Business Assistance Program
Starting a new business requires a great deal of preparation, from creating your business plan to selecting your business site and everything in between. The City of Raleigh together with the state and local resources can help new business owners get started. Visit the City of Raleigh Economic Development website for more information.
The Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program is specifically designed to advocate and facilitate business growth and provide opportunities for the historically underutilized businesses.
Pursuant to General Statutes of North Carolina Sections 143-128 and 143-131 and to City policy, the City of Raleigh encourages and provides equal opportunity for certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) businesses to participate in all aspects of the City’s contracting and procurement programs to include - Professional Services; Goods and Other Services; and Construction. The prime contractor will be required to identify participation of MWBE businesses in their proposal, and how that participation will be achieved.
Furthermore, the City’s goal is to contract or sub-contract fifteen percent (15%) of the contract amount to Certified MWBEs on construction projects over $300,000, or with contracts that include $100,000 or more in state funding. The goal breakdown is 8% for minorities and 7% for non-minority females.
Who is eligible
Certified minority or woman-owned businesses. General Statute 143-128.2 defines a “minority business” as a business that is:
- At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more minority persons or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The statute also includes corporations in which at least 51% of stock is owned by one or more minority or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
- The statute defines the term “minority person” as the following:
- Asian American
- American Indian
- A "socially and economically disadvantaged individual" is defined by reference to a federal statute (15 U.S. C. § 637). Socially disadvantaged individuals are "those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities". Economically disadvantaged individuals "are those socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business that are not socially disadvantaged".
MWBE Program benefits
- Your business information will be listed in the MWBE directory.
- The City encourages the use of MWBE suppliers for Professional Services, Goods and Other Services, and Construction.
- The City’s goal is to contract or sub-contract fifteen percent (15%) of the contract amount to Certified MWBEs on construction projects over $300,000, or with contracts that include $100,000 or more in state funding. The goal breakdown is 8% for minorities and 7% for non-minority females.
- Electronic notification of bid opportunities for City of Raleigh bids and RFPs. We encourage you to attend any pre-bid meetings.
- Workshops & seminars - Offered on topics relevant to business. The City of Raleigh partners with local non-profit organizations to provide resources and education opportunities for business owners. Workshops are provided free of charge and cover a broad range of topics.
- Annual Small Business Expo - An opportunity for business owners to network with over 100 contacts including local general contractors seeking subcontractors, end users, and suppliers. Representatives from the City of Raleigh, Wake County Public Schools, and other local and non-profit governmental agencies provide information about upcoming projects and events.
- Outreach Sessions - Provide information about upcoming City projects.
Become a City of Raleigh MWBE Vendor
1. Certify with one or both of the following:
- NCDOA Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB)
1336 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1336
- NCDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)
North Carolina Department of Transportation
1511 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Registration not only certifies you to do business with the City of Raleigh as a MWBE but also makes you eligible for work with the State of NC.
2. Sign up as a supplier with the City of Raleigh
- Once your business is an approved certified MWBE:
- Visit the New Supplier Registration section of Supplier Registration and Update Process
- Submit your HUB or DBE Letter of Certification to email@example.com
- Sign up for Business Assistance communications about upcoming training classes and workshops using MyRaleigh Subscriptions, a free, subscription based service provided by the City, that gives citizens access to relevant information on the topics of their choosing, which is sent via email or mobile alerts.