Minority-owned businesses are growing at a much faster rate than that of U.S. businesses overall. At the time of the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned businesses accounted for 21.3 percent of the nation's businesses, employed 5.8 million persons, and generated $1.0 trillion in receipts. As minority business owners expand their companies, they become increasingly important to their respective local and regional economies and to the national economy.

Targeted Services for Minorities

The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers provide services to all small business populations and make special efforts to reach members of historically underrepresented and underserved populations, including minorities.

To find your local SBDC, click here.

Programs and Resources


  •  Although the SBA doesn’t certify minority-owned businesses, it does certify small businesses considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged under its nine-year 8(a) Business Development Program.  Some minority groups are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged, including: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans. The 8(a) program helps these firms develop and grow their businesses through one-to-one counseling, training workshops and management and technical guidance.  It also provides access to government contracting opportunities, allowing them to become solid competitors in the federal marketplace. 
  • Small businesses seeking minority business certification should contact the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), which provides a direct link between corporate America and minority-owned businesses and was created to increase procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes.  The NSMDC defines a “minority group member” as an U.S. citizen with at least 25 percent minimum (with supporting documentation) Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic and Native American heritage. 


Membership Based Organizations

Business Opportunities

  • The Diversity Business Resource Center provides diverse entrepreneurs in the Greater Pittsburgh area with opportunities to make important business connections, to increase their company’s marketing exposure and to gain valuable market and business information.
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania provides Innovation Funding and loans and offers coaching/consulting to funding clients, technology development assistance, and search services.
  • The Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council certifies and connects minority business enterprises throughout Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware to corporate members who wish to purchase their products, services, and solutions.

Business Planning

  • The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center of Pennsylvania provides fee-based services such as procurement matching services to help clients win contracts in both the private and public (local, state, and federal) sectors, Business to Business matchmaking events and other procurement summits and workshops; access to capital through loan packaging, loan sourcing/brokering, credit restoration, lines of credit, bonding; and business consulting in the form of strategic planning and competitive analysis, as well as guidance in navigating the various certification programs.

Featured Success Stories

Austin's Auto Service

    • ss lehigh austin s auto service
After eight years of working at Austin’s Auto Service, Nelson Tavarez, Jr. was faced with a decision. Austin Godshall, the owner of the business, fell ill and considered closing. Not only would closing impact the many existing customers, but there would also be a loss of five jobs in the…

Quality Management Services

In 1996, Angelo Salandra was working at a national document management company. When assessing his work and the processes involved, he realized he could provide a better quality service at a lower cost. As a result, he founded Quality Litigations Services. As the company grew and expanded its services, a subsidiary…

Sabre Systems

Sabre Systems, Inc., a provider of information technology and professional engineering services, began as a small, two-man office in 1989. Now with $70 million revenue, 600 employees and a market reach extending throughout 15 countries, the Warminster-based company is almost unrecognizable.Sabre President Philip Jaurigue owes his remarkable success to…

Union Packaging

“Entrepreneurs have big egos. They have big dreams. And they need a lot of knowledge to carry out those dreams,” says Michael Pearson, president of Union Packaging in Yeadon, Delaware County, which manufactures paper cartons for the fast food industry.Pearson should know. Prior to launching Union Packaging, he spent seven…