These days, most small businesses owned-&-managed by ethnic minorities, women, veterans, and other underrepresented groups are availing certifications to strengthen their operations. Diversity certifications are definitely on their high-priority list.
But why has getting accredited become so important? How do these certifications help disadvantaged business owners?
If these are the questions on your mind, you will find your answers in this blog.
“Annually, government-wide minimum participation goal for small businesses is 23% of contract budgets. In 2021, prime government contracts worth $147 billion (26% of total federal contract funds) were awarded to small businesses”.
Getting diversity certifications can help underserved business owners (veterans, women, and minorities) establish eligibility for participation in government contract bids.
“Women own around 20% of all small enterprises in the country. Less than 5% of federal contract funds actually go to women-owned enterprises”.
Applying for women-owned certifications can help these women entrepreneurs get more visibility and opportunities.
“Post-pandemic, 31% of U.S. consumers said they took efforts to purchase more from minority-owned businesses. While 46% of Gen-Z consumers and 51% of Millennials increased their small-business buys”.
Creating marketing strategies to target customers who actively look to buy from women-owned, veteran-owned, or minority-owned businesses can increase sales significantly. Mentioning diversity certification in promotional materials lends authenticity to businesses.
There is a general misconception that diverse-owned certifications are only advantageous when businesses participate in bidding processes for government contracts. But that is not true. There are many ways that a small disadvantaged business can truly benefit from getting certified.
As per the McKinsey report, there are an estimated 10,000 diversity-accredited businesses in the country (owned and managed by minorities, women, LGBTQ+ people, disabled, and veterans) that are earning over $10 million annually.
Getting certified as a minority-owned, woman-owned, or veteran-owned business is tedious, requiring a lot of documentation and verifications. However, the process takes only 1-3 months to complete, opening up growth and expansion opportunities for your business like never before. With it, you can easily garner visibility and compete versus public-sector contracting. There are many authorized agencies, like 58Joralemon, offering such specialized certifications.
Before approaching a certification agency, do your research to check whether your business qualifies for accreditation.
To get diversity certified, companies must meet the following eligibility requirements:
Identify which agency in your area is responsible for the required certifications. If your business is eligible for multiple certifications, you can hire a specialized third-party consultant to guide you on the most favorable option. These days, all big certification agencies do offer this service.
Fill in the required information about your organization and owner/owners. Upload the supporting documents. If you own multiple businesses that are eligible for certifications, then you must submit a separate application for each business.
Certification costs are quite nominal. Established agencies like 58Joralemon charge $99 for application processing, and an annual renewal charge of $99. You have to make the payment before applying.
Upon receipt of payment, the application review process takes 1-3 months. The next round is a face-to-face interview, and then a site visit. The review committee meets again to approve or reject an application. Finally, you receive the decision about your certification via email.
If you have any doubts about your business’s eligibility for certification, you may contact our consultants at 58Joralemon at (512) 222-5730 or get started with the registration here.
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