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Minority Women Business Enterprise

A Minority or Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) certification can provide access to new funding opportunities, as well as public and private programs designed to grow and sustain your business.

What is an MWBE?

An MWBE is defined as a company that is primarily led (51 percent or more owned and operated) by a woman or an individual that is at least 25 percent African American, Asian, Hispanic or Native American. If the company is publicly traded, then the stock must be at least 51 percent minority-owned as well.

Why would a business consider an MWBE certification?

As a certified MWBE, you could have access to federal, state, local and corporate contracts and other resources, which may include grants, loans, marketing assistance, business mentorship or small business training. There are also federal tax incentives for businesses that choose to work with MWBE certified businesses, and some states provide tax incentives to companies that hire minority subcontractors. In addition, an MWBE often gains access to an expanded business network, new opportunities and reputation benefits after completing the rigorous certification process.

What other Minority Business Enterprise Certifications are there?

  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) – A firm must be a small business owned and controlled by socially- and economically-disadvantaged individuals. Certification is determined by many factors, including interviews, stock ownership and financial capacity.
  • Veteran-owned Small Business (VOSB) – At least 51 percent of the business or the stock is owned by one or more veteran(s); the business operations are controlled by one or more veterans.
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business (SDVOSB) – At least 51 percent of the business is owned or controlled by one or more American Veteran(s) with service-connected physical or mental impairments.
  • LGBTQ+ Business – Businesses that are majority-owned by LGBTQ+ individuals may be eligible to receive official certification from The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the third-party certification that awards the NGLCC Certified LGBTBE®designation.

How does a business become certified as an MWBE?

The federal government, state, local agencies and private sector all provide their own certification criteria and processes.

If you want to receive public contracts, you will likely need federal certification through the Small Business Administration’s Minority Business Development Program.

If you are interested in qualifying for the funding benefits, educational, training and networking resources described above, but do not have an interest in securing public contracts, you can apply for a state MWBE certification with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).

How can a banking partner assist minority or women-owned businesses?

In addition to providing business banking products, such as checking and savings accounts and credit cards, certain banks may have or support special lending programs for minority or women-owned businesses. Your banker may also connect you with other resources to aid you in the certification process or to grow your business, such as business development groups, incubators and potential referral sources.

Notices & Disclosures
This material is provided for general information and educational purposes. The material has been extracted from various sources that First National Bank of Pennsylvania believes reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or integrity of the material. The information in these materials may change at any time without notice.

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