Minority Owned Business & Women Owned Business Enterprise


An MBE/WBE business meets one of the following:

1. a sole proprietorship, owned and controlled by a minority and/or woman; or

2. a partnership or joint venture controlled by a minority or woman in which 51 percent of the beneficial ownership interest is held by minorities or women; or

3. a Corporation or other entity controlled by minorities or women in which at least 51% of the voting interest and 51 percent of the beneficial ownership interest are held by minorities or women.


Public Law 95-507, The Small Business Act

On October 24, 1978, President Carter signed Public Law 95-507 amending the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, making federal procurement contracting more readily accessible to all small businesses. PL 95-507 stipulates that it is the policy of the Government to provide maximum practicable opportunities in its acquisitions of goods and services to small businesses, disadvantaged businesses and women-owned businesses. This stipulation also extends tohaving the maximum practicable opportunity to participate as subcontractors in contracts awarded by any executive agency. PL 95-07 is the statutory basis for MBE and is the\source of most MBE operational definitions.

Executive Order 11625

President Nixon issued Executive Order 11625 on October 13, 1971 authorizing the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate plans, programs and operations of the Federal government that would affect Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). Heads of Federal agencies are to furnish information, assistance and reports on MBE activity as requested by the Secretary of Commerce as well as develop and implement systematic datacollection processes which will provide the Office of Minority Business Enterprise Information Center current data helpful to evaluating and promoting MBE efforts.

Executive Order 12138 (WBE)

On May 18, 1979, President Carter issued Executive Order 1238 creating a National Women’s Business Enterprise Policy and prescribing arrangements for developing, coordinating and implementing a national program for Women's Business Enterprise. The directs each Federal agency to take appropriate action to facilitate, preserve and strengthen women's business enterprise by ensuring their participation in all business related activities including procurement. The head of each agency is to designate a high level official to have responsibility for the participation and cooperation of that agency incarrying out the Order.

In regard to grants making and cooperative agreements, this Executive Order 12138 directs Federal agencies to issue regulations requiring the recipient of such assistance to take appropriate affirmative action in support of Women's Business Enterprise and to prohibit actions or policies which discriminate against women's business enterprise on the basis of sex.

Executive Order 12432

President Reagan signed Executive Order 12432 on July 14, 1983 directing each Federal agency having substantial procurement or grant making authority to
a. develop a minority business development plan and establish programs concerning provision of direct assistance, procurement assistance andmanagement and technical assistance to MBEs.

b. establish MBE programs consistent with Section 211 of P.L. 95-507 to develop and implement incentive techniques to encourage greater minority business subcontracting by Federal prime contractors.

c. encourage recipients of Federal grants and cooperative agreements to achieve reasonable minority business participation in contracts let as a result of its grants and agreements.

d. furnish an annual report regarding the implementation of their program to the Secretary of Commerce.

Executive Order 11246

Signed by President Lyndon Johnson on September 24, 1965, EO 11246, as amended and as implemented by 41 CFR Part 60, prohibits all nonexempt Government contractors

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