Certification Information

Benefits

PSWMSDC is the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) regional affiliate that services Arizona and San Diego County. We help grow minority businesses by connecting them to procurement opportunities with our corporate members. Corporate purchases from NMSDC certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) exceeded $125 billion in 2013.

Our non-profit organization is the premier minority certifying entity in the nation and is comprised of most of America’s publicly owned companies as well as health care institutions, universities and municipalities. We offer the most widely accepted minority certification with 12,00 MBEs in our network & 1,750 corporations supporting our efforts.

Certification Benefits include:

  • We certify that your business is a bona fide Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) which is at least 51% minority owned, operated and controlled.
  • Our MBE certification gives your company a “competitive advantage” in the marketplace. It opens doors for your business.
  • The certification is accepted by thousands of corporations, health care organizations, educational institutions and municipalities across the nation.
  • Our certification allows our corporate members, and your corporate customers, to legitimately count their minority spend so in essence you’re helping your customers meet their supplier diversity goals.
  • We are the largest certify entity of minority businesses in the nation with over 12,000 MBEs certified, 460 national corporate members and over 1,300 local corporate members
  • We connect our certified minority clients with our corporate member procurement opportunities
  • We produce networking events that cultivates business relationships between MBEs and buyers
  • We encourage MBEs to do business with other MBEs
  • We highlight successful MBEs on our website and in our quarterly newsletter
  • We advocate for and help MBEs ready themselves for participation in the corporate supply chain and provide resources to help grow your business
  • Our certified MBEs receive free admittance or discounted prices to our events.

Criteria

To become a Certified Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE), your company must meet the requirements outlined below.  Our criteria are based on national standards and are non-negotiable.

Who Qualifies for PSWMSDC Certification?

  • Pacific Southwest Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs)
  • Businesses that are physically located in the United States or its trust territories – if your business is NOT located in San Diego County, or Arizona, refer to NMSDC.
  • MBEs must be 51% or more ethnic-minority-owned, operated, and controlled by a U.S. citizen
  • Ethnic minorities from the following groups: African American; Latino (and Afro-Brazilian); Asian American/Asian Pacific Islander; Asian Indian; Native American; and Native Hawaiian.  Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more clarification.
  • MBEs must be for profit businesses

Who Should Get Certified?

At PSWMSDC, we help position minority suppliers for success by sharing with them not only who will qualify for certification but who will also benefit from it.  Often, businesses interested in certification should wait to build their capacity before applying or risk finding little value.  Minority suppliers ready for certification include those who have:

  • The capacity to provide goods and services to Fortune 500 corporations or their prime suppliers
  • Broad geographic coverage
  • Experience working with major corporations
  • The capacity for growth
If your company does not meet these recommended standards, then PSWMSDC strongly suggests you develop your business and consider applying for certification at a future date.

Process

To apply for Certification as a Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE), you will be required to follow the mandatory process outlined below. Please be sure that you have also read through the Certification Benefits and Criteria sections, above.

Application Deadline & Timeline

Applications that are fully submitted online and in queue by the 1st of the month will be reviewed by the end of the month. Applications received in the queue after the 1st may not be included in the current review cycle. The certification process typically takes between 45 and 60 days (and, in some cases, up to 90 days) depending on when the application is submitted, the completeness of the supporting documents, and the responsiveness of the applicant.

Application Review

Completed applications are first reviewed by the PSWMSDC Director of Certification. Applicants will be notified if additional supporting documents or information are required. Only complete applications will then be reviewed by the Certification Committee, which meets during the first week of the following month.

Site Visit

Site visits are a mandatory part of the certification process. After the Certification Committee has reviewed your application and you have submitted all additional requested documents, PSWMSDC will schedule a site visit with the owner(s) of the company during the second, third, or fourth week of the month. Your site visit will be conducted at your company’s headquarters by PSWMSDC staff or a member of the Certification Committee. If the company is home-based, the owner(s) will be required to meet with the site visitor at the PSWMSDC office in Scottsdale, AZ. Applications will not be approved without a completed site visit.

Approval/Denial

The Certification Committee reviews all applications and recommends approval or denial based on the evaluation and analysis of your application data and a site inspection of your business. PSWMSDC’s Board of Directors reviews the recommendation for approval or denial in the first week of the month following the site visit and renders a decision then. Companies will hear from PSWMSDC during the second week of the month after the Board review regarding their certification status.

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