3 States to Watch This Year

Thirty states plus the District of Columbia now allow legal use of medical marijuana. In addition, eight of those states, along with D.C., have legalized recreational use of marijuana. It looks like those two numbers are about to grow.

Two states are posed to legalize recreational marijuana in 2018 while another state could soon join the ranks of those allowing legal use of medical marijuana.

1. Michigan

Michigan currently allows patients to use medical marijuana, but it may soon approve recreational use of marijuana as well.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers gave its stamp of approval on April 26, 2018, on an initiative to put recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot later this year. Supporters needed to gather 250,000 signatures; they ended up with over 100,000 more signatures than needed.

States like Michigan are considering allowing recreational marijuana for its higher tax revenue. The proposed ballot measure would legalize possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use if passed. All recreational marijuana sales could be taxed at an additional 10% on top of Michigan’s current 6% sales tax. This revenue could be used to fund education, roads, and cities and counties with marijuana-related businesses.

However, that legalization of recreational marijuana is guaranteed to be on the ballot when voting takes place in November. The state legislature may pass a bill to legalize recreational marijuana even sooner because the Republicans currently in control of Michigan’s legislature want to boost their chances of maintaining their majority.

2. New Jersey

It was clear a year ago that New Jersey could be considering legalizing recreational marijuana when a candidate for governor Phil Murphy publicly voiced his support for legalization.

Murphy is now governor of New Jersey, and his party controls the state’s general assembly. Gov. Murphy is promoting a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in his state. He even included additional taxes from recreational marijuana sales in his proposed budget for New Jersey’s next fiscal year, which begins on July 1. However, the road to recreational use hasn’t been easy.

Some members of the democratic party are opposed to legalization, as well as most Republicans in the state assembly. Public polls have also shown that New Jersey residents have mixed views on allowing legal use of recreational marijuana.

3. Oklahoma

Oklahoma has no laws allowing legal use of marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes. However, it does have a law in place allowing medical use of cannabis extracts that have high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and low levels of THC (the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

This could change on June 26. Oklahomans will vote that day on State Question 788, which proposes legalization of medical marijuana and the establishment of a state system to tax and regulate its use.

Polls taken earlier this year show that the majority of Oklahomans support the proposal in State Question 788. Additionally, a group called Green the Vote is gathering signatures to include State Question 797, which would legalize recreational use of marijuana, on the ballot in November.

Each of these states could add new cannabis investment opportunities to the marijuana industry and provide wonderful opportunities for business development, especially for minority businesses, which have previously been overlooked. In the months to come, those serious about cannabis investing should watch these states closely as they begin entering the market.



The Three Things Women Need to Before Entering the Cannabis Industry

You’ve heard it a million times the cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in the United States. The fact that this has remained true for so long, should inspire you to take action because it’s a standing promise. The industry does have its risks, but it’s important to recognize that now is the time to invest in an industry that has a large potential for growth and could help minority businesses level the playing field.

Currently, 29 states have legalized some form of medical marijuana and allow doctors to prescribe it to their patients. Arcview Market Research with BDS Analytics, publicized a report in 2016. The report predicted that as more legal markets become active, the entire legal cannabis market will reach $24.5 billion in sales, a 28 percent annual growth rate, by 2021.

This is creating many jobs across the U.S and hundreds of cannabis products and services. Many of these products and services are specifically aimed at women consumers. Women could easily make a cannabis investment that would allow them to guide America’s medical marijuana in the right direction.

Hard-working women in the industry provide the following three tips for women looking at cannabis investing.

Be Genuine and Engaging

As more money floods the market, it’s critical for businesses to be authentic and genuine in their communities.  This starts with valuing the customer. Many women-owned businesses are modifying products and services based on honest feedback from their consumers. The can do this by creating real conversations and interactive experiences around their brands.

Interacting with consumers on social media is another way to build an inclusive and community-led fan base while keeping followers up-to-date.

Be Knowledgeable

It’s also important for you to stay up-to-date with the latest research, insights and facts. For example, a Cannabis Consumers Coalition’s (CCC) report released last year found that more women were consuming marijuana than men, 58 percent to 42 percent. This means you should be looking at women as a potential target audience for content and marketing and find ways to appeal to their needs and wants.

Consumer reports, new research, and data on the medicinal properties of cannabis is essential information that can add to your skill set and knowledge of the market and help you make better executive decisions. Armed with these facts you will be able to understand your market better, and you’ll be well-equipped to tackle debates in favor of cannabis legalization.

Be Innovative and Have Confidence

The cannabis market is a new and innovative market, which encourages out of the box thinking and bold leadership. Being self-aware, understanding precisely what you bring to the industry and having the confidence to follow through will do more for your business than almost anything else.

Now is the time to join the cannabis community. The possibilities for success are virtually endless and women stand as front-runners if they are willing to take the necessary steps. Above are just a few tips from women in cannabis today, who are ready to build a united feminine front in favor of cannabis.



In the Battle of the Sexes Size Doesn’t Matter

It’s obvious that men own and operate more businesses than women. In fact, women-owned businesses are still categorized as minority businesses. However, a recent study conducted by, an online business publication. Shows that regarding revenue and job creation rates women are in the lead.

Men own over 75% of businesses, but the recent study shows the women tend to be more effective leaders, create more jobs, have a larger appetite for growth, and significantly improve startup company performance.

This study was compiled through research and analysis of data. Through this thorough analysis, concluded that there are five reasons why women entrepreneurs are more successful than male entrepreneurs.

Female-Owned Firms Generate Higher Revenues 

According to “Womenable, a social enterprise firm focused on women’s entrepreneurship, analyzed the growth trends of male- and female-owned companies from 1997-2014, and found that businesses owned by women saw a 72.3 percent growth. Male-owned firms, on the other hand, grew by 45.1 percent over the same time period.”

Female-Owned Firms Create More Jobs Than Their Male-Owned Peers 

The Census Bureau found that the number of U.S. employees that worked at businesses owned by men grew by 0.37 percent from 2007 to 2015 while the number of employees at women-owned businesses experienced an 18.39 percent growth from 2007 to 2015. In total women-owned businesses created 1.24 million more jobs than their male counterparts, despite a fewer number of business total owned by women. This is because women businesses experienced a 20% growth rate during that time, while the male business growth rate was 4.86 percent.

Women Executives Significantly Improve Startup Company Performance 

Women don’t have to own an entire business to create such astounding effects. First Round, a seed-stage venture firm, found that having a woman co-founder can help companies perform better in return investments than companies that have only male founders. In fact, Dow Jones VentureSource conducted research that shows that more female executives in a company correlate with higher success rates.

Women Are More Effective in Senior Leadership Roles 

According to CEB, a research company, strong leadership results in double the revenue of businesses with weak leadership. Another study conducted by Harvard Business Review shows that women are often stronger leaders than men. In fact, “The research provided hard data on the key competencies that top leaders should exemplify. Out of 16 leadership competencies, which included problem-solving, driving for results, and collaborating with others, women scored higher than men in all but one.”

Effective leadership is a driving force for productivity and attract highly talented professionals, which lead to higher revenues.

Women Have a Larger Appetite for Growth

A BizWomen survey of 1,366 business owners proved that 32 percent of female-owned businesses are in active expansion mode versus 27 percent of businesses owned by men.

Women are more interested in expansion, and they are also more likely than men to start new ventures. A Centre for Entrepreneurs study showed that close to half of women polled plan to start another business within the next three years, while just 18 percent of men were planning on starting a new venture.

The study clearly shows the power of a minority-owned business. It seems that we often overlook these businesses’ power and potential, which could be unlocked by embracing true diversity. Women-owned businesses are just one example a minority business type that could lead to growth in several ways. It’s time we recognize the strengths of all peoples and realize that in terms of success size really doesn’t matter.



Diversity is Hot in Cleveland

The Business Growth Collaborative or BGC is made of 10 Cleveland organizations that aim to promote business growth opportunities for minority business owners in Northeast Ohio. BGC will do this by making entrepreneurial resources more readily available to low-income and disadvantaged communities.

Cathy Belk, president of JumpStart Inc., the venture development organization that helped found BDGC said, “At its core, the BGC is about putting the needs of diverse entrepreneurs and small business owners first. Each organization in the BGC has their own unique strengths and way of doing things-but the best way to help the people we serve get the knowledge and support they need is to work together whenever and wherever possible.” Just as the BGC can recognize and appreciate “unique strengths” and techniques in each other, they can also appreciate they unique strengths and skills brought on by minority businesses and entrepreneurs.

BGC was created by JumpStart and Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Commission on Economic Inclusion. According to Greater Cleveland Partnership’s, “The collaborative will connect individual service delivery of multiple organizations while they maintain their independent functions, structure, and identities. This will be done by:

  • Assessing each organization’s mix of services; and the geographies, industries, and size of clients served.
  • Agreeing to a joint method of assessment and growth continuum classification.
  • Developing protocols for client intake and sharing of information as well as joint assessments.
  • Subscribing to a client management/contact system which is shared among the collaborative.
  • Ascribing and assigning organizations to segments of the client services based on the fit.
  • Monitoring and holding providers accountable for service delivery and results.
  • Evaluating performance of the collaborative annually “

The coalition is also made up of eight other organizations: the Economic Community Development Institute, the Presidents Council, Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council, Magnet, the Hispanic Business Center, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, the Council of Smaller Enterprises, and the Ohio Aerospace Institute.

The organization is further aided by supporting organizations like the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, the Gund Foundation, and PNC Bank. The support for such initiative is strong in the area.

Ted Carter, chief economic development and business officer of the office of the Cuyahoga County Executive, said, “The County is pleased to support the Business Growth Collaborative, which provides tech assistance and (business to business) procurement opportunities to minority business. This investment, with one of our key strategic partners, leverages and compliments the county’s other capital programs directed to minority small businesses.”

Cleveland is one of many cities that are beginning to value and encourage diversity in businesses within the city and state. With these initiatives in place, minority-owned businesses will now have the resources and skills to compete with more mainstream businesses. These minority businesses will add creativity and innovation to the community creating a stronger economy and city.

[Source] [Source]

5 Up and Coming California Cannabis Stocks

California has been a leader in medical marijuana for nearly two decades. The state recently opened the adult-use market on January 1st, gaining investor interest. California, unlike other states with legalization, permits publicly-traded cannabis companies, and investors who want to capitalize on this market several companies to consider.

Before we discuss those companies, we would like to mention that stocks include in this article should not be considered a recommendation to buy the stock. This information is simply a starting point for your own research in cannabis investing. Now on to the five companies with potential in California cannabis investors should investigate.

  1. CannaRoyalty (CSE: CRZ) (OTC: CNNRF) is based in Canada and invests in royalty agreements, equity stakes, licensing deals, debt, and strategic partnerships. CannaRoyalty has built a large platform in California, which includes an equity interest in River (RVR), a quality craft distributor. The company also has 100% ownership of GreenRock Botanical, Soul Sugar Kitchen edibles, and Alta Supply and an exclusive distribution deal with Bhang, California’s best-known brands for edibles and concentrates. This company is fairly newCannaRoyalty look at their website and recent corporate deck.
  2. LifeStyle Delivery Systems (CSE: LDS) (OTC: LDSYF) is also based in Canada and was originally intended to license its own CannaStrips product, but became a vertically integrated producer out of its 20,000 sq. ft. Southern California growing and processing facility. The company had over C$6.8 million invested in the facility at the end of September 2017. For more information on the company visit
  3. MedMen is not publicly traded as of yet, but it announced its intention to go public through a Canadian listing in the next few months. The company has several operations in Southern California and runs a retail store in Las Vegas. It also plans to build three more stores in Vegas and operates two medical dispensaries in New York. To learn more about the company, look at this annual report.
  4. Sunniva is a relatively new company that started trading this year. It’s based in Canada and is pursuing a license for a large facility in British Columbia. Sunniva is developing a 325,000 sq. ft. cultivation facility in Cathedral City, California. It believes this facility will produce 60 million grams per year. Check out Sunniva’s investor deck to get more information.
  5. Terra Tech is one of the original cannabis stocks and began publicly trading in 2012. It started recognizing sales from California cannabis products in 2016 with its IVXX brand. The company reported its full results for 2017 on March 15 and is expected to see major growth in 2018. For more information visit

There are several other companies you could invest in, but with any company, you need to be cautious and research them thoroughly before investing. Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and is definitely worth looking into.



Do you Dare to Invest in Cannabis? The Risks You Should Be Aware of for Future Investing

It’s clear that investing in cannabis could lead to some big returns, but it also comes with a risk. Zachary Venegas, CEO of Helix TCS Inc., a cannabis security and transport company and an intelligence firm for venture capitalists recently spoke on cannabis investing.

In 2017, cannabis-related cultivation and retail investments reached a stunning $718 million. This revenue helped cannabis agricultural technology infuse products and software to attract more investors. The industry is getting so large that it’s projected to exceed $50 billion by 2022.

Venegas claims California has the leading market on cannabis. He said, “California’s medical cannabis market is already as big as the total markets in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon combined by most market participant’s estimates.” Venegas also believes that “the legal cannabis market could reach sales of over $20 billion in the next few years.”

However, even Venegas recognizes caution is needed when looking at investing in cannabis. He warns investors, “No profit-minded professional would prudently ignore such a market, but one must be mindful that this unique sector is rife with complex legal and regulatory risks.” Venegas has covered many cannabis related topics in previous talks and speeches. This includes the legal distinctions between recreational and medical marijuana, the risks in each industry for producers, retailers, and other ancillary support businesses, the regulatory environments in the U.S. States, the cannabis “frontier market,” and the differences between a marketer or an operator.

Of course, the biggest risk to consider when investing is the legality of cannabis, particularly regarding Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, a federal statute that places cannabis on the same level as heroin and other narcotics.

Despite the overwhelming support from 30 states for medical marijuana and the support from 9 states for recreational cannabis, there are still federal restrictions in place on production, distribution, and possession. Cannabis laws also vary from state to state and within states.

However, Venegas isn’t opposed to investing. He states, “For 2018, private and public funds are investing tens of millions of dollars in anticipation of several industry catalysts that will be seen. New Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) are coming online that are heavily investing in companies in the cannabis industry.” Canada is also a spot of interest for cannabis investors.

There are other risks besides the legality of cannabis to consider before investing. Venegas states, “Many people assume that having a license to operate a cannabis dispensary is a golden ticket to automatic riches. That assertion is flawed, as profitability and ultimate business success will still be subject to adequate capitalization, sound business practices, and as we are seeing in Colorado, the law of supply and demand…before it can grow and move away from a model that heavily relies on cash, the cannabis industry needs to secure access to financial markets. But due to federal regulations, banks, and even insurance companies stay away…growers, dispensaries and research labs have to secure financing from credit unions or ‘angel’ investors.”

Cannabis comes with a few more risks than the average stock. Understanding these risks is the key to making a good investment.


Can Diversity Help the Economy?

Diversity builds the ecosystem, health, productivity, longevity, and resilience. This has been seen in nature and communities. However, society has often denied itself of these benefits in the past. For a community to have sustainable economic and social systems, it must be diverse and inclusive to all.

Gender and ethnic diversity concerns have grown politically and corporately in the past several decades. Economic inclusion or equal opportunity to participate in the economic life of a community as employers, employees, consumers, and citizen, has become a Sustainable Development Goal by the United Nations.

The first of these goals was created in 2015. It was to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and was quickly followed by gender equality.

Achieving diversity is much harder than it seems. Verna Myers, Harvard trained lawyer, entrepreneur, author, and cultural innovator from Baltimore wrote, “Diversity is like inviting people to a party, inclusion is asking them to dance.” However, businesses and companies are striving to promote diversity in their everyday practice.

Sustainability membership group BSR saw that social resilience is a rising corporate concern that puts income and gender inequality on the same level of risk as cybersecurity and natural disasters. BSR President and CEO Aron Cramer said Businesses have an increasing stake in helping create “a social contract for the future.”

A few businesses that are participating in creating a more diverse work place include Google, which partners with Howard University to hire black computer science majors in 2017, HP, which diversified its corporate boards and workforce by bringing more women to the executive level in 2017, and Salesforce, whose CEO Marc Benioff spent $3 million to create equal pay for men and women. These companies and many others are becoming more open about their diversity and inclusion initiatives.

These programs help society and the businesses themselves. Public companies in the top 25% for ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to have above-average financial returns, and those in the top 25%  for gender diversity are 15% more likely to perform better financially.

Diversity is the way of the future, and many have found that going green is one of the best ways to produce diversity. Around the world, people of color, rural communities and women feel the worst effects of climate change pollution, and some have become climate refugees. Businesses are taking initiative on this. IKEA and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees partnered to provide solar panels and biodigesters to refugee camps in the Middle East. “Pay as you save” (PAYS) financing, pioneered by Holmes Hummel uses a tariff structure to provide energy efficiency and renewable power to low-income rural residents at no upfront cost. These low-income communities are the people who suffer most from sustainability crises in a climate-unstable world.  For example, four out of five white residents believe that New Orleans had mostly recovered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but three out of five blacks believe it hasn’t. To address this gap in thinking New Orleans appointed a chief resilience officer.

Many believe that diversity will lead to new techniques, attract new talent, and ensure sustainable economic growth. JPMorgan Chase invested $900,000 in sustainable infrastructure projects in Detroit. These funds will be used to make vacant spaces between commercial properties available for green infrastructure, which can mitigate storm water drainage fees, and turn vacant land into commercial spaces that support minority-owned businesses.

True diversity adds many benefits to our global society and is why we at C.E. Hutton believe so strongly in helping minority businesses through our business development resources and through real estate, technology, and bio-tech investing.


Big Biotech Stock Jumps

Last Month, three stocks soared 24% or more. This isn’t unusual for biotech investments, but are these jumps justified, and should you be investing in these stocks too? Some of the three biggest moves in the week of February 24 were Voyager Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics, and Odonate Therapeutics.

Voyager Therapeutics’ shares soared almost 50% higher. This can be attributed to the company receiving help from drug producer AbbVie. This collaboration was announced on February 20 and is supposed to help the companies develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Voyager will be given $69 million in upfront payments and has the opportunity to gain up to $155 million in preclinical and phase 1 milestone payments. Also, Voyager could receive $895 million per vectorized tau antibody if the key development and regulatory milestones are reached, and they would gain any tiered royalties on commercial sales.

Voyager has one clinical program that received approval from the FDA to advance to a phase 2/3 clinical study. This study is to find a treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease. Voyager also has several preclinical candidates, some of which Sanofi has secured licensing option rights.

This deal with AbbVie will help both companies as Voyager benefits from an influx of cash and AbbVie gets to enhance its neuroscience pipeline, which includes an experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug in phase 2 testing.

Fate Therapeutics’ shares went up 45%. This was a continuation of a six-month streak in which the biotech’s market cap has tripled. This progress is due to the announcement of an early-stage clinical study, FATE-NK100, a natural killer (NK) cell cancer therapy. On February 20 the first patient was treated in a phase 1 study combining FATE-NK100 with either Herceptin or Erbitux in treating advanced solid tumors. Both of these drugs are monoclonal antibody chemotherapies, which are commonly used in chemotherapy.

The immunotherapy is also in a couple of other clinical studies target treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia and ovarian cancer. This treatment shows potential for patients whose monoclonal antibody therapy has failed. Many believe that the combination of the NK cell cancer therapy with monoclonal antibody drugs could be more effective than the single-drug treatments.

Odonate Therapeutics stock rose 24% last month. Insider biotech investing by Odonate’s CEO Kevin Tang is the cause for the jump. Tang bought $2.9 million worth of shares on February 16 and $1.1 million on February 22.

It appears that Tang is hopeful about Odonate’s pipeline candidate, tesetaxel. Chemotherapy is being considered in a late-stage clinical study for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Tesetaxel is in a class of drugs known as taxanes, many of which are approved to treat cancer. However, tesetaxel comes in a pill and doesn’t require intravenous administration. This could make tesatexel a huge hit on the commercial market.

Phase 3 of the study on tesetaxel began in December; However, results on how well the drug performed most likely won’t be available until 2020.

Should you buy?

Now the question everyone wants has been answered. Whether you’re entering cannabis investing, real estate investing, or biotech investing you want to feel confident in your decision. While all of the companies above have some potential, all of these biotech stocks are still in a clinical stage, without products on the market. For many, this is too risky because the odds of failure are still very high. While you can be cautiously optimistic about these stocks, now may not be the best time to buy these stocks.


Is it Worth it? Three Biotech Stocks with High Premiums

Biotech investing may be riskier than other types of investing such as real estate investing, but it also comes with big payoffs. Recently three biotech stocks have been rising and have investors paying high premiums. These three stocks are Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, and Tesaro Inc. So why is everyone paying so much in premiums?

Ionis Pharmaceuticals is the founder of RNA-antisense technology. It’s first commercial stage product, Spinraza had a record-breaking season, and the FDA has already begun reviewing applications from the company for two new drug candidates with 9 figure sales potential.

Spinraza is the first FDA approved treatment for patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. Because it is the only treatment of its kind Ionis’ marketing partner made $884 million in global Spinraza sales last year. Ionis’ share of the sales was at $113 million. Ionis is directing this revenue toward drug candidates it owns.

Investors don’t mind paying 13X the trailing sales for biotech stocks because Ionis has a huge internal cycle and the potential for high-margin royalty revenue to fund further development.

Earlier this year the FDA accepted an application for inotersen, a candidate intended to treat transthyretin amyloidosis. While Alnylam Pharmaceuticals already has a TTR drug, patisiran, under review as well. Inotersen could eventually earn Ionis an addition $300 million in revenue.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is the only company marketing therapies that attack the cause of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF limits lung function and shortens the lifespans of 75,000 people.  This complete control of the market is just one reason why investors are willing to pay 17 times trailing sales for this stock.

On top of this Vertex is also expanding its customer list. Vertex started the year with 2 CF therapies and had 34,000 qualifying patients; however, a third CF therapy, Symdeko, which could expand Vertex’s customer base to 44,000; Vertex also has a couple of experimental treatments in the late- stage of testing, which could further boost the number to 68,000.

Combine this with the fact that a wholesale acquisition cost of a year of treatment is 292,000 dollars, and patients will need this treatment throughout their lives. It’s easy to see why someone would pay such a high premium.

Tesaro Inc. is the maker of Zejula a drug that makes it hard for tumor cells to repair their DNA. This drug was first used to keep ovarian cancer from reoccurring after standard chemo treatments. Chemo is painful and draining often causes pain, which requires medications like medical marijuana to ease. It’s no wonder why stocks soared after Zejula came into the market. Ovarian cancer tends to respond well to initial chemo treatments but is known to grow back and be unresponsive to subsequent chemo treatments. It’s the first medication to lengthen the span between rounds of chemotherapy extending the time from 5.5 months to 21 months or longer.

The FDA expanded the drug label of another PARD inhibitor to the same patients. This drug was AstraZeneca’s Lynparza. The price of Tesaro stock is still 13 times that of the trailing sales but has stopped growing.

In a world continually searching for cures to new diseases, it’s easy to see why companies posed to corner a market would be able to charge more for a share. While Vertex is clearly in the best shape of all three companies, all of them have a firm stake in biotechnology and prove it by demanding high premiums.


Minority Business Opportunities in Oklahoma

When you think of business opportunities, do you think of Oklahoma? I’m going to go ahead and guess that’s a no. Oklahoma is far from what we think of as a booming metropolis, but surprisingly, Oklahoma has several programs designed to help minority-owned businesses. While Oklahoma doesn’t have an overall certification for minority businesses or disadvantaged business there are several certifications available. In fact, the states’ Small and Minority Business Coordinator, Ken Talley recently conducted a workshop at the Moore Norman Technology Center’s Franklin Road Campus; during this workshop, Talley mentioned several certifications available to minority businesses.

A business owner may be certified in several areas if they desire to and if they meet their desired customer markets. Talley shared a few and divided them up into the areas below.

Private Certifications

The private sector offers the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) program.

The NMSDC and its partners ask major corporations and large companies to purchase products from a minority-owned business. These large corporations are given a list. To get on this listing, a minority-business owner must own 51% or more of the business and be a member of a minority.

One of the affiliates with this program in Oklahoma is the Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council, which operates out of Austin, TX.

If you would like to join in the Oklahoma Minority Business Enterprise Certification, you can go to or call 512-659-2160.

Transportation Certifications

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification for minority businesses. This certification will put the businesses information in the DBE certified Directory Database, which will allow bidders on projects to use certified DBE(s) and ensure their projects meet federal guidelines.

To qualify a minority business owner must hold 51% or more ownership of the business, have full operating control of the business and provide a service, product, or material needed for a transportation project.

Federal Contract Certifications

The Small Business Administration administers certification to qualifying businesses that want to do business with federal departments and agencies.

One available certification in this area includes the Small Disadvantage Business Certification, which is a self-certification for businesses that meet social and economically disadvantaged standards. This certification requires the businesses to be entered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database.

To learn more, go to

Another certification in this area is the Business Development Certifications, which are for minority businesses that qualify for sole source, negotiated contracts with federal businesses.

For more information on this certification, check out or call 405-600-8000.

Certifications for Women

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) offers a women0owned business certification.

For more information, go to or call 405-815-5143.

Tribal Certifications

Indian-owned business can gain certification under the Cherokee Nation TERO,, 918-453-5335; Muskogee (Creek) National TER),, 918-549-2964 or 918-549-2966; Chickasaw Nation Preferred Vendor Program,, 580-559-0728; Choctaw Nation Preferred Supplier Program,, 580-924-8280, ext. 2889 or 2899.

For more information on Minority Business opportunities in Oklahoma, call Tally at 405-815-5218 or email him at


Join our Newsletter

We'll send you newsletters with news, tips & tricks. No spams here.

Contact Us

We'll send you newsletters with news, tips & tricks. No spams here.