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MBE Certification Programs

Minority Business Development--State MBE Certification Programs

Updated October 2012

Among minority business enterprise (MBE) development strategies, perhaps the most well known, are programs designed to encourage minority-owned business growth through facilitated participation in government procurement.  MBE procurement assistance programs often include services such as technical training on government contracting and the bidding process, as well as notification of current bidding opportunities. Providing more direct assistance, some states have “set aside” programs where a certain percentage of government contracting is designated for minority firms. These set asides are expressed as goals that government agencies try to meet, and are not treated as enforceable quotas.

States with set aside programs certify minority-owned businesses as such to ensure that participation in the program is limited to the group it was designed to assist.  The application process for certification often involves submitting a detailed report on the firm along with supporting documents to the certification authority.  The authority may also visit the business site to verify information provided in the application.  The certification process can take as little as 10 days in some states, and up to 90 days in others.

In addition to state-level programs, there are federal programs that also provide direct procurement assistance to minority owned-businesses.  The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8a and SDB programs, as well as the Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) development program, all  involve set asides and certification for federally-funded government procurement.

At least 41 states and Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have state-level MBE development programs involving certification for participation in state government procurement independent of existing federal DBE development programs in both funding and administration.  The following chart contains a list of states with these programs, information on their administrative structure, and links to their respective websites.

NCSL Contacts:  Luke Martel, Policy Specialist, Denver, 303-364-7700
                             Qiana Flores, Research Analyst II, Denver, 303-364-7700

NOTE: NCSL is not an MBE certifying organization.  This chart is for information purposes only. 


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STATES
ADMINISTERING AGENCY / PROGRAM TITLE               
Alabama
Department of Economic and Community Service Office of Minority Business Enterprise *
Alaska
No information at this time.  No information at this time.
Arizona
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Native American Business Enterprise Center
  Private Organization Minority Business Enterprise Center
Arkansas
Economic Development Commission Small and Minority Business Division
California
National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Native American Business Enterprise Center
  Unified Certification Program Disadvantaged Business Enterprise  
Colorado
Office of Economic Development and International Trade Minority Business Office*
Connecticut
Department of Administrative Services Supplier Diversity (Set-Aside) Program*
Delaware
Office of Management and Budget Office of Supplier Diversity
District of Columbia
Private Organization Minority Business Enterprise Center*
Florida
Department of Management Services Office of Supplier Diversity
Georgia
University of Georgia Small Business Development Center Office of Minority Business Development
  Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute Minority Business Development Agency Center
Guam
No information at this time. No information at this time.
Hawaii
University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu Minority Business Enterprise Centers
Idaho
No information at this time.  No information at this time.
Illinois
Department of Central Management Services Business Enterprise Program for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities*
  Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. Minority Business Enterprise Program
Indiana
Department of Administration Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Division*
  Indiana Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Development Agency Center
Iowa
Department of Inspections and Appeals Targeted Small Business Certification Program*
Kansas
Department of Commerce Office of Minority and Women Business Development*
Kentucky Finance Administration Cabinet Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification Program*
Louisiana
No information at this time. No information at this time.
Maine No information at this time. No information at this time.
Maryland
Department of Transportation Office of Minority Business Enterprise*
Massachusetts
Executive Office for Administration and Finance Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance*
Michigan
Private Organization Minority Supplier Development Council
Minnesota
Department of Administration Targeted Group/Economically Disadvantaged Small Business Program
Mississippi
Development Authority Minority Business Certification Program*
Missouri
Office of Administration Office of Equal Opportunity*
Montana
Private Organization Indian Business Alliance
Nebraska
No information at this time. No information at this time.
Nevada
No information at this time. No information at this time.
New Hampshire
No information at this time. No information at this time.
New Jersey
International Council for Business Opportunity Minority Business Enterprise Center*
New Mexico
American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico Native American Business Enterprise Center
New York
Empire State Development Division of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development*
North Carolina
Institute of Minority Economic Development Minority Business Enterprise Center*
  Department of Administration Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses
North Dakota
United Tribes Technical College Native American Business Enterprise Center
Ohio
Private Organization Central Ohio Minority Business Association
  Development Services Agency Minority Business Enterprise/Encouraging Diversity, Growth & Equity Unit*
Oklahoma
Private Organization Native American Business Enterprise Center
Oregon
Business Oregon Office of Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business*
  Private Organization Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs
Pennsylvania
Department of Community and Economic Development Minority Business Development Authority
  The Enterprise Center Minority Business Enterprise Center
Puerto Rico
Private Organization Minority Business Enterprise Center
Rhode Island
Department of Administration Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Office*
South Carolina
Office of the Governor Office of Small and Minority Business Assistance*
  Private Organization Minority Business Development Agency Center
South Dakota
United Tribes Technical College Native American Business Enterprise Center
Tennessee
Office of the Governor Office of Diversity Business Enterprise
  Department of Treasury Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program*
Texas
Comptroller of Public Accounts Historically Underutilized Business Program*
Utah
 No information at this time.  No information at this time.
Vermont
Agency of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program*
Virginia
Office of the Governor Department of Minority Business Enterprise*
Washington
Office of the Governor Office of Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises*
  Seattle Business Assistance Center Minority Business Enterprise Center*
West Virginia
 No information at this time.  No information at this time.
Wisconsin
Department of Administration Minority Business Program*
Wyoming
Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program*

(*) Indicates offices which provide assistance and services to women-owned businesses as well.  

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