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what is a certification

We are the state agency dedicated to enhancing the participation of our small, women- and minority-owned businesses in Virginia’s procurement process.

The Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity ( SBSD ) administers three certification programs:

  1. SWaM: The Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business ( SWaM) certification program is a state program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose is to enhance procurement opportunities for SWaM businesses participating in state-funded projects.
  • DBE: The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification program is a Federal program. The purpose is to increase the participation of certified DBEs in projects funded by the US Department of Transportation and other federal sectors.
  • ESO. "Employment services organization" means an organization that provides community-based employment services to individuals with disabilities that is an approved Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

    accredited vendor of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

  • Apply for SWaM

    Important Notice: If you are a non-Virginia based business, you might not be eligible for participation in the Virginia Small, Women- and Minority-owned Business Program. Please review the "SBSD Certification Policy of Applications from Non-Virginia Based Businesses" before applying online for SWaM certification or recertification. (Click here)

    Apply for DBE

    Apply for ESO

    Important Information

    • Update Your Email Address or Contact Information Today. It is very important to keep your contact information—especially your email address—up to date because state buyers may be trying to contact you. You don’t want to miss a business opportunity because of an invalid email address or telephone number. Submit your changes to the SBSD Customer Care Specialist electronically at or call 804.786.6585.

    Category: Insurance

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