Charleston’s Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprise Office (M&WBE) strives to increase participation of minority and women-owned business enterprises in the full array of contracting opportunities available in the City of Charleston.
The M&WBE office assists potential entrepreneurs & existing small business owners through:
Business growth and expansion
Resources related to business start-ups
M&WBE certification to enhance contracting opportunities
Access to financial opportunities through our business database
Guidance and counseling on management skills and operational effectiveness
Local skills-based training opportunities
The office maintains a current listing of MBE/WBE vendors for referral and distribution:
Other agencies maintain similar directories, including the two linked below.
Marketing opportunities through the City’s MWBE Spotlight program
Training and business development
Direct referrals to local business experts & other diversity programs
Minority-Owned Businesses: A business owned and managed by an individual who is Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native American, Asian American, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. This individual must actively oversee the daily operations of the business and control a majority (51% or greater) ownership stake.
Woman-Owned Businesses: A business owned and managed by a woman who actively oversees its daily operations and controls a majority (51% or greater) ownership stake.
Applicants must be citizens of the United States and have owned the business for at least one (1) full year. The gross revenue of the business concerned must not exceed $7.5 million. The personal net worth of the applicant cannot exceed $1.32 million, excluding the value of their primary residence and the business they are applying to have certified.
*Out of State Businesses: Businesses applying from outside the state of South Carolina must submit documentation of reciprocal certification through an official local, state, or federal program (ex. State DOT, SCDOT, SBA, State/Local MWBE). The MWBE Manager will determine if the reciprocal certification meets the City of Charleston’s requirements.
Small Business Workshops are free and available to small businesses in the Charleston area. If you have any questions about the workshops or how to register please contact the M&WBE Office at (843) 724-7472 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities. The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) Business Development program.
SizeUpSC is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to receive data to help your company make better decisions around competitive benchmarking, customers, suppliers, even marketing and advertising.
SCORE fosters vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. SCORE can help with creation of a business plan, find financing including small business loans or grants to grow your business, create a digital marketing campaign, and more!
Minority Business Development Agency is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research.
The S.C. Division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification (SMBCC) connects minority- and women-owned small businesses to State contracting and procurement opportunities through the Material Management Office (MMO), while working with State agencies to implement and monitor minority-contracting programs in accordance with applicable policies, laws, and regulations.
CLIMB Fund is a not-for-profit Community Development lender whose mission is to ensure access to capital for small businesses and affordable housing developments that cannot secure traditional financing. Based in Charleston and serving the entire state of South Carolina, CLIMB Fund has more than 40 years of history lending to entrepreneurs who have been turned away by for-profit banks.
Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council is a non-profit corporation chartered to enhance business opportunities by providing support through developing mutually beneficial networking opportunities with corporate members and promoting minority business development.