Minority & Women Business Enterprise (MWBE)

What is the MWBE Program?

The Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program advocates actions and strategies, which increase opportunities for historically underutilized businesses (HUB) and promotes diversity and inclusion in Gaston County construction and repair contracting projects.

North Carolina General Statute 143-128.2 defines a “minority business” as a business that is:

  • At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more minority persons or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The statute also includes corporations in which at least 51% of stock is owned by one or more minority or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • A “socially and economically disadvantaged individual” is defined by reference to a federal statute (15 U.S. C. § 637). Socially disadvantaged individuals are:

“Those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities.” Economically disadvantaged individuals “are those socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business who are not socially disadvantaged.”

The statute defines the term “minority person” as the following:

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • Asian American
  • American Indian
  • Female
  • Disabled
  • Disadvantaged

How to Participate in MWBE Program:

Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Certification

In order to participate, you must first become a HUB certified minority or woman-owned business with the State of North Carolina. Certification is handled through the NC Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses. Through Vendor Link, the online vendor registration software, businesses may register with the State and verify their status as a HUB vendor. Registration not only certifies you to do business with Gaston County as an M/WBE but also makes you eligible for work with the State of NC.

If you would like to become certified, please visit the NC Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses and complete the online application.