Questions about The MWBE Show

Why is the name The MWBE Show?

This is a really good question. The original and main idea of the show is to help promote and give exposure to MWBE’s out in the market utilizing video and social media. We want to interview you on video and post the video here and on several social media platforms. The goal is to have this content posted on a weekly basis. 

So in essence, it will be a weekly show about “you” among the other things we do. 

How do I get my company on the show?

We’re working on the right process, but for now, all you have to do fill out the contact form and we’ll reach out to you for the next steps.  

How much is this going to cost?

For any certified MWBE, DBE, SDVOB, or LGBTQ company, a video interview will cost you absolutely ZERO. We’re here to help you, and by helping you, your helping us. It’s a win-win. 

How long are the video interviews?

The video interviews will be short and sweet, about 20 – 30 minutes. Then we break that down to about 3 minutes of edited video at the most. In reality, if this can be edited down to about 1.5 minutes, that would be best. We add some additional talking points to the video to highlight you and the busines and work to cap it at 5 minutes.

Think of it as your video version of a capabilities statement or what we call “Video Capabilities Statement or VCS”, but with a little more about you as an individual and business owner.

Where is the studio?

That’s the beauty of it, we have none. We go to you at your place of business or at a desired mutually convenient location conducive for an interview. 

Questions about certification: MBE, WBE, DBE, 8(a), and SDVOB

Can certificaion help my company to get new business?

Certification can certainly help your company if you conduct B2B business. Keep in mind though, a company that is certified can do well if they market and truly commercialize the benefits of the certification. Certification generally helps your organization enter the government procurement marketplace and gain access to corporate supplier diversity programs providing a pathway to do business with these organizations. 

Does my company have to be incorporated to qualify for certification?

Yes, but it doesn’t always need to be a corporation per se. For the most part, a company must be legally formed through the Department of State in one of the accepted forms, such as a corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.

Although some agencies may accept a Sole Proprietorship for certification, it is highly advised that you form your company under a particular corporate type to separate yourself from the company for liability purposes. Seek legal or professional advice because a Sole Proprietorship leaves you open to be sued directly as you are literally the company. In addition, many insurance companies will not insure you unless you have a formal legal entity registered.

Do the owners need to be U.S. Citizens?

For the most part the answer is YES. However, at least 51% of the business has to be owned, operated and controlled by a U.S. Citizen(s) or U.S. permanent resident(s) who are women and/or members of designated minority groups based on the criteria for the specific certification. 

Can any of the owners of the company own other companies?

This would most likely be reviewed on a case by case basis. There is the question of fraud or racketeering if the businesses are similar or operate in the same industry. You can be denied or flagged on this basis.

It is better not to be specifically in the same line of business with the other company and not be denied on an application. If you are denied, you may be barred from reapplying for up to a year or more. If this is the case, withdraw your application until there is clear separation of the owners from the other organization and discuss this with the certification authority ahead of time for proper validation.

Can any of the owners be white?

This is a bit of a tricky question to answer. If the owner is a woman, then they potentially qualify under the WBE status if they meet all other criteria of being disadvantaged. Each certification agency has their own criteria for this.

If one or more of the owners are white males, this can become a red flag right away. It has to be very clear, with substantial historical evidence that 51% of the company is owned and controlled by a minority. It becomes a bit murkier when 51% or more is controlled by white women with white men owning part of the business.

There generally is great concern with the certification authorities due to the nature of the certification albeit the dominance of white men in business. There are many that try to circumvent the certification by putting a minority or woman out front while they reap the benefits and control the business behind the scenes.

Beware that this is a criminal offence with some pretty stiff penalties and in some cases prison time.

Always be upfront with the certification authority in the certification process. 

Do I have to provide personal financial inforation for qulification?

Yes. Each program has personal net worth requirements that may differ. The whole point here is that the owners are supposed to be disadvantaged and they must prove that based on the certifying agencies requirements on personal net worth. 

Is there a limit on the number of owners for certification?

There does not appear to be a limit, but there needs to be a formal leadership structure and of course meet the 51% minority and/or women owned controlling status.

For example, a worker coop is a legal company structure that can have all or many employees as equal co-owners of the company. But, there is one CEO or a small group of elected or appointed managing officer owners that can be clearly identified. All of the owners can have voting rights and share the surplus (profits), etc, but there is clear day to day decision making leadership. 

Worker cooperatives are unique and can literally have hundreds of equal owners (one share one vote), but the management structure is key along with meeting the 51%.