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How Certifications Can Help Businesses Owned By Minorities, Women, and Veterans.

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. 

group of diverse owned business people

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’ll find your answers in this blog. 

 

Here are some stats to consider: 

“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’re actively looking to buy from women-owned, veteran-owned, or minority-owned companies, can increase sales significantly. Mentioning diversity certification in promotional materials lends authenticity to businesses.

Advantages of getting women-owned, veteran-owned, and minority-owned certifications: 

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 small disadvantaged businesses can truly benefit from getting certified. 

  • Opens up lucrative opportunities in new markets 
  • Increases chances of receiving loans and grants 
  • Gives access to nationwide vendor networks and networking events 
  • Helps get visibility as a verified contractor on vendor listing platforms, and national or state MWBE directories 
  • Boosts chances of winning government contracts through quotas assigned for diverse suppliers or vendors from underrepresented communities 
  • Helps improve knowledge through various executive education programs available for small businesses 
  • Increases access to customers specifically looking for diverse-owned products & services 
  • Helps diverse-owned businesses qualify to be a part of larger supply chains of Fortune 500 companies  

Of all these reasons, the ones that deeply influence small entrepreneurs to consider diversity certifications are: 

  1. Qualify for government grants & contracts Certifications can mean faster access to government grants that are offered to aid businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, and other disadvantaged groups. Depending on the kind of entity your business is certified for, a percentage of federal, state, & local government contracts are kept aside for small underserved businesses. Getting appropriate certifications can help validate your eligibility to bid for these opportunities.
  2. Compete in the supply chain ecosystem of large corporates In the last few years, large organizations have been increasingly committed to including diverse suppliers and prioritizing them in their supply chains. Getting certified as a women-owned, veteran-owned, or minority-owned business builds connections with other like-minded enterprises and helps you catch emerging opportunities with better grip and strength.
  3. Catapult your business growth, beyond your current market Certifications allow small businesses to leverage their marginalized status to access communities that wish to support them. Having your certification highlighted on your company website, brochures, products, and marketing materials can help build goodwill and increase RFQs (Request For Quotes). By getting accredited, your reach and network, both can expand nationwide. 

diverse owned business people in a small office

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. 

How to get certified? 

Getting certified as a minority-owned, woman-owned, or veteran-owned business is a tedious process, requiring a lot of documentation and verifications. However, the whole 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 in the world of public-sector contracting. There are many authorized agencies like 58Joralemon, offering such specialized certifications. 

Step 1: Research on eligibility – 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: 

  • Minority-owned, woman-owned, or veteran-owned business owners must meet the definition of their respective category, as well as own and control 51% of the business 
  • The majority owner must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident 
  • Small companies must meet SBA size criteria 
  • The business owner’s net worth cannot exceed $3.5 million after deductions 
  • New businesses must be in operation for at least 6 to 12 months before requesting certification 

Step 2: Find a certification agency – Figure out which agency in your area is responsible for the certifications you need. If your business is eligible for multiple certifications, then 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. 

Step 3: Application form & documentation – 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.  

Step 4: Payment – Certification costs are quite nominal. Established agencies like 58Jorelemon charge $99 for application processing, and an annual renewal charge of $99. You have to make the payment before submitting the application. 

Step 5: Application review & certification – Upon receipt of payment, the application review process takes 1-3 months. Then, a face-to-face interview is conducted, followed up by a site visit. The review committee meets again to approve or reject an application. Finally, the certification decision is communicated through the mail. 

58joralemon certificate

Source: https://cocolevio.com/58joralemon/ 

Ready to get certified? 

If you are having any doubts about your business’s eligibility for certification, you can contact our consultants at 58Jorelemon at (512) 222-5730 or simply get the registration process started here. The entire certification would cost you only $99! Visit the website to know more – https://cocolevio.com/58joralemon/ 

 

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