A Minority-Owned Business (or Minority Business Enterprise aka MBE) is a for profit company that is owned, operated, and controlled by a person or people representing a previously identified minority group.  Identified minority groups vary from country to country and range from American minority groups including black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American people to China’s up to 56 minority ethnic groups (the largest being the Han Chinese).

In general, a minority-owned business must be at least 51% owned by the recognized minority group or, if public, having at least 51% of stock ownership.  In most countries with robust diversity programs, the following ethnic groups are recognized as minorities:

  • Black or African Descendants
  • Asian Descendants (includes West Asian (India, etc.) and East Asian (Japan, Korea, etc.)
  • Hispanic – Persons with origins from Latin America, South America, Portugal and Spain.
  • Native Peoples (e.g. Native American & Alaska Native (United States), Aboriginals (Canada), Indigenous (Australia), etc)

In addition to government certifying bodies, established third party certifying agencies for minority-owned businesses include the following:

United States
Alaska Native Corporations
National Minority Supplier Development Council

Global
Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council
Minority Supplier Development in China
MSDUK
Supply Nation (Australia)
The South African Supplier Development Council