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The landscape of diverse businesses includes various types that have unique certification requirements and are recognized for specific purposes, especially in contracting. Here are the primary types of diverse businesses:

  • Minority-Owned Businesses (MBEs): Owned by individuals who are African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian Pacific American, or Subcontinent Asian American.
  • Woman-Owned Businesses (WBEs): At least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by one or more women.
  • Veteran-Owned Businesses (VOBEs and VOSBs): Owned by U.S. military veterans. This category also includes Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs).
  • LGBTQ-Owned Businesses: Recognized specifically for businesses owned by LGBTQ individuals.
  • Disadvantaged Businesses: Qualify under specific federal criteria that consider social and economic disadvantages. This includes disability-owned businesses (DOBEs), which are owned by individuals with disabilities, ensuring they have substantial control over the business.
  • Small Business: A company that is categorized as small based on revenue and/or employees, as determined by the Small Business Administration’s classification laid out in its Small Business Size Standards.

Each type requires certification from recognized agencies which affirm that the businesses meet these criteria. These certifications are crucial for participating in diversity programs and can lead to enhanced business opportunities through government and corporate contracts.

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