The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program (DBE) specifically for minority, women and veteran owned businesses, is administered by the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University. Open For BusinessThe FSBDC is committed to providing assistance to the Southwest Florida business community in the following areas:  Florida State Certification application assistance, business and technical assistance, and procurement assistance.

Florida State certifications issued by the Office of Supplier Diversity/Department of Management Services to small business owners, e.g., Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) and Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE).

Minority Certification Information

  • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
  • Woman Business Enterprise  (WBE)
  • Veteran Business Enterprise  (VBE)

Lee County Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)

Take your business to the next level of success.

Certification Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Start-up PhotoBelow are the minimum eligibility requirements to become a Certified Business Enterprise as a minority, woman, minority woman, and/or veteran small business.

  • A small business independently owned and operated, with a net worth of not more than $5 million and employ 200 or fewer full-time permanent employees. 51 percent owned, managed and controlled by: African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native-American, American Woman or Florida veteran who is a citizen of the United States and a permanent resident of Florida.
  • If a professional license is required for the industry, the minority owner must be the license qualifier.
  • The minority owner(s) shall not have acquired their majority ownership of at least 51% of the applicant business through a transferal of ownership occurring within a minimum of two years, when the previous majority ownership interest in the business was by a non-minority who is or was a relative, former employer, or current employer of the minority persons on whom eligibility is based.
  • Engaged in commercial transactions (currently doing business).
  • Operates a business that is legally registered to do business in Florida.
  • The business is registered in MyFloridaMarketPlace (MFMP).

Benefits of Being a Certified Florida MWBE or VBE

Consulting 2Minority, women and veteran businesses that are certified by the state are the first tier of businesses referred to state and local agencies seeking to include supplier diversity as a part of their purchase order and contract opportunities.

The Certified Business Enterprise Vendor Directory lists only state certified MBEs, WBEs and VBEs.

State agencies, universities, regional and local government entities, even private businesses use this directory to find state-vetted minority, woman, and veteran owned businesses to diversify their vendor dollars.

  • Special emails to vendors who appear in the state’s database. This information could vary from contract opportunities to special events, networking activities and technical assistance training.
  • Online Recertification has been extended to every two years in order to simplify the process.

Supporting documents required – Please contact  our office at sbdc@fgcu.edu / 239.745.3700