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PA Women and Minority Certification

The Bureau of Minority and Women Business Opportunities (BMWBO) is now known as the Bureau of Small Business Opportunities (BSBO). This agency provides the necessary information and inspiration for their customers, the small, women, and minority business owners, to compete for and participate in the state contracting process.

The Bureau now uses third party entities to certify minority, woman, veteran, or service disabled veteran businesses. These entities include the Unified Certification Program (UCP), the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(A) Business Development Program, and the Vetbiz VIP Verification Program.

Becoming a Certified Minority or Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE)

The new Small Business Procurement Initiative outlines some new and exciting opportunities for small businesses. Please refer to this site for additional information. Also watch for the new Bureau of Small Business Opportunities site to go live in the coming weeks via the PA Department of General Services page!

Basic Requirements

The following basic criteria are used by BMWBO to evaluate eligibility for certification and cannot be waived. However, meeting these criteria does not guarantee that an application will be approved. This is only intended as a general overview.

  • Be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by qualified minorities and/or women.
  • Qualify as a small business (no more than 100 employees).
  • Be owned by a United States citizen or citizens.
  • Be in business for at least one year or have a two-year business plan reviewed by a Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
  • Be independent of any other business entity or entities.
  • Be a for-profit business (nonprofits cannot become certified).
  • Provide and be qualified to provide the goods and services for which it is being certified.

Additionally, the woman or minority owner must hold the highest position in the company.

How to Apply for Certification

Visit the third party entities now charged with certfication - Unified Certification Program (UCP) - The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) - the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) - The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(A) Business Development Program - Vetbiz VIP Verification Program.

Useful Links

  • BMWBO FAQs (under construction)
  • Forms and Applications (under construction)

BSBO Main Office

North Office Building
401 North Street, Room 611
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0500

Main Line: (717) 783-3119
Automated Attendant: (717) 787-7380
Main FAX: (717) 787-7052

BSBO Eastern Region

801 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Phone: (215) 965-1105
FAX: (215) 965-5401

BSBO Western Region

Suite 2800 Piatt Place
301 5th Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: (412) 442-5872
FAX: (412) 442-5873

  • Government Contracting Assistance Program
  • 650 South 13th Street
    Robertshaw Building, Room 5
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-7824
  • Fax: 724-357-3082
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.