The Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) Program was the first diverse business certification program for the State of Wisconsin. It was created in 1983 when the Wisconsin Legislature passed Wisconsin Act 390 that set a 5% participation goal for State Agencies and University of Wisconsin Campuses for purchases of goods and services with certified MBEs. Act 390 also established a permissive 5% bid preference for certified MBE firms responding to bids for State contracts.
The MBE Program was originally housed in the now disbanded Department of Commerce. In 2011 the MBE Program moved to the Department of Administration under what is now known as the Wisconsin Supplier Diversity Program.
Businesses, who are certified as MBE, are at least 51% owned, controlled, and actively managed by an identified racial or ethnic minority and serve a useful business function. The MBE Certification Program is governed by § 16.287, Wis. Stats. and Admin. Code 84.