sector contract selection.
Corporate membership of NMSDC includes many of the largest privately owned companies in the world, including Accenture, Apple, Bank of America, Delta Airlines, Facebook, Google, GM, Microsoft, Nike, Raytheon, UnitedHealth Group, Walmart and Walt Disney Company. These member companies use the NMSDC directly of minority-owned businesses to research companies and award contracts.
The NMSDC has a network of 12,000 certified minority-owned businesses that can then be connected to more than 1,400 large corporate members.
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Veteran Minority & Women Owned Business Resources
Veteran, minority and women-owned small businesses in Texas have a major impact on the states economy. Texas is home to some of the top cities for Hispanic and minority entrepreneurs, and we have frequently been named one of the best states for black entrepreneurship. In addition, Texas is #1 for jobs created by African American, Hispanic and Veteran women business owners. Governor Greg Abbotts goal is for Texas to be the #1 state for veterans, minority and women-owned businesses in the nation.
Here are some of the resources and organizations dedicated to helping veteran, minority and women-owned businesses start-up and grow in Texas.
How Do You Get Awarded Government Contracts
You can begin bidding for and winning minority contracts when youve accomplished all of the preceding processes.
Once the federal government gives the solicitation information for government contractors, they always indicate in their posting if it is open for large contractors, minority-owned enterprises, women, and or small businesses.
Indeed, government contracting as well as get certified is tricky at first glance. But once you get along with it, you will surely master it and instantly get contracts in the future.
There are available resources that you can use as you take the path of the organizations ownership. Any that remains is for you to get a complete awareness and dig deeper into how federal contracts work and all the similar line of information.
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What Is The Difference Between Women Business Enterprise And Women
WOSB certifications are company-level certifications based on SBA standards. The WOSB programs purpose is to ensure equality in federal contracting. WOSB requirements are different from WBEs. See the examples below:
Here are other differences between the two:
Theres A Rise Of Many Unique Resources For Female Entrepreneurs
There are multiple benefits of becoming a certified women business enterprise or a woman-owned small business . However, you must meet specific requirements. For example, companies must at least have 51% ownership by a female. Further, WOSB certifications are obtained from the Small Business Administration . Meanwhile, WBE certifications are awarded by federal, local, or state agencies.
One thing notable is that businesses should be WOSB-certified to be able to compete for federal funding programs. After getting certified, women-owned businesses will enjoy the advantages of getting financial assistance and opportunities and winning government contracts. SBA makes it more favorable as they have announced that their goal is to set aside an award at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses annually.
Aside from federal agencies, there are also hundreds of other companies in the private sector with grants dedicated to female-owned businesses. The grant money may vary from $2000 to $150,000. Some of them are:
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How To Get Government Contracts For Women Minorities And Small Businesses
Many entrepreneurs such as myself create businesses out of a need. Some people are just tired of working at their jobs. Some people are really great at something and decide to be an accountant or a management consultant. But the problem that many entrepreneurs face is that they dont necessarily know all of the other challenges they are going to encounter.
The government provides a number of resources to help entrepreneurs make the decision as to whether or not having a business is for them. It teaches them, free of charge, what they should be looking at, how they should scale up, and those types of things.
I think about the Small Business Administration as an example. Right on their website, they have a number of online courses that a potential business owner can take to see if starting and launching a business is right for them. It covers everything from finance to marketing, and those types of things.
Using the government as a resource, since its a service thats provided free of charge, is a really important first step. You just dont know what you dont know when youre starting a business.