Charleston’s Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprise Office (M&WBE) strives to increase participation of minority and women-owned business enterprises in the full array of contracting opportunities available in the City of Charleston.
The M&WBE office assists potential entrepreneurs and existing small business owners through:
Aiding existing business owners in the capacity of business growth and expansion
Assisting potential entrepreneurs to identify and evaluate resources related to the start-up of their business
Assisting with the M&WBE certification process to enhance contracting opportunities.
Providing access to potential economic and financial opportunities through the use of business databases
Providing guidance and counsel to assist businesses become more efficient by improving management skills and operational effectiveness
Providing information on local skills-based training opportunities to interested business owners
The office maintains a current listing of MBE/WBE vendors for referral and distribution:
The City of Charleston has established goals for the utilization of women and minority-owned businesses. Certification benefits include:
Validation of M&WBE status
Sales and marketing opportunities within the City
Referral to educational programs
Referral to other diversity programs and organizations
Woman owned business: a business controlled and owned by a woman.
Minority owned business: a business controlled and owned by someone who is Black or African American, Hispanic, or Latino, Native American, Asian American or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
The applicant must own 51% of the business and must control the management and daily operations of the business in order to qualify. In addition, the applicant must be a citizen of the United States and have owned the business for at least 2 years.
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities. The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) Business Development program.
SCORE fosters vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. SCORE can help with creation of a business plan, find financing including small business loans or grants to grow your business, create a digital marketing campaign, and more!
Minority Business Development Agency is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research.
The S.C. Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification (SMBCC) connects minority- and women-owned small businesses to State contracting and procurement opportunities through the Material Management Office (MMO), while working with State agencies to implement and monitor minority-contracting programs in accordance with applicable policies, laws, and regulations.
The LDC helps entrepreneurs and communities by providing small business lending throughout Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, and Dorchester Counties.
Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council is a non-profit corporation chartered to enhance business opportunities by providing support through developing mutually beneficial networking opportunities with corporate members and promoting minority business development.