The program helps NMSDC-certified MBEs access capital needed to grow their businesses

The National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC) recently announced a critical change to its Growth Initiative Certification program to help NMSDC-certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) access the capital needed to grow their businesses. The change allows MBEs to count 100% of their equity from NMSDC-certified investment funds towards the program’s ownership requirements. This is an increase from the previous 20% cap and will increase the amount of capital available to NMSDC-certified MBEs while also encouraging minority investment firms interested in supporting these MBEs to get certified.

For more than 50 years, NMSDC has set the gold standard for certifying MBEs by validating they are more than 51% owned, managed, and controlled by ethnic minorities to create greater economic parity and multigenerational wealth in communities of color. Unfortunately, MBEs have traditionally had far less access to equity and the other financial resources needed to scale their business than their non-minority counterparts.

To level the playing field, NMSDC formed the Growth Initiative Certification program to enable MBEs to utilize qualified equity capital. Until this point, the primary ways MBEs could raise funds and maintain their NMSDC certification was through debt, which created financial risk, or equity from ethnic-minority investors, which traditionally has not existed in large quantities. When the Growth Initiative Certification program was established, less than 1% of private equity funds were minority-owned. Despite some progress, that number is still incredibly low, sitting at 2.4%.

Furthermore, because of the sometimes complicated nature of equity holdings, the Growth Initiative Certification program has historically only counted 20% of a minority-owned investment firm’s equity in an MBE that applies for certification under this program. Eliminating this restriction for certified investment firms is essential to increasing the number of minority-owned companies that invest in NMSDC-certified MBEs and creating a more equitable and inclusive capital ecosystem.

“One of the biggest barriers to growth identified by our certified MBEs, is the distinct lack of access to capital,” said NMSDC CEO and President Ying McGuire. “We believe this change, coupled with the establishment of additional initiatives like the Capital Manager’s Program announced last year, will help remove those barriers as we continue to accelerate MBE growth and get closer to our goal of $1 trillion in annual revenue for NMSDC-certified MBEs,” she added.

To learn more about the Growth Initiative Certification program visit our website at


Growth Initiative Certification program NMSDC National Minority Supplier Development Council certified MBEs Ying McGuire

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