MBE Certification

The National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) Certification Policy and Procedures are firmly adhered to by its 23 regional Affiliate Councils (or RMSDCs – TriState Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC) being one of them) for the certification of minority-owned, operated and controlled businesses (MBEs). Standardized procedures assure comprehensive review of MBE certification throughout the NMSDC network. The NMSDC is the only national organization providing certification throughout the U.S. where MBEs are genuinely minority-owned and operated, and ready to do business.

As a TSMSDC certified MBE, you are in the unique position to promote and market your services to prospective corporate buyers who are looking to build relationships with trusted minority-owned businesses. If your company wants to connect with private-sector buyers, TSMSDC certification is considered the platinum standard in Supplier Diversity and can improve financial performance.  We invite you to take a look at the many benefits of being certified with us.

MBE Certification


Certification is a validation process. We are validating that a business is at least 51% owned, operated and managed by an ethnic minority that is a U.S. citizen. Ethnic minorities are defined as African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian Pacific and Asian Indian.

Ultimately, the MBE Certification creates opportunities for your company to do business with major corporations.


To become a certified MBE, your company must meet the following criteria. Both current and historical facts/data are considered in determining ownership qualifications and participation in the management and operations of the business.


  • A for-profit enterprise
  • At least 51% ethnic minority-owned. (Note: Ethnic minority-owned is defined as any business having owner(s) belonging to the following minority groups – African American, Hispanic American, Asian Pacific Islander American and Asian Indian American.
  • Physically located in the United States or its trust territories
  • Owned by minority/ethnics that are U.S. citizens
  • Managed by minority/ethnic owners, including daily business operations


An ethnic minority is an individual whose origin or heritage is of or from:

  • Any of the Black racial groups of Sub-Sahara Africa (African Americans)
  • Any of the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Brazil (Afro-Brazilian and Brazilian Indians only) (Hispanic Americans)
  • American Indian, Aleut or Native Hawaiian (Native Americans). Native Americans must be documented members of a North American tribe, band or organized group of native people indigenous to the continental U.S.
  • Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Guam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Samoa, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific or the Northern Marianas and Vietnam (Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asian Indian Americans)

Per our affiliation agreement with NMSDC, we do not consider the following groups for MBE certification:

  • Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal)
  • Asia Minor Region (Peninsula between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean)
  • Persian Gulf (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia)
  • Europe
  • Northern Africa (Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria)


All applications are made online at the MBE Certification section of our website.

Applying for MBE Certification at TSMSDC consists of the following steps. This process can take up to 45 days.




MBE Certification is renewable each year. A certified MBE must submit an application for renewal at least forty-five (45) days prior to certification expiration date or upon request by TSMSDC. Certification will be terminated if application for renewal and all required documentation are not received within sixty (60) days of the request or expiration of certification.

The process for Re-Certification can be found in the MBE Certification section on NMSDC.


The purpose and mission of the National Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (NMBEIC) is to work in conjunction with the National Office and affiliated Councils of the NMSDC to provide advice and input regarding the programs operating under the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) in the furtherance of its goals to enhance minority economic development and to conduct Council approved activities that the committee adopts in the furtherance that do not impair the 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.

As the liaison between the Council’s Corporate Members and as the voice of the Council’s MBEs, the MBE Input Committee (MBEIC) is a standing Committee of the TSMSDC Board of Directors. Elected into membership by TSMSDC-certified MBEs, its role is to provide Board Members and the Council staff with constructive and solution-oriented input on issues affecting minority-owned businesses, promote Council programs and activities, and execute on its own initiatives to strengthen and support the certified MBE community as a whole.

TSMSDC works closely with the MBEIC to provide input regarding programs operating under our Council.  We want to foster beneficial business relationships between us as suppliers, and our Corporate Members.  Our intent is to help develop and grow our businesses in our communities for success.



Did you know that as a certified MBE, TSMSDC can assist you to obtain financing and capital to help you grow your company?

Through our affiliation with the Business Consortium Fund, Inc. (BCF) we can aid you in arranging working capital loans and long-term financing. We can even assist you in obtaining growth capital through Triad Capital Investments, LLP.

The Business Consortium Fund, Inc.(BCF), is a non-profit business development program of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC). BCF is the nation’s most comprehensive financing and business support organization dedicated exclusively to the ethnic minority-owned business sector.

The BCF offers a full line of financing products and business services through a national network of strategic alliance partners that include the NMSDC and its 24 affiliated Regional Councils, major corporations, commercial lenders and financial institutions, and business support organizations. Its partners are supportive to facilitate the growth and development of NMSDC certified minority-owned firms.

The BCF is a “difference maker” for minority-owned businesses that need capital and business support services to grow their business but are unable to obtain them from conventional sources on reasonable terms. Their goal is to continuously improve and expand our programs, financing products, and services in order to better serve the minority business community.

The BCF offers a variety of financing programs and business advisory services for NMSDC certified minority-owned businesses. For additional information, please visit the BCF website at www.bcfcapital.com; or call Ruben Rodriguez, BCF Senior Vice President & Chief Lending Officer at 212.243.7360, and/or Cheri Henderson, TSMSDC President & CEO at 615.259.4699.

TSMSDC is here to help you!


TriState Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC) has Subscription Services for MBEs outside of the TriState MSDC territory – Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Effective January 1, 2014, Subscription Services were marketed throughout the network of NMSDC regional affiliate Councils. This new service is a select addition that provides value for minority business enterprises (MBEs), and was created to help businesses expand their reach and growth in the marketplace.

RFPs Business Leads RFP Business Leads
Alerts from Corporate Members Alerts from Corporate Members
inSight Newsletter TriState Executive to Corporate Meetings
Calendar of Events Industry Groups/Committees
Listing in National Database National Referrals
Webinar Calendar of Events
Letters of Introduction
Listing in National Database
Spotlight in inSight Newsletter
Access to Workshops
inBusiness Magazine
Access to Executive Management Programs


TSMSDC Fee Structure

Fees are commensurate with revenue generated:

Class 1: $0 – $1M
Class 2: $1M – $10M
Class 3: $10M -$50M
Class 4: $50M – above


New Certification $300 $500 $700 $900
Expedited New Certification
(added to fee)
$200 $200 $200 $200
Recertification $300 $500 $700 $900

For additional information please contact the MBE Certification Director at 615 259 4699.

Training and Assistance

We also offer our MBEs referrals and assistance to help them successfully grow their business, form strategic alliances and partnerships, and become stronger, more viable organizations. Assistance for minority businesses is also available through a variety of area service providers. Please call or e-mail TSMSDC for help contacting these providers.

In addition, TSMSDC offers partial scholarships for MBEs to attend executive training sessions at the Kellogg School of Business, Tuck School of Business, and the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin.

Networking Opportunities – “EVENTS”

Our annual Calendar of Events includes a variety of educational, motivational and social events that bring mainstream and minority businesses together for relationship building and business opportunities. Our most popular networking activities include the Marketplace, Impact Awards, Golf Outing, Matchmakers – amongst others.


  • Our certification is accepted by other certifying agencies
  • Greater opportunity to provide products and services to Corporate America
  • Direct access and exposure to corporate decision makers
  • Bid notification
  • Inclusion in national database
  • Training programs and business seminars
  • MBE Development
  • Networking events
  • Trade Fair and Matchmaker events
  • Access to NMSDC Network
  • Referrals
  • MBE Orientation


Apply Now