How does the certification process work?
One way to get certified as an MBE is to apply through a local chapter of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). After the local team reviews your application, a representative will visit your worksite and ask a few additional questions. The local representative then sends your information to the national board, which reviews applications and officially certifies businesses. The entire process typically takes 90 days or less.
Local and state governments also have minority- and women-owned business certifications that you can apply for. Keep in mind that NMSDC certification is widely recognized by corporations in the private sector, while government certifications make it easier to access government contract opportunities. When thinking about which certification to apply for, consider your own business strategy. If corporations are your target customers, then NMSDC certification is a good first choice. If you're seeking government contracts, government certifications may be most beneficial.
Diverse businesses can also take advantage of other certifications. There is no limit to the number of certifications your business can earn. The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Disability:IN and the National Veterans Business Development Council (NVBDC) all offer certification programs for their specific communities.