WRMSDC provides the only nationally-recognized Ethnic Minority Business Certification in Northern California, Nevada, and Hawai‘i. Certification offers minority suppliers the opportunity to connect face-to-face with many of America’s largest publicly-owned, privately-owned, and foreign-owned companies, as well as universities, hospitals, and other buying institutions. Leveraging our more than 35 years as an industry expert in Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) enrichment, development, and impact, WRMSDC offers certified minority suppliers support from technical trainings to exclusive buyer forums and corporate procurement events.
Certification Benefits include:
- Nationally-recognized Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification
- Exposure to business opportunities – more than 2/3 of certified MBEs confirm
an increase in revenue by partnering with Corporate Members
- Listings in the National MSDC supplier database, accessible by Corporate Buyers nationwide
- Participation in technical training seminars hosted by leading corporations – learn about what they buy, how they source, and how suppliers can compete for opportunities
- Second Tier and MBE-to-MBE Spend business opportunities
- Invitations to private networking and corporate matchmaking and procurement events
- Opportunities to compete for prestigious local, regional, and national supplier excellence awards
To become a Certified Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE), your company must meet the requirements outlined below. Our criteria are based on national standards and are non-negotiable.
Who Qualifies for WRMSDC Certification?
- Northern California, Nevada, or Hawai‘i Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs)
- Businesses that are physically located in the United States or its trust territories – if your business is NOT located in Northern California, Nevada, or Hawai‘i, refer to NMSDC.
- MBEs must be 51% or more ethnic-minority-owned, operated, and controlled by a U.S. citizen
- Ethnic minorities from the following groups: African-American/Black; Hispanic/Latino-American; Native American; Asian-Pacific American; and Asian-Indian American. Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more clarification.
- MBEs must be for profit businesses
Who Should Get Certified?
At WRMSDC, we help position minority suppliers for success by sharing with them not only who will qualify for certification but who will also benefit from it. Often, businesses interested in certification should wait to build their capacity before applying or risk finding little value. Minority suppliers ready for certification include those who have:
- The capacity to provide goods and services to Fortune 500 corporations or their prime suppliers
- Broad geographic coverage
- Experience working with major corporations
- The capacity for growth
If your company does not meet these recommended standards, then WRMSDC strongly suggests you develop your business and consider applying for certification at a future date.
To apply for Certification as a Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE), you will be required to follow the mandatory process outlined below. Please be sure that you have also read through the Certification Benefits and Criteria sections, above.
Applications must be submitted online through the National MSDC’s vendor management tool.
The application consists of a form that must be filled out completely and backup documentation that must be uploaded to PRISM for review. Applications cannot be submitted until all documentation has been uploaded.
Step 2: Click on “Request Login.”
Step 3: Fill out login information. Your login will be your email address.
Step 4: Check your email to confirm your login.
- If you have email-filtering or spam-blocker enabled on your email, please make sure you check the messages that have been filtered by your email program.
Step 5: Start a new certification application by following the link that says “Click here to start MBE Application.”
Step 6: Follow the instructions on each consecutive page and then pay by credit card. When WRMSDC receives the application in our queue, we’ll review it and let you know if we require any additional information.
Application Deadline & Timeline
Applications that are fully submitted online and in queue by the 21st of the month will be reviewed by the end of the month. Applications received in the queue after the 21st may not be included in the current review cycle. The certification process typically takes between 45 and 60 days (and, in some cases, up to 90 days) depending on when the application is submitted, the completeness of the supporting documents, and the responsiveness of the applicant.
Completed applications are first reviewed by the WRMSDC Director of Certification. Applicants will be notified if additional supporting documents or information are required. Only complete applications will then be reviewed by the Certification Committee, which meets during the first week of the following month.
Site visits are a mandatory part of the certification process. After the Certification Committee has reviewed your application and you have submitted all additional requested documents, WRMSDC will schedule a site visit with the owner(s) of the company during the second, third, or fourth week of the month. Your site visit will be conducted at your company’s headquarters by WRMSDC staff or a member of the Certification Committee. If the company is home-based, the owner(s) will be required to meet with the site visitor at the WRMSDC office in Oakland, CA. Applications will not be approved without a completed site visit.
The Certification Committee reviews all applications and recommends approval or denial based on the evaluation and analysis of your application data and a site inspection of your business. WRMSDC’s Board of Directors reviews the recommendation for approval or denial in the first week of the month following the site visit and renders a decision then. Companies will hear from WRMSDC during the second week of the month after the Board review regarding their certification status.
Companies certified by WRMSDC are required to renew their certification each year. It is the company’s responsibility to maintain up-to-date certification yearly. The certification expiration date will be listed on the PDF certificate and in the company’s online profile. While registered contacts may receive a courtesy notification warning that the certification is due to expire, WRMSDC is not responsible for ensuring that an MBE gets recertified. Recertification remains the sole responsibility of each MBE.