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Put People First

Certify your business

Being a diverse-owned supplier can help your business stand out from the competition. Find out if certification is right for you.

Article

Estimated time: 5m

Many Black business owners like you are making connections with sourcing agents at Fortune 500 companies that control billions of dollars and joining networks of other rising Black entrepreneurs by certifying their company as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).

What is an MBE?

An MBE is a business that is owned and operated by people of color and that has the size, stability and cash flow to deliver large contracts for some of the biggest corporations in the U.S.

Why certify?

Not all Black-owned businesses can or should certify, but if your business is established and you have plans to grow, preparing for certification can help you connect to opportunities when you're ready.

Certified MBEs:

  • Connect to buyers who are committed to working with Black-owned businesses
  • Create more direct and effective paths to receive contracts with large corporations
  • Unlock opportunities for new sources of capital
  • Gain referral opportunities both from suppliers and other MBEs
  • Get access to local support, training and events

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.

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For informational/educational purposes only: The views expressed in this educational website and associated resources may differ from those of other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Views and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results. Participants compensated.

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