LearnUnlock the Value of Minority/Women Owned Business Certification

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Emily Schweiss
writes on September 16, 2020

At Treehouse, we value empowerment through education. That includes sharing resources that can benefit our clients—like how to get your business M/WBE certified, and offering support to those who have that certification.

While we already work with many businesses, large and small, who are in need of technical training for their teams, we are intentionally seeking out ways to support business owners who identify as women and/or BIPOC. To that end, we will be offering a discounted rate on our Treehouse for Teams accounts to any business that holds one (or both) of these certifications:

Benefits of M/WBE Certification

Along with recognition, each of these certifications comes with a wealth of benefits. For businesses that are owned by women and/or BIPOC, obtaining a M/WBE certification can unlock access to grants and other financial resources such as longer-term financing options and tailored financial advisory services.   

Many large businesses with deep pockets actively seek out suppliers who hold these certifications as a part of their Supplier Diversity Plans. You will be provided with avenues, such as Business Opportunity Fairs and RFPs, to tap into potential new revenue streams.  You will also be given the opportunity to network with businesses owners of similar identities so you can easily collaborate on joint ventures with other entrepreneurs. And, as a member, you can leverage customized training resources and leadership tools.

Getting Certified

The basic requirements are pretty straightforward.  To be considered: 

  • Your business must be owned and controlled at least 51% by a minority/group of minorities (for MBE) or a woman/group of women (WBE)
    • The NMSDC defines a minority group member as an individual who is a U.S. citizen with at least one quarter of the following: Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and/or Native American.
  • Said owner(s) must be active in daily management
  • Said owner(s) must be a US Citizen
  • Said owner(s) must have the ownership and officer position for at least 6 months

Expect to provide documentation and complete an application process (here’s a list of documentation required for WBEs, you can expect similar requirements for MBE). You may be required to host a site visit before admittance. Assuming you have all required documentation ready from the start, you can expect this process to last approximately 90 days. There are fees that do apply, which are scaled based on your company’s annual gross revenue. And, you’ll be expected to periodically re-certify to retain the benefits of membership. If you are a woman of color, you are welcome and able to apply for both certifications for your business. 

Other ways to empower businesses

There are similar programs available for other identities, such as businesses owned by members of the LGBTQ+ community, folx with disabilities,  and Veterans. If you aren’t a business owner or otherwise don’t qualify for these certifications, consider whether or not your business or employer has a Supplier Diversity Plan in place. This is a simple and impactful way you can help fight discrimination by creating economic opportunity and empowering businesses and business owners. 

Bringing diverse perspectives to the table is inclusive and makes solid business sense.  Studies show companies with intentional and effective diversity initiatives have increased productivity, creativity, and revenue. This holds true when diversifying your team and your resources. A supplier diversity program is an actionable way to generate positive economic impact and opportunity for disadvantaged communities in your area. 

One Response to “Unlock the Value of Minority/Women Owned Business Certification”

  1. Awesome article.

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