The Virginia SWaM Procurement Initiative was established in 2006 to provide new business opportunities for small, women- and minority-owned businesses. A SWaM vendor is a business that has been certified by the Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise and is listed in the SWaM Vendor Directory. Many entrepreneurs do not realize that the three categories of SWaM status are mutually exclusive. In other words, thousands of unsuspecting Virginia businesses qualify for SWaM certification in the “Small Business” category–defined as any independently owned business with 250 or fewer employees OR less than $10 million in gross revenue averaged over the last three years. There are a variety of initiatives in place to encourage state and local government agencies to do business with SWaM-certified businesses.
The SWAM certification process is easy to navigate and there is no filing fee. Virginia business owners should not overlook this program; they might just find some untapped opportunities to pursue. To learn more about the program, visit: http://www.dmbe.state.va.us/faq.html#program.