Certifications - NOLABA



The benefits of obtaining a disadvantaged certification are significant to small businesses that are interested in engaging in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) contract opportunities, which can range from a few thousand dollars to millions.

Federal and many local government authorities have programs in place that set aside a percentage of what they spend on contracts and supplier opportunities exclusively for certified disadvantaged businesses. Additionally, many private organizations maintain supplier diversity policies that provide access to contracts for businesses with a disadvantaged designation. The benefit to these public and private organizations is they have a qualified, well-vetted pool of small businesses competitively bidding for their contracts.

There are diverse certifications, as well as certifying agencies. The grid below sorts out details to help you determine which certification(s) is best for your business.

Type: WOSB


Women Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC)

2800 Veterans Memorial Ste 180
NOLA 700003

WBEC is a leader in business development for female entrepreneurs; the organization processes WBENC’s all business certifications, in addition to providing skills- and business-building programs. The requirements for certification are WBE businesses are at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are female in gender.

Type: MBE


Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council (SRMSDC)

400 Poydras Street
NOLA 700130

SRMSDC certifys and develop minority suppliers that are interested in engaging with the business purchasing community. The organization provides certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) the access, technical assistance, training and support needed to expand and market their services to prospective corporate buyers. The requirements for certification are MBE businesses are at least 51% owned, and controlled by U.S. citizens belonging to certain ethnic minority groups. “Ethnic minority groups” are United States citizens who are Asian, African-American, Hispanic and Native American.



Regional Transit Authority / U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOTD)

1201 Capitol Access Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70802


DBEs are businesses owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged persons as defined by DBE Regulation 49 CFR Parts 23 and 26.All eligible owners must affirm that they are members of a disadvantaged group (for example, an eligible ethnic minority group or female). In addition, the personal net worth of each eligible owner applicant must be less than $750,000, excluding the values of the applicant’s ownership interest in the business seeking certification and the owner’s primary residence.



New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA)


New Orleans Regional Transit Authority participates in two programs that help level the playing field for small businesses: the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) and a small business program called the State and Local DBE Program (SLDBE).



Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Louisiana’s Hudson Initiative Certification program

617 N 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Louisiana’s Hudson Initiative is a certification program that is designed to help eligible Louisiana small businesses gain greater access to purchasing and contracting opportunities that are available at the State government level.

Type: SEBD


Louisiana Economic Development (LED)

617 N 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

LED’s Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program provides the managerial and technical assistance training needed to grow and sustain a small business. SEBD provides developmental assistance, including entrepreneurial training, marketing, computer skills, accounting, business planning, and legal and industry-specific assistance.

Type: SBA 8(a)


Small Business Administration 8(a) Program SBA 8(a)

365 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

SBA 8(a) businesses are owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual. Under the Small Business Act, certain presumed groups include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Other individuals can be admitted to the program if they show through a “preponderance of the evidence” that they are disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap, or residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society. In order to meet the economic disadvantage test, all individuals must have a net worth of less than $250,000, excluding the value of the business and primary residence.

Type: DBE


City of New Orleans’ One Stop Shop

1300 Perdido Street 7th floor
New Orleans, LA 70112

The City of New Orleans’ One Stop Shop, information on all permits, licenses, and City Planning Commission actions have been brought into single place. In order to simplify what have been as complicated and difficult processes, we have broken down the barriers between departments.



National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

729 15th Street NW 9th floor
Washington, DC 20005

LGBT owned businesses are a least 51% owned, and controlled by U.S. citizens who are LGBT individuals certified by the NGLCC (National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) is the exclusive, third-party certification body that verifies that eligible businesses are majority-owned by LGBT individuals, and subsequently grants LGBT Business Enterprises.

Type: SAM


Federal Government – Business to Government (B2G) Opportunities


System for Award Management (SAM) is changing the way you do business by merging nine legacy, siloed systems into one. This provides users one login and access to all the capabilities previously found in the legacy systems. SAM also consolidates data from these systems into a single database, eliminating data overlap while sharing the data across the award lifecycle.