CUNY recognizes New York State Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) certification issued by the NYS Empire State Development (ESD). MWBEs that are not certified by NYS/ESD will not count towards CUNY’s MWBE utilization goals (with both prime and subcontracting MWBE goals).
In order to qualify for NYS certification, an applicant must successfully complete the certification process that is required by ESD. Generally in addition to other requirements, businesses must demonstrate the following:

  • Under Article 15-A of the Executive Law, an MBE is a business enterprise in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, operated and controlled by citizens or permanent resident aliens who are Black, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific, Asian-Indian or Native American.
  • Under Article 15-A of the Executive Law, a WBE is a business enterprise in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, operated and controlled by citizens or permanent resident aliens who are women.
  • Each minority or woman, who has an ownership interest in the firm, must have a net worth that does not exceed $3.5 million. This calculation should not include the ownership interest in the applicant firm, the primary residence of the owner(s), and $500,000 of present cash value of any qualified retirement savings plan, or individual retirement account held by the individual less any penalties for early withdrawal.
  • The firm cannot exceed 300 full time equivalent employees.

To obtain additional information on becoming New York State certified MWBE, please contact one of the Empire State Development offices below or visit their website.

Albany
Division of Small Business
Albany, NY 12245
Phone: (518) 292-5250

New York City
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-6706
Phone: (212) 803-2414

Many third-party organizations offer free assistance with completing the NYS MWBE certification application for vendors. The following organizations have not been endorsed by the City University of New York.

MWBEs that are located in New York State and are MWBE-certified by the NYC Department of Small Business Services, NYC School Construction Authority, NY/NJ Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s President Educational Organization, and the Port Authority of NY / NJ are strongly encouraged to apply for NYS certification using Empire State Development’s “Fast Track Application”.