Glossary of Terms

Diverse/Diversity: An easy way to refer to all minorities and women with a single word. Often the term “minority” is used to describe a group that represents a smaller percentage of the total population than another group or groups. In the United States a minority is a person who is an African American; Asian Pacific; Hispanic; Native Americans (of all tribes including Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islander); and Subcontinent Asian. Women are considered among the minority group because historically, they have had limited access to educational and professional opportunities. Veterans and Service Disabled Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy) can also be included in the disadvantaged category for diversity certification. There are some agencies that offer certifications for Persons with Disability and LGBT, even if no other minority or veteran status is met.

Supplier Diversity: A business program that encourages the use of previously underutilized minority owned vendors as suppliers. It is not directly correlated with supply chain diversification, although utilizing more vendors may enhance supply chain diversification.

Certification Types

  • 8(a): A certification offered the United States Small Business Administration [see SBA below] that enrolls a business in the SBA’s Business Development Program and allows them participation in federal procurements that are specifically set aside for 8(a) certified businesses.
  • ABE: Asian [American] Business Enterprise; an Asian-owned business that has received certification.
  • ACDBE: Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise; an airport concessionaire business that has received DBE certification [see DBE below].
  • DBE: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise; a disadvantaged business that has received DBE certification. (Must be socially and economically disadvantaged to qualify.)
  • HUBZone: Federal designation for historically underutilized business in designated urban or rural areas or designated census tracts, the business must be located in a designated area and 35% of its employees must live in designated HUB areas to qualify. Find HUBZone areas. A HubZone business can take part in the SBA’s HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program.
  • LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender business enterprise; a Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, or Transgender business that has received LGBT certification.
  • MBE: Minority Business Enterprise; a minority-owned business that has received MBE certification.
  • MWBE: Minority Woman Business Enterprise; a minority-woman-owned business that has received MWBE certification.
  • PWD: Person with Disability or Disabled; a disabled-owned business that has received certification.
  • SBE: Small Business Enterprise; a certified small business.
  • SDE: Small Disadvantaged Enterprise; a small business that has received SDE certification.
  • SDVBE: Service Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise; a service-disabled veteran-owned business that has received certification.
  • Section 3: Housing and Urban Development agency specific certification, a business must meet one of the following criteria: a) 51% of the business is owned by Section 3 residents, b) 30% of the business’s current full-time staff meet the definition of a Section 3 resident, or c) business has evidence of firm commitment(s) to provide 25% of the total dollar amount of subcontracts to Section 3 businesses.
  • VBE or SDVBE: Veteran or Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise.
  • WBE: Women Business Enterprise; a woman-owned business that has received WBE certification.
  • WOSB/EDWOSB: Federal designation for Woman Owned Small or Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business.

Certifiers

Note: List does not include all state certifying agencies, but references the country-wide Department of Transportation (DOT) based Unified Certification Program (UCP). Information about individual state certifiers is available upon request.

  • Disability:IN (formerly USBLN [US Business Leadership Network]): Disability:IN the 3rd party certifier for Person with Disability or Disabled owned businesses. A person with disability owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% of a US-based business to be eligible for certification; and be a United States citizen or permanent legal resident.
  • EPHCC: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a SBA-approved certifier for the WOSB program for both WOSB and EDWOSB status.
  • HUD: Housing and Urban Development, a Federal agency that offers its own certification – Section 3.
  • NaVOBA: National Veteran Owned Business Association, a 3rd party certifier of veteran and service disabled owned businesses. A Veteran or Service-Disabled Veteran business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% a US-based business to be eligible for certification.
  • NGLCC: National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the 3rd party certifier (not a state or federal agency), that certifies LGBT [see LGBT above] business. An LGBT business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% of a US-based business and be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident(s) to be eligible for certification.
  • NMSDC: National Minority Supplier Development Council, the 3rd party certifier, that certifies minority (for their certifying purpose NMSDC defines minority as Asian, Black, Hispanic and/or Native American business owner that is “at least 1/4 or 25% minimum” of one of these categories) business. A minority business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% of a US-based business and be a United States citizen to be eligible for certification. Their Global-Link International Program works to connect historically-excluded populations with corporate purchasing entities in other countries (Canada, China, UK, etc.).
  • NVBDC: National Veteran Business Development Council, a 3rd party certifier of Veteran and Service-Disabled owned businesses. Named by the Billion Dollar Roundtable [see BDR below] as their certification organization of preference for VBEs and SDVBEs. A Veteran or Service-Disabled Veteran business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% a US-based business to be eligible for certification.
  • NWBOC: National Women Business Owners Corporation, a 3rd party certifier, that certifies women businesses and an SBA-approved certifier for the WOSB program for both WOSB and EDWOSB status. A woman business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% a US-based business to be eligible for certification; and be a United States citizen or permanent legal resident. Also, the business has to have been in operation for at least six months and have customers/clients.
  • SBA: United States Small Business Administration, a Federal certifier (8(a) and HUBZone), a resource for small businesses and their owners, as well as, prospective entrepreneurs; and the repository holder for the Federal WSOB/EDWOSB program.
  • UCP: Unified Certification Program, this program is available in every state and offers DBE certification.
  • USPAACC: US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, 3rd party certifier of Asian American (heritage includes China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Mongolia) owned businesses. A business must be 51% owned, managed, and operated by Asian American(s) or Asian legal permanent resident(s).
  • USWCC: US Women’s Chamber of Commerce, 3rd party certifier of women owned businesses offering WBE and International WBE certification and is a SBA-approved certifier for the WOSB program for both WOSB and EDWOSB status. A woman business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% a US-based business to be eligible for certification; and be a United States citizen.
  • VA: Veterans Administration, the Federal certifier for Veteran or Service-Disabled Veteran certification. A Veteran or Service-Disabled Veteran business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% a US-based business to be eligible for certification. (Some states offer their own veteran owned business certification, learn more HERE.)
  • WBENC: Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the largest 3rd party certifier, that certifies women businesses and a SBA-approved certifier for the WOSB program for WOSB status only. A woman business owner (or owners) must own, operate, and control at least 51% a US-based business to be eligible for certification; and be a United States citizen or permanent legal resident.
  • WEConnect: WEConnect International, affiliated with WBENC [see above WBENC], and certifies women-owned businesses internationally including: Canada, China, Europe, and India.

Other Related Acronyms & Terms

  • BDR: Billion Dollar Roundtable, a group of corporate entities working to increase commitment and spending levels with diverse suppliers.
  • CAGE Code: Commercial and Government Entity Code, a unique ID assigned to Federal suppliers.
  • DOT: An acronym for Department of Transportation, both at the federal and state government level.
  • DUNS: Dun and Bradstreet Number, a credit reporting number for your business.
  • FAR: Federal Acquisition Regulations, the rules governing how the Federal government procures goods and services, which can be viewed HERE.
  • FedBizOpps: The website where Federal procurement opportunities are posted by government buyers.
  • FEIN: Federal Employer Identification Number
  • FSC: Federal Supply Codes, a set of codes the Federal government uses to “group products into logical families for management purposes.”
  • GSA: United States General Services Administration, they establish long-term government-wide contracts known as GSA Schedules (also known as Multiple Award Schedules or Federal Supply Schedules). These schedules are organized by the goods, services or products purchased. If you want to sell to the federal government it is recommended that you get on a GSA schedule. NOTE: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has their own schedule, the VA Federal Supply Schedules Program, to procure medical supplies.
  • Home-State: State in which your business is headquartered or domiciled.
  • IDIQ: An acronym for Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract.
  • NAICS (pronounced NAKES):  North American Industry Classifications System, a set of codes used to classify the type of work a business performs or product(s) they provide.
  • NIGP Codes: National Institute of Governmental Purchasing Codes, a set of codes used to classify the type of work a business performs or product(s) they provide.
  • OSDBU: Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization, virtually every federal agency has an office to ensure use of diverse businesses similar to supplier diversity in corporate America.
  • PNW: An acronym for Personal Net Worth Statement, a financial reporting document listing short and long-term assets and liabilities of an individual. Required for DBE certification.
  • Prime Vendor: Organization or company that has a direct relationship with the Customer. The Prime performs work/services or provides goods; and bills the Customer directly for its goods or services.
  • PSC: Product Service Codes, a way to classify your business (products and services sold) – these codes are broken down into three types: products, services, and research and development projects; and are used in the SAM (see below) system.
  • PTAC: Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, they provide government contracting (federal, state, and/or local) assistance, at little or no charge, through training and one-on-one counseling. PTACs are part of the Procurement Technical Assistance Program. Find your PTAC.
  • PTAP: Procurement Technical Assistance Program, a program established to expand the number of businesses capable of participating in government contracts.
  • Registered and/or Resident Agent: A company or person designated to receive official notifications from a state on be behalf of an out-of-state business entity. The agent must be located within the state they are receiving the notifications from.
  • RFI: An acronym for Request for Information.
  • RFP: An acronym for Request for Proposal.
  • RFQ: An acronym for Request for Quote.
  • SAM: System for Award Management, Federal contracting registration system. You MUST BE registered to be certified by or do business with the Federal government. SAM has replaced the following disparate systems: CCR (Central Contractor Registration), FedReg (Federal Agency Registration), ORCA (Online Representations and Certifications Application), and EPLS (Excluded Parties List System).
  • SIC: Standard Industrial Classification system, a set of codes used to classify the type of work a business performs or product(s) they provide.
  • Site Visit: Meeting between a certifying agency and a SMWVDBE applicant to verify certification application items. Not all agencies conduct site visits.
  • Small Business Size Standard: Determined by the US Small Business Administration, a business’s primary NAICS code determines if their standard is based on number of employees or gross sales. The size standard is the maximum size a business can be and still be considered small. Examples: 541511 – Customer Computer Programming Services the annual revenue size standard is $27,500,000 million. 311520 – Ice cream and Frozen Dessert Manufacturing the average number of full-time or part-time employees over the last 12 months standard is 1,000 employees. Determine your size eligibility.
  • Spend: The amount that a corporation or government entity purchases from a SMWVDBE; this amount is typically tracked both by individual vendor and in aggregate.
  • Strategic Sourcing: A systematic approach to minimize costs, streamline processes, and improve quality; results in the clustering of like purchases from fewer vendors.
  • Sub-Contractor: Organization or company that has a direct relationship with the Prime Vendor. The Sub performs work/services or provides goods 1) directly to the Prime or 2) to the Customer under the guidance of the Prime. The Sub bills the Prime for its goods and services. In this scenario, the Prime is the Sub’s direct customer, regardless of which organization consumes the goods or services.
  • Sub-Sub-Contractor: Organization or company that has a direct relationship with the Sub-Contractor. The Sub-Sub performs work/services or provides goods 1) directly to the Sub-Contractor, 2) directly to the Prime or 3) to
    the Customer under the guidance of the Prime. The Sub-sub-contractor bills the sub-contractor, who bills the Prime for the goods or services. In this scenario, the Sub-contractor is the Sub-subcontractor’s direct customer, regardless of which organization consumes the goods or services.
  • Tier 1: Direct supplier to a customer; prime contractor.
  • Tier 2: Second-level contractor; subcontractor; also referred to as Tier 2 supplier.
  • UNSPSC: United Nations Standard Product and Service Codes, a set of codes used to classify the type of work a business performs or product(s) they provide.