The Office of Minority Business Enterprise administers a certification program to identify small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses capable of providing goods and/or services to both government and private sectors. Certification provides these businesses with a stamp of approval affirming that they are a credible business entity. Certification is valid for two years.
The office encourages minority- and women-owned businesses to register with the Alabama Department of Finance’s Purchasing Division in order to receive bid solicitations. Visit their website for requirements on becoming a state vendor and include a copy of your approved vendor registration along with your certification application from this office. Note: this office does not require a business to become a state vendor as a condition for certification.
The office works closely with the Office of Small Business Advocacy (part of the Alabama Department of Commerce) to promote small business development and advocate on their behalf. Other agencies and programs that provide valuable information and technical assistance to business enterprises in areas such as financing, procurement, start-up and expansion, and accounting, to name a few, are the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, the Alabama Small Business Administration, the Alabama Procurement Technical Assistance Center Program and others.
A minority business is a socially and/or economically disadvantaged commercial entity that has one or more minority or female owners with a controlling interest in the business enterprise. See the sections below for eligibility requirements and certification benefits.
In order to be eligible for minority or woman-owned certification, an applicant business must meet certain requirements that include, but are not limited to the following:
- A business must be at least 51 percent minority/woman-owned, controlled and operated on a daily basis
- Must have been in operation for at least one year prior to applying for minority business certification status
- Must have a legal presence (license) to operate in Alabama
- Majority owner(s) must be a legal resident of the United States by birth or naturalization
- Must be socially disadvantaged (defined as those individuals who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice, sexual or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities)
- Must be economically disadvantaged (defined as those individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities)
- Must be a member(s) of an officially designated socially disadvantaged group such as African-American, Native American or Alaskan Native, Hispanic-American, Women, Asian-Pacific American, and Asian-Indian American
Benefits of Certification
As a certified minority- or woman-owned business enterprise a company will:
- Receive notification of state business opportunities
- Receive access to training opportunities
- Receive notice of upcoming events such as networking opportunities
- Appear in a listing of certified businesses for possible contracting / sub-contracting opportunities
- A simplified re-certification process
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Small Business Financing
(334) 353-3966 | Scott.Stewart@adeca.alabama.gov