January 2023: Press Release

We are pleased to announce in this press release that the New York Small Business Development Center is starting the new year with a new module in EntreSkills™, its online entrepreneurial education tool. This new module focuses on New York State Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) Certification and helps business owners determine if their businesses are eligible. It also details documentation requirements, the application process, and certification benefits and introduces other programs for which an MWBE-certified business may qualify. EntreSkills is available at no cost to all NYS small- and medium-sized business owners.

Jenny Alton

Jenny Alton
Coordinator of Learning and Organizational Development, New York SBDC
New York SBDC Expands Government Contracting Education for NYS Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses
New Online Education Module Dedicated to Helping Businesses Apply for MWBE Certification

MWBE module available through EntreSkills™—NYSBDC's online entrepreneurial education tool—at no cost to all New York State Small- and Medium-Sized Business Owners
For Immediate Release
Publication Date: 1/3/2023
Contact: Jenny Alton; jenny.alton@nysbdc.org, (518) 944-2850

Albany, NY – In response to expanded interest in government contracting, also known as procurement, for Minority- and Women-Owned Enterprises (MWBE) businesses, the New York Small Business Development Center has released a new learning module focused on the MWBE certification process. The MWBE Module is available at no cost through EntreSkills—the NYSBDC's online entrepreneurial education tool.

MWBE certification gives businesses access to contract set asides for qualifying businesses, specific loan and bonding programs, and exclusive events. The new EntreSkills module helps business owners determine if their businesses are eligible and shares details about documentation requirements, the application process, and certification benefits. It also explores other opportunities for which MWBE businesses may qualify, like city-, county-, regional-, and federal-level certifications and programs. When used in conjunction with NYSBDC advisement services, this module gives small business owners the support they need to navigate the certification process.

Sonya Smith, State Director of the NYSBDC, said, “With the challenges that most small businesses encounter, it is important that the NYSBDC is a connector and resource for these individuals. There are programs in most states that focus on promoting equity by helping to level the business playing field, and MWBE certification is one avenue which makes that possible in New York State. The information in EntreSkills gives business owners guidance about the MWBE program and helps prepare them for the next steps toward certification.”

MWBE Module Details

The detailed objectives of the MWBE module are as follows:
  • Review information about the need for MWBE certifications and opportunities at various levels of government contracting.
  • Review the historical efforts that have resulted in the current high MWBE utilization rates in New York State.
  • Determine whether your business meets NYS MWBE certification eligibility requirements or not.
  • Review NYS MWBE documentation requirements.
  • Review the NYS MWBE application process.
  • Review available NYS MWBE certification benefits.
  • Review tips for maximizing the benefits of NYS MWBE certification.
  • Determine whether NYS MWBE benefits are ones you would like to pursue for your business or not.
  • Identify MWBE and other certifications and programs at the city, county, regional, and/or federal levels for which you would like to apply.

Jenny Alton, Coordinator of Learning and Organizational Development for the NYSBDC, said, “MWBE certification is not a simple process. It requires a lot of documentation, a detailed application process, and a significant amount of time. But getting New York State MWBE certification and other certifications available to these businesses opens up fantastic opportunities for government contracting. That is why we wanted to create this module to help small business owners really understand certification. When business owners combine that understanding with the free services of a skilled New York Small Business Development Center Advisor, they will be in an excellent position to enter and explore the world of procurement.”

EntreSkills, the NYSBDC’s entrepreneurial education program, is available in three versions: EntreSkills for Educators, EntreSkills for Veterans, and EntreSkills for Entrepreneurs. All three self-paced online curriculums introduce users to entrepreneurship and teach them the skills needed to start and operate or expand a business. EntreSkills for Educators is for students under a teacher’s guidance, while EntreSkills for Veterans and EntreSkills for Entrepreneurs are for NYSBDC clients working with a business advisor.

The NYSBDC works closely with other state economic development agencies, host institution faculty and students, and private industry and business representatives to focus resources on assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs. The NYSBDC emphasizes counseling and training services for women, veterans, people with special needs, and minority clients. Its work also includes connecting potential employers with job placement offices on SUNY campuses. This effort links SUNY students and alumni to jobs in the community. The NYSBDC's full-time professional business advisors undergo rigorous professional certification to keep their business knowledge up-to-date and their counseling skills sharp. The services of the New York SBDC Research Network—one of the most advanced business information resources in the country—augment the skill of advisors. The Research Network, located in Albany, New York, provides NYSBDC business advisors with the latest economic, demographic, regulatory, and other data that impacts small business success. Established in 1984, the NYSBDC has worked with more than 558,000 businesses, helping them to invest $8.2 billion in the state economy and create more than 259,000 jobs. To find a local SBDC, go to nysbdc.org.
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New York SBDC is a Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA-funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.