How Can a M/WBE Certification Help My Business?


What is M/WBE?

M/WBE stands for Minority and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprise.

It's a designation that identifies businesses with ownership by minorities and/or women at a minimum of 51 percent.

Minority groups refer to citizens of the United States who are classified as Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.

Why does it matter?

NYC spends up to $17 billion per year on products and services. And the focus of the current governing administration is to ensure there is diversity amongst the businesses that are awarded contracts to do business with the city.

In other words, New York City would like to buy more products and services from Minority and/or Women owned businesses than it currently does.

Getting M/WBE certified helps you qualify and compete for these opportunities.

With the ongoing support from NYC government, more small businesses now have access to resources they can use to grow in their respective industries.


What is NYC's goal?

More than 5,000 businesses currently benefit from New York City Certification, and the City is committed to:

  • Award $16 billion in City contracts to M/WBEs by 2025

  • Award 30 percent of the value of City contracts to M/WBEs by 2021

  • Increase the number of City-certified M/WBEs to 9,000 by 2019


How NYC Government works?

Government, at most levels, is usually made up of several sections.

  • Legislation, who help create and approve the laws.

  • Judiciary, who upholds the law.

  • And Executive, who executes the day to day activities of government - based on the laws.

In NYC, the mayor leads a group of agencies that execute the different functions to govern the city itself. Each agency has an allocated budget to execute on their specific objective. City agencies include...

  • Administration for Children's Services (ACS)

  • Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)

  • Department of Design & Construction (DDC)

  • Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • Department of Buildings (DOB)

  • Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • Department of Buildings (DOB)

  • Department of Correction (DOC)

  • Department of Finance (DOF)

  • Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

Each agency buys products and/or services from small businesses including M/WBEs. And each purchase is solidified with awarding a contract. This can be either written or verbal depending on the value of the agreement.

How do contracts work?

A contract with government usually runs through 5 stages.

The first stage is determining what  NYC is looking to buy and how much the city is willing to pay for it.

Next is collaboration and negotiation, which is where interested vendors may bid against competitors.

Then, once the contract has been awarded, the winner executes on delivering what was agreed upon.

Administration will follow to make sure all involved comply with and fulfill the conditions of the contract.

The last stage of the lifecycle is the closeout/ renewal and analysis.


What does NYC actually buy?

According to NYC's Small Business Services agency, money spent falls into the following categories - construction, professional services, standard services and goods.

And if you're a minority and/or woman owned business, you're going to want to quickly identify which category your business falls into so you can see which city agencies are looking to buy the products and/or services you offer.

See awards below by sector.


In Fiscal Year 2015, City mayoral agencies awarded a record $725 million in contracts to M/WBEs.

You can see that the Professional Services and Construction sectors received the biggest cuts, 42% and 34% of the contracts, respectively.

These are followed by Goods sector with 11%, Standard Services with 8%, and Human Services with 5%.



Getting M/WBE certified is a clear opportunity to grow your business by getting contracts with the different agencies of NYC. 

New York City is committed to continuing its support of working with Minority and Women businesses.

If you are MWBE certified and looking for more opportunities, schedule a free consultation.

If you're not MWBE certified, take our quiz to see if you're eligible.