Helping a larger, more diverse field of businesses compete for government contracts is an important way that we help small businesses grow and increase their revenues. Many small companies do not realize that they can, by gaining certification for various qualifying factors, access a much broader world of opportunity. Qualifying factors include being minority or woman-owned, or otherwise being a disadvantaged business.
This work is performed for a wide range of city projects and contracts through OED's Division of Small Business Opportunity (DSBO).
As part of our administration of this important process--from business outreach to training, granting the certification itself, and program maintenance and compliance--we use volunteer committees and financial analysis to assign Minority/Women and/or Disadvantaged Business (M/WBE/DBE) goals to each construction project.
We also maintain a defined selection pool of Small Business Enterprises (SBE) and specific projects for Emerging Business Enterprises (EBE). Larger companies that bid on the City’s construction projects meet the specific M/WBE/SBE/DBE goals by partnering with certified firms.
To learn about how business certification could build your company, use DSBO's information line at 720-913-1714 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn about the M/WBE Mentor-Protege Program, including application information for both roles, start here.
Monika Stenger was managing the office of a company that received its Small Business Enterprise (SBE) designation back in 2000, and so when she started her own electrical contracting company later that year, pursuing certification to open up the marketplace for opportunity was a key priority. Already familiar with challenging barriers due to both her gender and ethnicity, particularly in the construction industry, Monika worked hard to get ServiTech, Inc. certified.
The firm currently competes as an MWBE, DBE, SBE, EBE, and ACDBE*, among others. Together, these certifications provide a significant opportunity for ServiTech to grow and thrive.
Working at DIA and on other city contracts, ServiTech’s volume of business today is four times what it was without certification. “I would not be in business today if it wasn’t for Denver’s small, disadvantaged and minority- and women-owned business programs,” Monika says. “These adjectives may sound demeaning to some, but the City has made them empowering words. This is a story of a great city that is not willing to leave a large sector of the population behind—a city where dreams can come true.”
Meanwhile, directly responsible for her firm’s financial management, marketing, research, contract negotiation, recruitment, and teambuilding, Monika sounds a lot like any entrepreneur. “I often find myself exhausted and at times I want to quit, but really, I have a great opportunity here, a chance to be my own boss, to create employment, to impact a community, to make a difference.”
To learn about how business certification could build your company, contact Tammy Trujillo, (720) 913-1614.
* Minority and Women Owned, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Small Business Enterprise, Emerging Small Business, and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.