What is a Minority Business Enterprise?
A minority business enterprise (MBE) is a certification designation offered by the National Minority Supplier Development Council to for-profit, U.S.-based enterprises owned and operated by one or more minorities.
In the case of a publicly traded company, one or more minorities own at least 51 percent of the stock, and one or more minorities control management and daily business operations. For small businesses doing business with the federal government, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a minority business designation.
How do you qualify for MBE?
To become certified, go to the website of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). MBE certification criteria include the following:
- U.S. citizenship
- A minority owns and operates at least 51% of the company. In the case of a publicly traded company, one or more minority group members own at least 51% of the stock.
- The company must be a for-profit enterprise with a physical presence in the United States or one of its trust territories.
- The minority ownership member must be in charge of management and day-to-day operations.
What are the benefits of being a minority business enterprise?
1. Access to client and customer databases
A certified minority-owned business will have access to a large database that promotes supplier diversity and connects them with prospective customers who may benefit from the product or service, resulting in increased profitability. Furthermore, interested buyers who can connect with the company will have access to their business. This database is used by major corporations and government agencies, which creates enormous opportunity for the minority-owned business community as a whole.
2. Increased opportunities for business partnerships
Governments and corporations throughout the United States frequently set aside a percentage of their contract budgets solely for minority-owned businesses. As part of a diversity programme, many corporations and government entities make it a priority to partner with, support, or work with minority-owned businesses. These corporations will seek out certified businesses for their supplier relations to ensure they are working with businesses from a variety of backgrounds. Increased visibility to larger companies looking to partner with your company is a huge benefit for minority-owned businesses looking to expand their market.
3. Workshops for training, management, and technical assistance
Another advantage of becoming certified is having access to a variety of workshops, training programmes, and mentorship programmes. The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) organises a number of events, including Leadership Week and Building a Successful Diverse Business, as well as an Advanced Management Education Program. Connecting with other business owners and learning trade secrets keeps your company agile and helps avoid some of the common pain points that small businesses face.
4. Opportunities for networking
The company will gain access to events and conferences that bring together major organisations and other minority-owned businesses as a result of the certification. These events provide educational insights, tools, and a community to assist the business's growth. Owners can connect with other certified companies at NMSDC-sponsored events to compare experiences, form partnerships, and share resources.