Over 20% of Alabama SBDC Network clients are minority-owned, and our business advisors play an active role in various African-American chamber events and councils. To learn how your small business can take advantage of these programs, please call 877-825-7232 or register for a meeting.

8(a) Business Development Program

The SBA’s Section 8(a) Business Development Program provides various forms of assistance (management and technical assistance, financial assistance, government contracting assistance and advocacy support) to foster the growth and development of businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

SBA assists these businesses, (during a nine-year tenure in the 8(a) Business Development Program), to gain access to the resources necessary to develop their businesses and improve their ability to compete in the mainstream of the American economy.

Business development assistance includes one-to-one business advising, training workshops, and other management and technical guidance required to expand into the federal government contracting arena.  For help completing your 8(a) application, please contact one of the business advisors at the Alabama SBDC Network.

The SBA enters into contracts with other federal agencies and subcontracts the performance of such contracts to 8(a) program participants.

Small Disadvantaged Business Certifications

To qualify as a small disadvantaged business, a firm must be owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Congress has directed that individuals who are members of certain ethnic groups are presumed to be disadvantaged. Other persons, including women and persons of any race, can also qualify by establishing their disadvantaged status.  The Procurement Specialists at the Alabama SBDC Network have worked with thousands of companies pursuing government contracts with an SDB certification.

Once certified by the SBA, the firm can be added to an online registry of SDBcertified firms maintained in SAM. Firms remain on the list for three years. Contracting Officers and prime contractors may search this registry for potential contractors.

Native American Business Development

Entrepreneurship opportunities are also available for American Indians, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians seeking to create, develop and expand small businesses.  These groups have full access to the necessary business development and expansion tools available through the Alabama SBDC Network’s training, trade, financing, and procurement programs.