Now this is a story all about how...
I applied for the minority and women business enterprise certification a zillion times!
So, what is the M/WBE certification?
The City of New York Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) Program expands opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs to access government contracts and grow their businesses.
Cool concept, right!?!
Now let's talk about the actual application experience - It's way less cool - TRUST ME!
Like anything with the government you collect all your paperwork - bank letter, organizational agreements, article of organization, receipts, invoices, etc. You upload it into a portal and wait 6-8 weeks hoping for good news.
Submitted all my stuff. 2 days later DENIED. Requires additional verification.
Go through the verification request gather all the documents they originally told me were optional and RESUBMIT.
Waited a week. DENIED with a 30 Day Notice to resubmit application.
I send a help email to ask what’s missing. 2 days later receive an email saying they received the items but couldn’t open the files. I go back convert every file to a pdf. RESUBMIT
1 week later I get an email saying - we’ve received your items, you have failed to prove your Minority status. 🤦🏾♀️ DENIED
BTW I submitted my NYS license and NYS birth certificate they asked for - neither of which list ethnicity. So how exactly can I prove my blackness?
I RESUBMIT with my mama’s Barbados birth certificate (guess what? No ethnicity listed)
I’m running around trying to find something to prove my blackness and by the end; I submitted
my birth certificate,
mom’s birth certificate,
mom’s naturalization papers,
grandma’s birth certificate, AND
grandma’s baptism certificate — Yes the paper you get when you christen a baby - that’s what I submitted for the 5th time.
I wait 3 weeks, then get an email, “your previous analyst is no longer with the organization, I’ll be taking over your application. Please resubmit...[EVERY-DARN-THING]”
I RESUBMIT everything - another week drags by; I email the new analyst to check-in and BOOM...2 Days later I’m certified.
Recap 4 denials/notices, 6 submissions, 6.5 weeks, 30ish documents and I’m certified!
So why am I sharing this annoying, painful, and almost comical journey with you?
Because while I was in it— the stress, the overwhelm, the disappointment - was so real I felt like I was drowning in it.
BUT now that I have it, the opportunities are endless, and the light at the end of this tunnel is so bright, it’s blinding!