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June 29, 2023 8:47am

Greater Louisville Inc., Louisville’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) partner to launch Minority Certification Hub

New partnership simplifies process for minority business certification

Louisville, Ky. (June 29, 2023) – Greater Louisville Inc. announced the launch of its Minority Certification Hub, an official partnership with the Louisville Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to make it easier than ever for Greater Louisville businesses to access minority business certifications. The partnership will provide hands-on coaching to help minority-owned businesses through the process of applying for and securing certification.

“The largest barrier to growth that minority-owned businesses in our community face is access to capital. In our work to connect businesses for contracting opportunities, we realized many procurement departments require a range of certifications and the process to obtain those can be overwhelming and intimidating,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of GLI. “We are proud to work with our longtime partners at the SBDC to help more minority-owned businesses access certifications and help more companies in our area diversify their vendor spend.”

Louisville’s SBDC office has staff that focus on walking businesses through the process of certification. GLI’s role as a convener of the community will help expand SBDC’s existing work by bringing more businesses into the pipeline for certification and connecting the businesses with potential contracting opportunities once certified. The SBDC is equipped to assist with dozens of specific certifications including Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Veteran-owned Small Business (VOSB), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender- Owned Business Enterprise (LGBTE), and more.

“Minority certifications are not needed by every business, but we hope this program will make it easier to navigate the certification process for those businesses who want to get their foot in the door for a partnership with a large corporation,” said Dana Johnson, GLI’s senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Not only is minority certification a requirement for certain companies, but being certified also creates a competitive advantage when applying for grants and contracts because many public and private organizations set dollars aside to spend with certified minority-owned businesses.”

While certain certifications require a fee, GLI and SBDC will not charge any fees for their navigation services. GLI and SBDC will also work with city and state partners to refer businesses for resources as needed. The process starts with filling out this form, then a GLI representative will be in touch to learn more about the goals and best path for certification.

“The close partnership between the Louisville Small Business Development Center and GLI has always yielded strong results for Louisville’s businesses and the new Minority Certification Hub will help the community’s qualifying businesses find new opportunities.  The SBDC team is excited to be a part of this new program,” said Dave Oetken, Center Director of the Louisville SBDC.