Small Business Certification

Many small business owners are somewhat familiar with certification, but aren’t sure if it is a tool that will benefit them.  In short, certification of a small business is a review process that gives formal acknowledgment that a business venture is owned and operated by a qualifying person or people, who are underrepresented in an industry.  In general, to become certified a business must be independently owned and operated, must be organized for profit, and cannot be dominate in its field or industry.

The most common business certifications include: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE); Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE); Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE); 8(a) Designation; HUBZone Business Enterprise (HUB); and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE).

Certification is sought by qualified businesses to help leverage contracts within the private and public sectors.  Certification can be an important marketing tool for expanding a company’s visibility with procurement decision-makers.


Is Certification Right for YOU?

Though there are many benefits to being certified, not all businesses are candidates for certification.  The following questions can help you determine if your business would benefit from certification:

  • Are you looking to do business with corporations and/or government agencies?
  • Does your business have the capacity to fulfill large contracts?
  • Are you willing to share the intimate details of your business – including capital investments, tax returns, and compensation records?
  • Do you have a clear understanding that certification is a marketing tool and does not entitle your company to corporate/government contracts?

As the largest certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the Women’s Business Development Center provides women-owned businesses with the nationally-recognized WBE Certification.  Additionally, the WBDC assists clients in determining if they qualify for other business certifications.

Looking for more information?  The WBDC is offering the following workshops in June:

June 17th – I’m Certified; Now What?  How to Maximize Your WBE Status
Time: 9:00 – 11:30 am
Cost: $45.00
Location:  PepsiCo, 555 W. Monroe, Suite 7-23, Chicago, IL 60661

June 24th – Is Certification Right for You?
Time: 9:30 – 11:00 am
Cost: $10.00
Location: WBDC, 8 S. Michigan, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

For more information or to register, please call 312.853.3477 x 0 or visit www.wbdc.org.

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