Get Government Contracts With these Business Certifications-
Minority Business Opportunities through Certifications
I scheduled this post for Thursday, January 14th. Facebook must have been listening. Someone posted about the Minority Business Owners Grant Opportunities, in a private group. I believe her post touched on many of the points in this blog entries. So I’ve updated the original title and added “Minority Business Opportunities Through Certifications.” I reached out to her to make a connection for a quote contribution. Haven’t heard back but here is screenshot of her post.
I advise business owners to put certain methods in place, when you first start your business. Turn them into routine and they will become part of the company culture. Every month, there are actions that I take for my businesses to stay current. In December, I ensure all the end of year action items are closed out.
In January, I tackle state and federal applications and renewals- including certifications. The goal is to maintain status as a Certified minority business enterprise to have access to resources needed to expand, and market my services to corporate buyers.
- When I worked in study start-up clinical trial management, we dreaded FDA audits, therefore we remained in compliance by following the FDA Guidance, Processes and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). As a Solo Entrepreneur, I had a hard time keeping up with certificates, business courses, operations and so much more.
- This Year, I’m starting out right by ensure each monthly task doesn’t get dragged into the following month. I have to confess: The Banking, Federal, and State Affairs always scare me. Though there are priority line items, within each sector, I tend to procrastinate on them. I once went to a “How to get your business Minority-Owned Certified” info session. I left more confused than when I first arrived.
Good news! I have found tools to conquer my fears. If you use these tools too, I promise you will get your entities certified and scale-up your venture.
Issue: I went to an in-person information session for minority-owned business looking to bid on Government Contracts. With nearly 300 people in attendance, it was hard to get anyone’s attention to ask specific industry questions. For example, How would I pick a NAICS- SIC Classification on the paper form? Yes, the Minority Owned Business handout was so long and confusing, I took it home, threw it in a draw somewhere.
There has to be a better way, I thought, on my way home. I knew it was important seeking certification. As a veteran and a woman of color, access to Government contract was key to scaling up my operation. Yet, I delayed because I did not understand. I hope you do not delay, start your process as soon as you can.
Now, I’m going to networking events and meeting new people, who are Minority Owned Business Certified. It just seemed like it was a big secret, no-one would share the details. Now, I’m 100% certain if there are that many businesses with certifications, I can get mine online. So searching through various sources, I gathered the certifications that are currently applicable to my business and as a minority.
Internal Certification obtaining processes SOPs have to be put in place, to ensure compliance. I’ve personally filed for as many of my entities myself, but have assigned the data entry to a desk clerk. These certificates are now going to be part of living documents space the clerk has to maintain, update, renew and always be on the lookout for other applicable industry certificates/programs to apply to.
Before I give you the link, I want to advise to learn to file for at least one entity certificate yourself, if you are the business owner. I found many benefits that I doubt my clerk would to know to file for me. Now that I understand the systems, it’s easy to delegate work to a clerk. However, full ownership of certifications is key to being audit ready.
- Have a diverse business (e.g., minority-owned, small business, women-owned, veteran-owned, etc.) to use the following links to apply for certifications.
- Starting out? You’ll need to complete other steps first. I’ll share how to register your business, briefly. However, if you want me to write separate blog entries, in detailed, please let me know in the comments section. Please understand that I will only write about what you want to read, so let’s hear it!
Register your Business – Get an EIN number to get started. The below graphics are from my Masterclass English/Haitian Creole slideshows.
Where to file online:
- U.S. Small Business Administration– It’s very important that you register your entities through the self-verification process.
- National Minority Supplier Development Council hosted the information session that confused me, initially. This is the only one of these links I don’t have a certificate for business, yet. I actually found their New England Chapter and learned the process isn’t as confusing online. If you’re in the New England area, get started with Greater New England Minority Supplier Development CouncilServing Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont”NMSDC provides certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) the access, technical assistance, training and support needed to expand and market their services to prospective corporate buyers. Once certified and part of the NMSDC network, over two‐thirds of MBEs confirm business increases due to their partnerships with the Council’s corporate members.” Peter F. Hurst, Jr. President/CEO.
- U.S. System for Award Management– Sam.gov is where I actually learned quite a bit about the medals and awards I received when I was active duty.
- SupplierGATEWAY– The best thing about SupplierGATEWAY, you can self-verify with the U.S. Small Business Administration, directly on their platform. I used SupplierGATEWAY because it had a progress bar and each step is explained careful. You can see status of completed steps. When a section is complete, it turns green, as shown below.
Benefits of having and maintaining Business Certificates and Licenses
The benefits are endless for obtaining contracts, working with domestic and foreign vendors. I hope to share some of my personal benefits with you soon and hope to learn yours too.
Set Renewal Task Reminders
Other certification choices:
SBA-8(a) – Minority and Women Owned Business certification for small disadvantaged business
State EDGE – Global Business Certification for Gender Equality
HUB – Women and/or Minority Owned Businesses in North Carolina or Texas
NBFA – National Black Farmers Association
NLFRTA – National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
AFA – Asian Farmers Association
TNAFA – Traditional Native American Farmers Association
NAMWOLF – The National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms
WBENC – Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Women owned and operated business certification
State – SWaM – Small, women-owned and minority owed businesses in Virginia
NGLCC – National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Ability One – Federal Program – the largest source of employment for people with disabilities
USBLN – Disability Supplier Diversity Program
DVBE – Disabled Veteran Businesses
NAVOBA – VBE – National Veterans Owned Business Association – Veteran Business Enterprise
NAVOBA – SDVBE – Service Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise
SDVOSB – Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
GFSI – Global Food Safety Initiative
ISO 9000/9001 – Organization for Standardization
ICBA – Independent Community of Bankers of America
FAA – Federal Aviation Administration
NAMC – National Association of Minority Contractors
DOT – Department of Transportation
If there are other certificates you’ve filed for, easily online, and want to share with this community, please drop it in the comments section.