Minority Business Development: State MBE Certification Programs

Updated February 2016

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.

The application process for MBE 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 120 days in others.

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. Some states do not treat these as enforceable quotas while others mandate that government agencies do set aside a number of designated contracts for MBEs. 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. Examples of states with set-asides include:

  • Connecticut—set-aside mandate of 25 percent for small businesses with 25 percent of that amount to be awarded to MBEs. Legislation here.
  • Illinois—state set-side goal of 20 percent.
  • Ohio—state target of 15 percent for MBEs. Legislation here.
  • New York—state target of 30 percent for minority and women-owned businesses and a 6 percent goal for veteran with disability owned businesses. Compilation of codes here.
  • New Jersey—set-aside goal of 25 percent for small businesses.

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, Small Disadvantaged Business and Women-Owned Small Business 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. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that at least 23 percent of all federal government contracting dollars are dedicated for small businesses. In addition, targeted goals for subgroups are also established at the following levels:

  • Women-Owned Small Businesses: 5 percent.
  • Small Disadvantaged Businesses: 5 percent.
  • Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business: 3 percent.

More information about federal set asides from the SBA can be found here.

At least 38 states, 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.

The following chart contains a list of states with these programs, information on their administrative structure and links to their respective websites.

NCSL Contact: Rich Williams, Family Economic Success Program, e-mail: rich.williams@ncsl.org

NOTE: NCSL is not a MBE certification organization. This chart is for information purposes only. NCSL also does not track set aside goals for all states—please refer to program websites listed below for more information about varying programs. 


A-C | D-H | I-L | M | N | O-R | S-U | V-W | Guam, PR and USVI

State Administering Agency Title of Program
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Service Office of Minority Business Enterprise
Alaska Private Organization MBDA Business Center Alaska
Arizona Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs SBE, MBE and DBE Certification Program
  Arizona Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
  Private Organization MBDA Business Center Phoenix
Arkansas Arkansas Economic Development Commission Small and Minority Business Division
California California Department of Transporation California Unified Certification Program
  Department of General Services Office of Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services
  Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise Certification
  California Public Utilties Commission Utility Supplier Diversity Program
Colorado Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Minority Business Office
Connecticut Department of Administrative Services Supplier Diversity Program
  Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Delaware Office of Managament and Budget Office of Supplier Diversity
District of Columbia Private Organization DC Minority Business Enterprise Center
  District Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Florida Department of Service Management Office of Supplier Diversity
Georgia Georgia Minority Supplier Diversity Council Minority Business Enterprise Certification
  Department of Administrative Services/Department of Transportation Minority Business Enterprise Certification
  Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute MBDA Center Atlanta
  University of Georgia Small Business Development Center Office of Minority Business Development
Hawaii Department of Transportation: Office of Civil Rights Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Idaho No information at this time. No information at this time.
Illinois Illinois Department of Central Management Services Business Enterprise Program
Indiana Department of Administration Minority and Women's Business Enterprise Division
Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Targeted Small Business Certification Program
Kansas Department of Commerce Women's and Minority Business Development
Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, Office of EEO and Contract Compliance Minority and Women Business Certification Program
Louisiana Private Organization MBDA Business Center New Orleans
Maine Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Minority Business Enterprise Program
Massachusetts Executive office for Administration and Finance Office of Supplier Diversity
Michigan Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
  Private Nonprofit Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council
Minnesota Department of Administration: Materials Management Division Targeted Group/Economically Disadvantaged/Veteran-Owned Small Business Procurement Program
  Minnesota Unified Certification Program Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
  Minnesota Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Mississippi Mississippi Development Authority: Minority and Small Business Development Division Minority Business Certification Program
Missouri Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity Office of Supplier and Workforce Diversity: MBE/WBE Certification Program
Montana Montana Department of Transportation MDT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
  Private Organization Montana Indian Business Alliance
Nebraska Nebraska Department of Roads Nebraska DBE Unified Certification Program
Nevada Private Organization MBDA Business Center Las Vegas
  Nevada Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
New Jersey New Jersey Department of Transportation Disadvantaged and Small Business Programs Unit
New Mexico Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
  American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico New Mexico Native American Business Enterprise Center
  Private Organization MBDA Business Center Albuquerque
New York Empire State Development Division of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development
North Carolina Department of Administration Office for Historically Underutilized Business
  North Carolina Department of Transportation Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise Program
  Private Organization MBDA Business Center Raleigh
North Dakota North Dakota Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Equal Opportunity Division

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity Program

Note: EDGE Program info here and MBE Program info here.

Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
  Oklahoma Small Business Development Center Minority Owned Business Services
Oregon Business Oregon Certification Office of Business Inclusion and Diversity
Pennsylvania Department of General Services Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities
Rhode Island Department of Administration Rhode Island Minority Business Compliance Office
South Carolina Department of Administration South Carolina Division of SMall and Minority Business Contracting and Certification
  South Carolina Department of Transportation South Carolina Unified Certification Program
  Private Organization MBDA Business Center Columbia
South Dakota South Dakota Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
Tennessee Department of General Services Governor's Office of Diversity Business Enterprise
  Tennessee Department of Treasury Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program
Texas Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Historically Underutilized Business Program
  Texas Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Utah Utah Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Vermont Vermont Agency of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity Small, Women- and Minority-Owned Business/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Washington Washington State Office of Minority & Women's Business Enterprises Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises
West Virginia  West Virginia Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enteprise Program
Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Enterprise Operations

Wisconsin Supplier Diversity Program

Note: More information here

Wyoming Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program
Guam No information at this time. No information at this time.
Puerto Rico Private Organization MBDA Business Center Puerto Rico
  Private Organization Puerto Rico Minority Supplier Diversity Council
U.S. Virgin Islands No information at this time. No information at this time.


Additional Resources