Certification with ConnXus Turns a Disadvantage into an Advantage

Business certifications for disadvantaged business enterprises elevate value and energize supply chain relationships. Certification shows the Buying Organization that the supplier has gone through due diligence to show/prove who they are. Buyer-supplier relationships that celebrate diversity increase relationship marketing opportunities, CEO approval, and consumer interest.  Stakeholder interest, government contract opportunities, profits, and innovation reach new peaks when diversity is a shared common ground between business entities. ConnXus starts the process by connecting buyers and sellers seeking to promote diversity and inclusion.

What are Business Certifications for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs)?

DBE certification validates and verifies business ownership and business classification to determine that social and economic disadvantages exist. DBE is one type of certification used in government contracts, but there are many different types of certifications for disadvantaged businesses. Disadvantages exist when a group has been historically underrepresented or kept from opportunities in employment, government contracts, business organization, and business deals. Social disadvantages include being Latin American, Native American or African American, or being a woman or LGBT. Disabled Veterans are also socially disadvantaged. Economic disadvantages include businesses that operate in urban or rural underutilized business areas (HUBzones), and many rural and disaster-area businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a map of areas that qualify for HUBZone certification. There are specific certifications based on the identifying disadvantage the business represents. ConnXus has business certification guides available to help familiarize you with the certification process.  

Types of Business Certifications and the Disadvantages

There are more than three types of business certifications for disadvantaged businesses, but history has written notable setbacks for minorities, women, veterans and LGBT. Business certification creates a new history, favorable to minorities, LGBT, veterans and women.  

WBE Woman-owned Business Enterprise: The 2017 Fortune 500 list of CEOs includes a mere 6.4% of women. The 32 female CEOs on this 2017 list were part of a record-high year for female CEOs making the list.  It’s no secret men have kept women out of the boardroom. A certified WBE must be at least 51% owned by women. It’s worth noting that none of the women on the 2017 CEO list were African American.

MBE Minority-owned Business Enterprise: Discrimination against people who are African American and Native American are blatant stains in U.S. History, and many business owners and contract negotiators are biased against people that identify as LGBT and are of Hispanic descent. The Japanese American Internment during WWII fostered bias in business that suppressed business opportunities for generations, and subsequently, disabled Veterans suffered from lost business opportunities. Companies that contract with the government and corporate suppliers often pay millions of dollars to settle discrimination cases so they don’t lose government contract opportunities. An MBE certified business must be majority owned by minority individuals. MBE certification gives minority business owners the opportunity to compete for a government or corporate contracts strictly designated for disadvantaged businesses.

LGBT LGBT-owned Business Enterprise: Entrepreneurship is a way up for a group facing high employment discrimination. According to workplace advocates, Out and Equal, one in four LGBT employees faced discrimination in the last five years. The LGBT group hasn’t received the protections that African Americans and women fought for and achieved with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. ConnXus has partnered with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce to promote LGBT business certification for opportunity advancement.

VOSBVeteran-owned Small Business: A VOSB-certified business is given top priority for government contracts and subcontracting opportunities. The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 was created to offer additional assistance to veterans who own businesses. The federal government is required to award 23% of all contracts to small businesses and a VOSB certification gives you access to an additional 3% of federal government contracts and subcontracts. Though a small percentage, this equals billions of dollars of work every year.

What is the one thing all the disadvantaged business certifications have in common? They help create a diverse and socially responsible business economy.

A Certified Business Disadvantage Converts to a Business Advantage with ConnXus

ConnXus converts a disadvantage to an advantage. With a ConnXus company profile, your certification is promoted as an advantage in the vendor portal and supplier database, and you are privy to bid opportunities from Fortune 2000 companies. By participating in the ConnXus Platinum Supplier Development program, you gain access to business development and coaching from experienced experts, along with financial tools, discounts, and supplier-matched business opportunities from SAP Ariba.

Are you ready to turn history’s disadvantage into an advantage you can use today? Get certified, sign up with ConnXus, and create a future for your business today. The businesses of tomorrow will know diversity is here to stay.