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.
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 SMSDC.org or call 512-659-2160.
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 sam.gov.
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 sba.gov or call 405-600-8000.
Certifications for Women
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) offers a women0owned business certification.
For more information, go to Okcommerce.gov/certifications or call 405-815-5143.
Indian-owned business can gain certification under the Cherokee Nation TERO, cherokeetero.com, 918-453-5335; Muskogee (Creek) National TER), mcn-nsn.gov/services/tero, 918-549-2964 or 918-549-2966; Chickasaw Nation Preferred Vendor Program, chickasaw.net/Services/Preferred-Vendor-Program.aspx, 580-559-0728; Choctaw Nation Preferred Supplier Program, preferredsuppliers.choctawnation.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.