Promoting diversity and programs that help diversity-owned businesses succeed.



Local, state and federal organizations can help to qualify minority-owned firms to develop and grow their businesses through counselling, training workshops, and technical guidance. Below are a few resources.

Minority-Business Certification

Certification is a review process designed to ensure that a small business is owned, controlled and operated by the applicants. Most certifications are granted for minority- or women-owned businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, and underutilized businesses.  


US Government Certifications

  • Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) certification helps small businesses located in specially designated high unemployment and low income areas gain preferential access on some federal government procurement opportunities.
  • 8(a) Business Development Program – This US Small Business Administration program was created to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the market place. Firms certified through this program can gain exclusive access to certain federal government contracts.
  • Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program – The Federal government sets aside certain contract bid opportunities exclusively for expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs).
  • Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses – The Federal government sets aside certain contract bid opportunities exclusively for Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

Private and Local Government Certifications

State Certifications

Employee Skills Certifications

Various industries require certificates, permits, and licenses to conduct business, and there is more information about those requirements in the Permits and Licenses section of the Kentucky Business One Stop. There are other types of certification that can be just as important because they indicate a certain level of professional achievement and training. Listed below are some statewide worker certification programs from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System that indicate skills development.

  • Kentucky Employability Certificate – The Kentucky Employability Certificate confirms to employers that an individual possesses basic skills in reading, math and finding information – skills that all jobs require. The certificate is a standardized credential that says the holder is job ready.
  • The Team Leadership Certificate is an accelerated, learner-driven training program that can be customized for new supervisors or experienced managers and reviews the basics of worker supervision, leadership, human resources, quality management and communication.

Green Certification

If your business is looking to reduce energy costs and make a positive environmental impact then Energy Star and other energy certification programs may be of interest to you. If your business is in the construction industry and you are looking to become part of a green certification program there are resources to help you as well.


Veteran-Owned Business Resources
LGBT-Owned Business Resources
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
Minority-Owned Business Funding
  • U.S. Small Business Administration Grants – If your small business is engaged in scientific research and development (R&D), you may qualify for federal grants.
  • U.S Small Business Administration Loans – Start or expand your business with loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.
  • Lender Match – Lender Match is a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders.
  • – Register with, search for federal grant opportunities, and begin the application process.
  • USA Financing – Explore the variety of government-backed loans and funding programs for your business.