Minority & Women Business Enterprise Program

Minority and Women Business Enterprise BadgeThe Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) program, launched in early 2023, aims to support minority and women-owned businesses in finding resources and also provides a directory of their businesses and the services they offer the community. Apex’s MWBE initiatives advocate for and facilitate business growth to provide opportunities for historically underutilized businesses (HUB). 

Program benefits include:

  • Providing a MWBE Apex logo to increase visibility of your business as an MWBE
  • Email notifications for MWBE news and updates (when available)
  • Increased knowledge, greater access, and connections to resource networks that enhance your business

Program Qualifications:

According to General Statute 143-128.2 (g) a “minority business” is defined as:

  • At least 51 percent 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.
  • The statute defines the term “minority person” as the following: Black, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian, Female, Disabled, or Disadvantaged
  • 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 that are not socially disadvantaged".

Fill out the form to have your business recognized as an MWBE on the Apex business directory!

Additional Resources:

How to Receive State and Federal Certifications:

  • NCDOA Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB)
    The North Carolina Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses was established in 1999 through Executive Order 150. The mission of this office is to promote economic opportunities for historically underutilized businesses in state government contracting and procurement to foster their growth and profitability.
  • NCDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE)
    NCDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is designed to address discrimination and its continued effects of the past in federally-assisted financial assistance for transportation contracting in markets nationwide. The DBE program aims to level the playing field by providing small businesses, owned / controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.
  • NCDOT Unified Certification Program (UCP) for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Firms
    Each state has a Unified Certification Program (UCP), which is administered through the Department of Transportation. The UCP provides a "one-stop shop" for applicants to apply for DBE certification, since the applicant applies once for the DBE certification, and that certification is honored by all agencies that receive federal DOT funding.
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Colleen Merays

Small Business Manager

Email Colleen
Phone: (919) 249-1138

Linda Graham Jones

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director

Email Linda
Phone: (919) 675-7708