The DBE Program: What the Firms Have To Say

March 26, 2021

In 1983, Congress created the country’s first Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. In 1987, that program was amended to include women-owned businesses (WBE). The program was originally geared towards transportation projects. But now, this approach has been adopted by nearly every federal and state agency in our country.

So, for almost 40 years, the A/E/C industries have had a program focused on leveling the playing field for minorities and women. And while the program has not been without its controversy over the years, some firms have found success within the program. Each program often comes with its own requirements and acronyms. But commonly, these programs are referred to as “DBE” or “M/WBE” (minority/women-owned business enterprise).

M/WDBE utilization goals are dependent upon the funding source of a particular procurement. For example, federally funded projects will require DBE participation, while state- and municipal-funded projects will require M/WBE participation.

We wanted to hear from those in the trenches, the owners of DBE firms. We hoped to learn more about the challenges of being a DBE, what they’d like their prime teaming partners to know, and what advice they have for firms interested in getting certified as a DBE.

To read more, download the full article.

 

Article, written by Liz Kupcha and Matt Handal, first appeared in Marketer journal.