Tips From The Staff/Board

Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community

WBEC-East strives to foster and sustain a diverse, inclusive and equitable ecosystem by living and working intentionally year-round. We believe diversity promotes innovation, opens doors, and creates partnerships that fuel the economy. While we are a women-focused organization, our services and programs are open to all entrepreneurs and supplier diversity professionals.

Here are some of the answers to questions we get from members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Am I welcome at your events even though I’m not a woman or femme-presenting?

Yes! Business owners and their employees of all gender expressions and identities are welcome at and attend our events. We are a safe space for you, we promise.

As a trans woman, can I get WBE certified as a woman-owned business?

Certified WBEs must be 51% owned and managed by a woman (or women) who is a US citizen or permanent resident. We understand that there are still many barriers in this country for those seeking gender-affirming identification, so we will accept any government-issued document as proof of gender, whether that’s a reissued birth certificate, passport, or drivers license from any state.

What if I do not have a gender-affirming legal ID for certification?

We know that certification can be an important tool to gaining access to corporations and government agencies. Did you know there are a few different ways to become certified in order to participate in supplier diversity programs, including becoming LGBT-certified? When a corporation sets goals to work with diverse businesses, these programs are often open to businesses that hold any diversity certificate, whether that’s women-owned, LGBT-owned, minority-owned, disability-owned, or veteran-owned.

Are there any other resources you recommend to support me as an LGBTQIA+ business owner?

Yes! The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. We are a proud partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and recommend that any LGBTQIA+ business owner joins their network, whether or not you are WBE certified as well.

At WBEC-East, you are welcome, not just this month, but all year long. We see you, celebrate you, and support you.