What's the difference between DBE, MBE, and WBE?
The program differences are explained below:
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
DBE program is a federally-mandated program intended to provide contracting opportunities to small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
The Illinois Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, CTA, Metra and Pace have a federally funded statewide program for DBEs. These agencies have established the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP), which is based on the concept of reciprocity among the agencies. "One stop shopping" is provided to DBE program applicants, such that an applicant need only apply once for statewide DBE certification that will be honored by all participating agencies in the IL UCP.
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE) Programs
MBE and WBE programs are State and locally funded programs. The City of Chicago has a locally funded program for MBEs and WBEs that covers the City of Chicago and the six-collar county area. The State of Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP) has a state-funded statewide Business Enterprise Program for MBEs and WBEs.