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Glossary of Supplier Diversity Designations & Terms

  • 8a Program

A business assistance program created by the SBA for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The 8(a) Program helps socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society.

  • Buyer

An employee of a Fortune 500 company responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining a commodity inventory strategy that supports a company’s supply chain. He/she evaluates market conditions in order to maintain inventory levels and control costs, as well as evaluating and recommending vendors. 

  • Capability Statement

Typically a one-page document that summarizes who your company is, what it does, and why you are the best company to be hired. The document should contain: company overview, a description of the products or services you sell, details on past performance (successes), a qualification statement of senior staff and/or board of directors which should include experience, skills and education information, how you perform your service (if you have a service based company) or details about the quality of your products (if you are a product based company), a statement about what clients can expect from your company, full contact details for the lead decision maker and a list of current/existing clients.

  • Certification

Certification validates a diverse or small business person’s ownership, controlling and management stake in a for profit enterprise.

  • CVM Solutions

A premier provider of global supplier management services for Fortune 500 companies. They ensure the company’s supplier diversity program is compliant and vet Suppliers for diversity classifications on behalf of the company.

  • DBE

A business that is usually certified by a federal, state or local government agency as having met all of the government standards that award eligibility, but may include Updated 05/2012 women, minority, disabled and other disadvantaged by as a result of economic disadvantages with respect to education, employment, residence or business location or social disadvantage and lack of business training.

  • DOBE

A Disability-Owned Business Enterprise is a business that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned, operated, controlled and managed by individual(s) with disabilities, as defined by the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN)

  • DVE

Disadvantaged Veteran Enterprise – A business that is a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans, where not less than 51% is owned controlled and managed by veterans. As defined in (38 U.S.C. ‘101(2)) See veteran definition.

  • DUNS

The Data Universal Numbering System, abbreviated as DUNS is a proprietary system developed and regulated by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) that assigns a unique numeric identifier, referred to as a “DUNS number” to a single business entity. The DUNS number is a nine-digit number, issued by D&B, assigned to each business location in the D&B database, having a unique, separate, and distinct operation for the purpose of identifying them.

  • Foreign Business

A subcontractor organized or existing under the laws of a country other than the United States (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and possessions, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and any other place subject to U.S. jurisdiction, not including leased bases).​

  • Fortune 500 Company

One of the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune (Magazine) to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies incur. The list includes publicly and privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available and inclusion on this list is determined on an annual basis.

  • HUBZone

Historically Underutilized Business (H.U.B.) Zone: The business is located in an area within one or more qualified census tract, qualified non-metropolitan counties, or lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation as determined by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

  • IFBs

An Invitation For Bid (IFB) is an invitation to contractors or equipment suppliers, through a bidding process, to submit a proposal on a specific project to be realized or product or service to be furnished.

  • LGBT Business Enterprise

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Business Enterprise

An LGBT business must be at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBT person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, exercise independence from any non-LGBT business enterprise, have its principal place of business (headquarters) in the United States, and have been formed as a legal entity in the United States

  • MBE

Minority Business Enterprise

A business that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and operated by an individual(s) who is a U.S. citizen and their ancestry is African American, Native American, Hispanic-American, Asian Pacific or they originate from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri-Lanka.

  • Minority-Owned 

A business that is at least 51% owned by, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by, one or more members of a socially and economically disadvantaged minority group, namely U.S. citizens who are African Americans (Black), Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Alaskan Native Americans and Indian Sub-Continent Americans.


The NAICS is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.

  • NIGP

The NIGP Commodity/Services Code is a coding structure for standardizing purchasing that brings order and consistency for efficiency and economy. Developed by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and maintained by Periscope Holdings, Inc., the NIGP Code is the solution that brings the highest levels of organization and efficiency to procurement programs of all kinds.

  • Procurement

The acquisition of goods and / or services, at the best possible cost and / or value, and ensuring those goods are purchased in the right quantity and quality, at the right time, in the right place, and from the right source.

  • Protected Workshop

A non-profit organization employing primarily handicapped persons.

  • RFI

A Request For Information (RFI) is a standard business process whose purpose is to collect written information about the capabilities of various suppliers. Normally it follows a format that can be used for comparative purposes.

  • RFP

The Request For Proposal (RFP) outlines the bidding process and contract terms, and provides guidance on how the bid should be formatted and presented.

  • RFQ

A Request For Quote (RFQ) is a type of procurement solicitation in which a company asks outside vendors to offer a quote for the completion of a specific task or project.

  • RFB

A Request For Proposal (RFP) is a document that solicits proposal, often made through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

  • SSs

Sole Source is a non-competitive purchase or procurement process accomplished after soliciting and negotiating with only one source, so called sole source, thus limiting Full and Open Competition (FOC).

  • SAM

System for Award Management. This is the official U.S. Government system that consolidates the capabilities of CCR (Central Contractor Registration) federal regulations, ORCA (Online Representations and Certifications Application) and EPLS (Excluded Parties List System). There is no fee to register for this site.

  • SBE

Small Business Enterprise – the Small Business Act defines a small business as an entity that is organized for profit; has a place of business in the U.S.; operates primarily within the U.S. or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor; is independently owned and operated; and is not dominant in its field on a national basis. 

  • SDB

Small Disadvantaged Business. SDBs are at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. This can include a publicly-owned business that has at least 51% of its stock unconditionally owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individual and whose management and daily business is controlled by one or more such individuals.


Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business. This is a business that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of any publicly-owned business, at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a veteran with a permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran.


Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. Not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more service -disabled veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans.

  • SIC

The Standard Industrial Classification SIC is a system for classifying industries by a four-digit code. Established in the United States in 1937, it is used by government agencies to classify industry areas.

  • Supplier

A person or company that provides goods and/or services to other companies.


  • Supplier Diversity

A business program that encourages the use of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBT-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, historically underutilized businesses and SBA-defined small business vendors as suppliers.

  • Supplier Chain

A system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform resources, raw materials, and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer.

  • Supplier Management

A broad term describing the various acts of identifying, acquiring and managing the products and/or resources needed to run a business or other organization. These include physical goods as well as information, services and any other necessary resources.

  • Tier 1 Supplier

A supplier who is awarded a contract directly from a customer.

  • Tier 2 Supplier 

A supplier who is awarded a contract by a prime or Tier 1 supplier.

  • VOSB

Veteran Owned Small Business. Not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more veterans (as defined at 38 U.S.C.

101(2)) or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more veterans.

  • WBE

A Women Business Enterprise usually certified by a federal, state or local Government agency as having met all of the government standards that award eligibility.

  • WOSB

That is at least 51 percent owned by one or more women, or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women; and Whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women.