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Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification Overview

Certification with the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council provides you with valuable resources to help your business grow and succeed. The Ohio MSDC can offer your business an excellent opportunity to meet with corporate and public sector buyers who are interested in working with qualified MBEs. Benefits of becoming a Certified Minority Supplier include:

  • Expanded business opportunities. More than two-thirds of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) confirm an increase in revenues as a result of partnerships with Corporate Members.
  • Local, regional and national referrals of minority business to member corporations
  • Access to corporate buyers
  • Inclusion in the OMSDC and National Minority Supplier Development Council MBE computer databases 
  • Participation in education programs and workshops to assist in personal, business and professional growth.
  • Opportunities to network with Corporate Members at various OMSDC events and activities.
  • Meet fellow MBEs to build relationships and find opportunities with other MBEs.

We offer many formal and informal venues to meet with corporate buyers, learn about state and local opportunities, and expand your professional network. MBEs greatly benefit from being certified with the largest national organization whose certification is recognized uniformly by Corporate America in a very competitive global market place.

Certification Criteria

To become a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), your business must meet the following National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) requirements. Both current and historical facts are considered in determining ownership qualifications and participation in the management and operations of the company.

  • Your business is a for-profit enterprise.

  • Your business is physically located in the United States or its trust territories.

  • Your business is at least 51% ethnic minority-owned. For the purposes of NMSDC’s program, a minority group member is an individual who is at least 25% Asian, Black, Hispanic or Native American.

    • Asian-Indian: A U.S. citizen whose origins are from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    • Asian-Pacific: A U.S. citizen whose origins are from Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific or the Northern Marianas.

    • Black: A U.S. citizen who is of African descent (excluding Northern Africa).

    • Hispanic: A U.S. citizen of true-born Hispanic heritage, from any of the Spanish-speaking areas of the following regions: Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Basin only. Brazilians (Afro-Brazilian, indigenous/Indian only) shall be listed under Hispanic designation for review and certification purposes.

    • Native American: A person who is an American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut or Native Hawaiian, and regarded as such by the community of which the person claims to be a part. Native Americans must be documented members of a North American tribe, band or otherwise organized group of native people who are indigenous to the continental United States and proof can be provided through a Native American Blood Degree Certificate (i.e., tribal registry letter, tribal roll register number).

  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business are U.S. citizens.

  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business must be active in management and daily business operations.

  • The minority owner(s) shall possess the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the firm and shall possess the capability of making day-to-day as well as major decisions on matters of management, policy and operations of the firm.  There shall be no restriction on the minority owner’s ability to control which would prevent the minority owner from making a business decision without the cooperation or vote of a non-minority person.  Such control shall be known or at least tacitly acknowledged in day-to-day operations by employees and business references of the business.  Where licenses are required to perform the functional mission of the company, such licenses shall be held in the name and/or independent control of minorities.

  • The minority ownership and control shall be real and continuing and not created solely to take advantage of special programs aimed at minority business development.

  • The minority owner(s) shall enjoy the customary incidents of ownership and shall share in the risks and profits and shall have contributed capital, equipment and/or expertise to the business commensurate with his/her percentage of ownership.

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New Certification Process

Online Application
Desk Audit
Site Visit
You & OhioMSDC
Certification Committee
Board of Directors

Complete the online application and submit electronically to OMSDC with all of the required documentation and the non-refundable application fee.

The Desk Audit is a review of the entire “completed” application, including all supporting documents and references. An application is deemed complete when all required supporting documentation is submitted.

If an application is found to be incomplete, an email will be sent requesting all missing documentation. An applicant has 90 days to submit the requested documentation or their application will be withdrawn.  

The Site Visit is an in-person review conducted with the owners (51% must be present). 

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Certification Fee Schedule


Any arrangement between an ethnic-minority business and other parties which involves apparent ethnic-minority “fronts”, or other circumstances which would tend to circumvent the certification process by placing any substantial control of the ethnic-minority business concern with a non-ethnic-minority individual(s) will be closely investigated, examined and will result in a denial or revocation of their certification. In addition, reapplication for certification under such circumstances will be denied. Submitting false information on the MBE Application is a Class II felony in most jurisdictions. The NMSDC and its Affiliate Councils shall maintain the “rights” to file charges.

Re-Certification Application Instructions

NMSDC has implemented an innovative and straightforward online certification management system for Certification and Re-Certification applications. This system is a part of the new NMSDC Central technology platform. 

New certification applicants must request a new login to begin the certification application process.

Re-Certification applicants: If you have not received a password reset email from the system, please send an email to either mflood@ohiomsdc.org or blaster@ohiomsdc.org

MBE Subscription Services

What is a subscription? A subscription is an agreement to receive or be given access to affiliate products or services.

OMSDC’s subscription package includes:

  • Access to top corporate purchasing agents;
  • Premium business connection outings and networking events;
  • Region or industry-specific newsletters
  • Vital introductions to nationally known corporations
  • Specialized procurement conferences & Trade Fairs
  • Supplier Diversity summits and roundtables
  • Professional development fellowships
  • Mentor-Protégé pairings and other educational or development programs
  • Technical and/or financial assistance and support
  • Access to conference and meeting space

Subscription Process 

Certified MBEs in good standing will not be required to provide supporting or “required documents,” due to the fact that ALL certified MBEs will be in the national database and will be available for each NMSDC member to source.  The affiliate council staff will confirm that the certified MBE is in good standing.  Then, affiliate council staff will present the services made available to the certified MBE.

There will be no affiliate council Board or Executive Committee review of final reciprocal applications approval, since there will be no more reciprocal services, and all subscriptions will be available to be marketed to any certified MBE, including home-certified MBEs.

The subscription service period for the certified MBE will be equivalent to the certification period it has with its home affiliate council.  For example, if Company X is certified in Georgia with GMSDC from January 30, 2015 until January 30, 2016, then the subscription expiration date in Houston with HMSDC should also expire on the same date as the GMSDC certificate — January 30, 2016. 

Any certified MBE requesting subscription services acceptance within 60 days of their certification expiring at their home affiliate councils will be asked to withhold their request until recertification is completed.


The Chase Building
100 East Broad St. | Suite 2460 Columbus, OH 43215

O: 614.225.6959


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Cincinnati, OH 45202

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O: 937.226.8265


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