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Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)

Table of Contents

Section 1)
MBE Policy

Section 2)
Why Participate in the State's MBE Program

Section 3)
Minority (MBE) & Women (WBE) Owned Business Enterprise Certification Eligibility

Section 4)
Frequently Asked Questions

The following link explains the structure, operations, mandates, and procedures of this division of the Department of Administration.

MBE Link: http://www.mbe.ri.gov/

MBE Policy

It is the policy of the State of Rhode Island that minority, women, and disadvantaged business enterprises be afforded the maximum opportunity to participate in the State’s contracting and procurement programs.

To assist in this endeavor, the MBE Office established the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program. To be eligible to participate in the State of Rhode Island MBE Program, a business must either be certified as a minority (MBE), or women (WBE).

In order to participate as a MBE or WBE on projects administered by Rhode Island Department of Transportation, The RI Airport Corporation, and or the RI Public Transit Authority a company must be certified as a Disadvantaged (DBE) Business Enterprise pursuant to federal regulations. The MBE Office through a formal Memorandum of Undersanding with these agencies certifies those compnies that wish to participate in these programs.


Certification Process for MBE & WBE status: ( Use MBE Link: http://www.mbe.ri.gov/forms.php)

To complete the MBE Application for Participation
(Complete the Minority and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise)

Uniform Certification Application Link :


Why Participate in the State's MBE Program

· Certified MBE's are included in the State’s MBE listing of Certified Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. This listing is an invaluable resource tool and is used by:
o State Departments, other public agencies, and the private sector that are seeking firms to meet their procurement and contracting needs; either through direct contracting opportunities, subcontracting opportunities or by the purchasing of goods and services.

· Certified MBE's are offered expanded networking opportunities with public and private contracting agencies.

· Certified MBE's receive unlimited access to participation at focused outreach and networking workshops, seminars, conferences, business expositions, and vendor fairs.

· As a certified MBE business registered on the Rhode Island State Vendor Registration (WebVen) website at www.purchasing.state.ri.us, your business will receive benefits of:

· Online access to State open bids;

· Bid lists generated by State departments looking for prospective vendors;

· Certified MBE's receive heightened visibility with all State Procurement Officers. All State departments to solicit bids use the State’s vendor database.

· Certified MBE's receive access to a comprehensive range of programs and services designed for entrepreneurs during all stages of business development.

Minority (MBE) & Women (WBE) Owned Business Enterprise Certification Eligibility

The State of Rhode Island certifies minority and/or women owned businesses, which meet the following eligibility criteria:

· Be a minority and/or a women-owned business whose ownership must be comprised of citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.

· Be a small business concern as defined pursuant to Section 3 of the Federal Small Business Act (15 U.S.C Chapter 632 and Chapter 637) and implementing regulations (13 CFR), and fulfill one of the definitions as defined in Section 2XV through XLX of these regulations.

· Owner(s) must be a member of a definable minority group

· (Black/African American, Portuguese, Hispanic/Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, Filipino, American Indian and/or Women, and or an individual(s) found to be both socially and economically disadvantaged. (13 CFR Chapter 124.105-106).

· Minority, Disadvantaged or women partners/shareholders must own at least 5 percent of the business

· Minority, Disadvantaged or Women owners must possess control of the business and the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the firm and to make the day-to-day as well as major decisions on management, policy and operations.

· Minority, disadvantaged or women owners must be substantial investors in the business.

· The business must be an ongoing concern

· The business must be in operation a minimum of six (6) months prior to applying for certification.

· Existing businesses whose ownership and control has been transferred to minorities or women must be in the control of the minorities/women a minimum of six (6) months prior to applying for certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost to get certified?

No. There are no fees involved in applying for certification. Simply fill out the application and submit it with the appropriate supporting documents. You should also be registered with the State’s Vendor Registration (WebVen) website at www.purchasing.state.ri.us. to participate in the State’s online access to State open bids, be placed on bid lists generated by State departments looking for prospective vendors and periodically be notified automatically by email of State bids by specific commodities/services.

How long is certification valid?

A MBE certification is valid for a one-year period

How long will it take?

The average processing time is normally 90 business days. To avoid delays, it is to your advantage to submit all the required information with your initial application.

How do I apply for MBE certification?

To request certification as a State of Rhode Island minority and/or women owned business enterprise, or to be recognized as a DBE or DVBE for the MBE program participation, please complete the Application for Participation and Acknowledgement of Sanctions and return it to:

State of Rhode Island
Department of Administration
Minority Business Enterprise Compliance Office
One Capitol Hill
2nd Floor
Providence, Rhode Island 02908

For assistance regarding the MBE Application for Participation or questions concerning the MBE Program, call

Charlie Newton
Phone: 401-222-6670
FAX: 401-222-5799

The State of Rhode Island Office of Affirmative Action Compliance may request additional information and/or conduct an on-site visit at any time to verify any documentation submitted by the applicant.
To complete the MBE Application for Participation,
click this link: Uniform Certification Application

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Website last updated September 2005
2005 Website by Jason Tigano and Nathalie Nascimento Site Map Download Forms Links