SWMBE Diversity



At MMSD, we recognize the benefits of having a diverse vendor base that is reflective of the communities to which we serve. MMSD is committed to identifying, building relationships with, and acquiring goods and services from local small, women, minority, and veteran-owned business enterprises (SWMBE) to promote economic growth and sustainability. Through local workforce requirements and business development opportunities within the District, we continue our mission of increasing SWMBE participation and local worker utilization on all District procurement opportunities.

Program Overview

MMSD’s SWMBE program is designed to ensure that SWMBE firms have the opportunity to compete for the maximum feasible share of District expenditures for goods, services, construction contracts, and professional services.  MMSD has an annual SWMBE participation goal of 20% on all of its procurement spend.  Historically, MMSD has exceeded its annual goal, averaging 22% spend with SWMBE firms over the last five years.

Firms interested in fulfilling the District’s SWMBE goal must be certified.  The District will accept third-party certifications administered by other certifying organizations, and federal, state and local government agency certifications.  Additionally, MMSD offers its own Small Business Enterprise (SBE) certification that firms can apply for.

How to Register as an SWMBE Vendor

All firms interested in doing business are encouraged to register in MMSD’s contract and vendor management system. Completing the vendor registration does not guarantee a contract with MMSD but will allow firms to receive communication and notices for relevant procurement opportunities with the District.

Please note: Firms seeking SWMBE certification must be registered before their certification can be approved.

MMSD Small Business Certification

To apply for MMSD SBE certification, businesses must complete the Small Business Certification application. MMSD SBE Certification is valid for three years. Firms wishing to renew their certification must submit a new application and business tax returns for the past three years.

To be eligible for SBE certification, firms must meet the size standard for its industry as set forth by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). A size standard represents the largest size that a business (including its subsidiaries and affiliates) may be to remain classified as a small business. SBA size standards vary by industry classification and can be defined by average annual receipts for the past three years or the average number of employees over the past twelve months.

Businesses can use the SBA size standards tool to determine if their business can be classified as a small business.

Recognized SWMBE Certifications

While there are various entities that provide SWMBE certification services, below are links to the most common SWMBE certifications that MMSD recognizes:

WI Dept. of Administration Supplier Diversity Programs MBE, WBE, and DVB Certifications
WI Dept. of Transportation DBE Certification (provided minority or gender status reflected)
Milwaukee County DBE Certification (provided minority or gender status reflected)
City of Milwaukee SBE Certification
Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
North Central Minority Supplier Development Council (NCMSDC) 
U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, SDVOSB and VOSB Certifications

Businesses certified by one of these agencies should submit a copy of their certificate or approval letter to the SWMBE program for inclusion in the MMSD SWMBE public directory.

SWMBE Public Directory

SWMBE firms that register with the District through the vendor registration process and provide proof of their certification will be listed in a public directory. Once the District has reviewed and accepted the registration of certified SWMBE firms, this information becomes immediately available in the online certified public vendor directory.


Wisconsin District of the US Small Business Administration
Wisconsin Department of Transportation

For inquiries regarding supplier diversity and S/W/MBE certification please email swmbe@mmsd.com.