How to become a certified diverse supplier

Article author
Laura Florence
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A diverse, competitive marketplace is beneficial to both suppliers and buyers alike. For a buying corporation, diversity in their suppliers promotes company values, supports local businesses, and according to a 2015 Hackett Group study adds $3.60 dollars per dollar spent on procurement supplier diversity programs. For suppliers, obtaining supplier diversity certification opens doors to corporations and new business opportunities which can be crucial.

United States certifications for diverse suppliers are obtained through three sources: federally, local state government, and private sector. Below are certifications sorted by diversity type and source. There can be advantages to obtaining certification from multiple sources if you qualify.

See if you qualify for federal certifications on the online SBA survey



Types of Diversity Certifications in the United States:

Small and Disadvantage

Federal: 8(a) Business Development program



Federal: SBA Women-Owned Small Business Certification (WOSB), SBA Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business certification (EDWOSB)

State: WBE State Woman Business Enterprise – contact your local government

Private Sector: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (EHPCC), National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC), US Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)



Federal: 8(a) Business Development program

State: MBE Minority Business Enterprise – contact your local government

Private Sector: The National Minority Supplier Development Council US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce



Federal: SBA HUB Zone Certification



Private Sector: National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)



Federal: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)

Private Sector: Disability:IN (DBE)

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