Did you know that billions of dollars are being awarded EVERY year to small, minority, women, disabled and veteran owned businesses? Yes, and you deserve to get a share of it. How? So glad you asked! You need to #GetCertified and tap into the organizations and resources that are available to you on the local, state and national level.

Does getting certified guarantee that you’ll win a contract? No. Getting certified is like buying a ticket to an exclusive dance. It gives you access to the dance but doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get asked to dance. That part is up to you!

Did you also know that federal government agencies, large corporations, and city municipalities looking to buy products, goods and services often set goal percentages and/or award contracts specifically to women? Yes ma’am! What are they buying? Great question! Everything from pens and paper, dirt, furniture, to training services and everything in-between. You’d be surprised what they buy. Is it worth $$$ it to spend time pursuing it? Absolutely! Don’t sleep; these contracts can be reliable sources of income. You can quickly go from generating $100,000 in annual revenue to generating $1,000,000 in annual revenue with one contract!

In addition to the coins you’ll earn, getting certified can also come with a fair share of benefits. Benefits like free or low-cost training, mentoring, and invitations to attend exclusive events to name a few.

Want to learn more? Awesome! We’re planning a little something-something soon. In the meantime, we’ve assembled a list of 8 types of certification you should consider pursuing.

National Certifications

1.      Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): WBENC is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. Certification: Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)

2.     National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC): The NMSDC connects certified, minority-owned suppliers with thousands of corporate members, providing access to influential private-sector buyers. Certification: (MBE) Minority Business Enterprise

3.     U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT): USDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program offers small businesses owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to compete for federally funded highway, transit and airport contracts. Certification: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

4.     U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): With a goal of awarding at least five percent of annual contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses, the federal government established the 8(a) Business Development program. Participating companies can compete for set-aside contracts, form joint ventures with other firms and receive assistance navigating federal guidelines. Certification: 8(a)

 5.     U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program offers federal contracting preferences to companies operating in areas with proven economic needs, including rural counties, Indian lands and disaster areas. The federal government's goal is to award at least three percent of all federal contracting dollars to HUBZone-certified small businesses each year. Certification: HUBZone

6.     U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): The Veterans Affairs Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization affords verified firms owned and controlled by Veterans and Service-disabled Veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set asides. Certification: Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB)

Local, Regional, State Certifications

7.     Local/Regional Certifications: Check with your government agencies in your local region to see if they offer certifications for small businesses. Here are a few examples:

City of Houston: The City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity certifies Minority, Women, and Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprises, Small Business Enterprises, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Certifications: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise (PDBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE)

City of New York: The City of New York certifies Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise, the Emerging Business Enterprise and the Locally-based Business Enterprise. Certifications: Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE), Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE), Locally-based Business Enterprise (LBE)

City of Chicago: The City of Chicago certifies Minority and Women-Owned Businesses. Certifications: Minority and Women-Owned Business (M/WBE)

8.     State Certifications: Check with your government agencies in your state to see if they offer certifications for small businesses. Here are a few examples:

State of Texas: The State of Texas offers a certification program for Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses. Certification: (HUB) Historically Underutilized Business

State of California: The State of California offers a CPUC supervised voluntary Supplier Diversity Program for Women, Minority, Disabled Veteran and/or LGBT Business Enterprises. Certification: General Order 156 (WMDVLGBTBE)

State of Georgia: The State of Georgia certifies Minority and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Certifications: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)