Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship for Over 30 Years

Prepared by the staff of MBE magazine, these are some of the terms and acronyms frequently used when discussing business supplier development programs.

Definitions of Terms

MBEMinority Business Enterprise—includes male and female business owners who are African American, Hispanic, Native American, Native Alaskan, Asian Pacific, Subcontinent Asian Americans (East Indian), and members of other groups designated from time to time by the SBA. Minority business status requires 51% or greater ownership by minorities as well as management and control of daily business operations, with experience or technical expertise directly related to the primary product or service of the business.

WBEWomen’s Business Enterprise—non-minority women who own 51% or more of the business as well as management, control and technical expertise as stated above.

SDBSmall Disadvantaged BusinessSmall refers to size as determined by gross dollar revenue (variable according to SIC Code) and number of employees (fewer than 500).Disadvantaged refers to minority status and usually does not include white women.

HUBHistorically Under-utilized Businesses—coined in 1990 by the President’s Commission on Minority Business Development as a more accurate, less negative term than disadvantaged.

DBEDisadvantaged Business Enterprise—usually refers to minority ownership, sometimes includes disabled and residents of economically depressed areas; depending on governing legislation, may or may not include white women. Five federal agencies do include non-minority women as part of their DBE definition: Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, NASA, RTC (Resolution Trust Corporation) and USAID (Agency for International Development.)

DVBE or SDVDisabled Veteran Business Enterprise or Service Disabled Veteran—State of California contracts include goals for disabled veteran owned businesses. Proposition 209 (a California voter’s initiative) eliminated goals on State of California contracts for minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses. Likewise, some other state and municipal minority/women’s business development programs have been curtailed, eliminated or revised.


NMSDCNational Minority Supplier Development Council—organization of major corporations for creating business opportunities for minority-owned businesses. Contact:

NAMCNational Association of Minority Contractors—represents minority-owned construction firms. Contact:

WCOEWomen Construction Owners & Executives—represents women contractors in the construction industry. Contact:

NAWBONational Association of Women Business Owners. Contact:

ABA— Asian Business Association. Contact:

BBABlack Business Association. Contact:

LBALatin Business Association. Contact:

USHCCUS Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Contact:

NMBCNational Minority Business Council—New York City organization of minority business owners primarily in the New York/New Jersey area. Contact:

AMENYAssociation of Minority Enterprises of New York. Contact: 718/291-1641; 13520 Liberty Avenue, So. Richmond Hill, NY 11419

Certifying Organizations

NMSDC—see description above—certifies minority-owned businesses (male and female) through its regional purchasing councils. Contact:

WBENCWomen’s Business Enterprise National Council—certifies women-owned businesses (all ethnicities). Contact:

WBOCWomen’s Business Ownership Corporation—certifies women-owned businesses (all ethnicities). Contact:

Government Assistance Agencies

SBASmall Business Administration8(a) Program: Federal business development program for minority-owned firms. 7(j) Program: Management and technical assistance program for small businesses. Contact:

SBDCSmall Business Development Center—regional centers providing counseling, managerial and technical assistance to existing and prospective small businesses.

MBDAMinority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce—the only Federal Agency created specifically to foster the creation, growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses in America. Contact: 

MBDCMinority Business Development Center—regional centers providing business development assistance. Contact:

NWBCNational Women’s Business Council—a bipartisan federal advisory panel that makes policy recommendations to the President and Congress to further the development of women-owned businesses. Created by Congress in 1988. Contact:


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MBE Resource Center

MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.


MBE's M/WBE Resource Directory is a comprehensive list of resource organizations (including links) that support the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs.


Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.


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