Minority Business Enterprises

What is an MBE?

The acronym ‘MBE’ stands for ‘Minority Business Enterprise.’ An MBE is a for-profit business that is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled a member or members of a qualified minority group.

An “MBE certified business” is 51% owned, managed and controlled by a minority or group of minorities, and verified by an MBE certifying agency. Considered the platinum MBE certifying agency, and accepted by most, if not all procurement entities, hospitals and universities, SCMSDC is one of 23 NMSDC affiliates that validates MBEs meet these requirements, among other criteria.

Happy businesswoman looking through window

As an MBE

As an MBE, you have access to some of the most influential leaders in the corporate world. But that’s only scratching the surface.

Some of the most meaningful connections MBEs make are with other MBEs. These are the people who have been where you are, or aspire to be. People who will become your advisors, your collaborators and your biggest champions. Just as you will be theirs. Because, while we come from many different backgrounds and cultures, there are experiences, stories and an ethos we all share. A powerful understanding that we’re all in this together.

Definition of an MBE

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) defines a minority business enterprise (MBE) as a for-profit business that is at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by a member(s) of a qualified group defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

NMSDC Minority Guidelines
For purposes of NMSDC certification, a minority group member is an individual who is a U.S. citizen who is at least 25% Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, African-American/Black, Latin American/Hispanic, or Native American, Native Hawaiian/Alaska Native. Please click here for additional details:

Why Certify?

The most significant benefit of being MBE-certified is ‘access.’ 

  • Access to major corporations searching to do business with MBEs to achieve their MBE goals.
  • Access to organizations and resources that provide technical assistance, professional development, connections to potential clients and customers, and advocacy for the interests of MBEs and other diverse businesses.
  • Access to diverse colleagues with whom to joint venture, create strategic alliances, form partnerships to increase their competitive edge in winning RFPs and bids.
  • Access to mentorship/protégé programs that help businesses grow to attain their potential.
  • Access to organizations that advocate for the interests of MBEs and diverse businesses.
  • Access to specific up to date procurement trends, legislation and other business matters that may impact diverse businesses, specifically MBEs.

MBE Input Committee (MBEIC)

A standing committee of the SCMSDC Board, the MBEIC serves as the Council’s advisory voice of issues, challenges, and needs of the small, diverse and underinvested business community. As a liaison to the Council, and its Board of Directors, the MBEIC ensures the Council stays ever relevant to its mission to advance economic equity and economic development for all qualified businesses. Members understand membership is not self-serving, and that they are committed to the interests of the MBEs at large.

Apply to Join the MBEIC


  • Must be NMSDC-certified for minimum of two years, with revenue at least $500,000
  • Must be the owner, or principal of an NMSDC-certified MBE
  • Must be committed to supplier diversity, the SCMSDC vision “Business beyond Barriers,” and its mission to advance economic equity for all businesses

For questions or to be considered to serve on the MBEIC, contact our President and CEO vgomez@scmsdc.org


Whether you’ve been in business two weeks or 20 years, there is always more to learn. So SCMSDC provides an ongoing series of business development programs and events especially for MBEs, from corporate-readiness and capacity-building workshops to leadership programs to networking and matchmaking events. There’s even a podcast, because why shouldn’t downtime be productive?

Find out more about our upcoming programs and events here: 

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