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MBE, MBWE, DBE...what do they all mean?

Government agencies and private businesses use various abbreviations to describe disadvantaged businesses. Here are some of them:

When you are dealing with government contracts, federal, state, and local government rules and definitions differ!

All government certifications are either self-certified (WBE women-owned and SB - small business) or certified by a government agency. You do not have to pay money for certification. Private certifications for women or small businesses are usually done through non-profit organizations for a fee. These certifications are used by private businesses - not government agencies.

There are also government programs that help you identify contracting opportunities with the government that are free of charge. You do not have to pay a company to be placed in a government suppliers book - or pay anyone to get bid opportunities.