MBE, WBE, SBE, CSB, DBE & 8(a) Certification: Frequently Asked Questions
Minority-Business Certification originated at the federal level in 1968 and more recently, at the level of local governments and in the private sector. These programs aim to integrate a diverse supplier base in global business practices. There are laws, such as the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which require the federal government sector to target participation of minority firms that are assessed. Each are measured and re-adjusted regularly for best performance of the participation of the minority business. This process exists at other levels of state and local government.
Many corporate companies automatically subscribe to supplier development programs (based on a good faith effort) that have the same outcome: to increase the supplier base, increase competition, lower the cost of purchases and supplies and promote the participation of minority businesses and/or women-owned. A minority business enterprise (MBE) means that at least 51% of the company is owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged persons or women and that their administration and daily business activities are handled by the same socially and economically disadvantaged owners. The term “socially and economically disadvantaged” refers to U.S. citizens and in most cases residents which are: African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native-Americans, Asian-Americans or Veterans.
Below are frequently asked questions related to certification issues.