I knew I had to be in business for a year before I could apply for MWBE certification, but last week, something forced my hand. A prospective client wanted to hire me, but needed to hire an MWBE.
According to the NYS Empire State Development website, ESD’s
…Division of Minority and Women’s Business (MWBE) Development (DMWBD) is designed to promote equality of economic opportunities for MWBEs and to eliminate barriers to their participation in state contracts. The important objectives of the program are to:
So, I began the application process.
I've heard it seems daunting to some, but I just chunked it up and powered through very methodically. I already had a NYS Vendor ID, so I just needed to upload some documents. Actually, a lot of documents. 28 attachments in addition to the online info.
A good number of these were simply Word documents that said “not applicable” – but the application requires an upload for each document request. To keep track, I set up a folder and assigned numbers to the documents.
I started working on the application at 6 p.m. on February 19, and kept at it until 10 p.m. I needed to pick up a letter from SEFCU and have two documents notarized, and I did that on the afternoon of the 25th. I submitted all the documents – except for our 2019 taxes, because we just dropped them off at our friendly neighborhood CPA! I’ll upload them just as soon as I get them.
In all, I think it took about 7 hours to complete the online portal application, locate and scan the documents, and have them notarized.
And now, I wait!
But while I wait, I want to hear from my fellow solopreneurs or small business owners. Have you applied for MWBE certification? Why or why not? How long did the approval process take? Was it worth it? (I was planning to apply anyway, but the new client was a serious motivator!)
Drop me a line and let’s make #SmallTalk!
Colleen M. Ryan is an