Many small disadvantaged business owners are unaware of the numerous small business certifications and assistance programs that are available to aid underprivileged businesses.
(To learn more our business certification services click here). Many of these programs are aimed specifically at overcoming the effects of discrimination, which may be hard for disadvantaged and minority-owned business’ to conquer. It is important to increase awareness of these opportunities, as well as to assist small disadvantaged businesses in obtaining the credentials necessary to compete with larger entities.
There are many government entities, including the Small Business Administration and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council that offer innovative opportunities to assure that small disadvantaged business owners are not left behind in the race for federal contracts. Business certifications such as the SBA’s 8a teach small business owners how to compete in the federal contracting sector and how to take advantage of larger subcontracting opportunities available for large firms as the result of public-private partnerships.
Common Small Business Certifications Include:
In order to help small disadvantaged business owners compete for government contracts, the SBA has created the 8a Business Development Program. This certification is exclusively for businesses that are owned and controlled by 51% or more individuals considered both socially and economically disadvantaged. Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. Click here to read our post on the SBA 8(a) Certification Program explained.
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
The WBENC is a certification program reserved exclusively for small businesses that are owned and controlled by 51% or more women. This national certification allows access to WBENC programs that include resources, mentoring and capacity development. Additionally, more than 700 US corporations and government agencies accept WBENC certification.
Minority Supplier Development Council
Commonly referred to as MSDC, this certification is exclusively for minority-owned businesses. In order to qualify, at least 51% of the business must be owned and controlled by minority US citizens. Benefits of this certification include access to specialized financing, referrals to corporate buyers and a listing in MYISYS – a national database of over 15,000 minority suppliers.
Small business certifications can offer new opportunities for small, disadvantaged business owners; however, the process for applying for inclusion in these programs can be tedious and exhausting. You must meticulously review application requirements and organizational documentation to assure that each your business has the greatest chance at successfully obtaining certifications and subsequently competing for beneficial contracts, thus bolstering profits. you must ensure you know the correct small disadvantaged business classification. These programs are, in effect, the gateway to opportunity for small contractors and subcontractors.
For more information regarding certifications, types of certifications available and requirements, contact us today!