The Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) Program was the first diverse business certification program for the State of Wisconsin. It was created in 1983 when the Wisconsin Legislature passed Wisconsin Act 390 that set a 5% participation goal for State Agencies and University of Wisconsin Campuses for purchases of goods and services with certified MBEs. Act 390 also established a permissive 5% bid preference for certified MBE firms responding to bids for State contracts.
Eligible businesses are:
1) At least 51% owned, controlled, and actively managed by one or more minority group members. Eligible minority groups include American Indian, Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Eskimo or Aleut, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian.
2) Organized as either sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, or joint ventures. MBE firms must be organized on a for profit basis; therefore, nonprofit and 501(c)(3) businesses are not eligible for MBE certification.
3) Currently performing a useful business function, i.e. has customers other than the State of Wisconsin.
4) Formed 1+ years prior to an application for certification or had its ownership/control changed 1+ years prior to application for certification
5) Not held in trust
For businesses who are a subsidiary or affiliate, the parent company must be at least 51% owned by a minority owner or owners.