Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is designed to encourage disadvantaged, minority and/or women-owned businesses to participate in request for bids from the Memphis Airport.

Wondering how this program differs from the Business Diversity Development (BDD) program? They are essentially identical from your perspective as a bidder/vendor, with the only real difference being the source of funds the airport uses to pay for the goods or services needed. If federal funds are to be used, the airport submits bid requests through the DBE program. If the funds are not federal, the airport submits bid requests through the BDD program.

The certification required to participate in both programs, called DBE Certification, is identical, as are request for bid instructions.

Qualification Criteria

  • The business must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged or, in the case of a corporation, in which 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • Business management and daily business operations must be controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it, are U.S. citizens, and who have personal net worth (PNW) not to exceed $1,320,000.
  • Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals are defined as:
    • African-Americans
    • Hispanic-Americans
    • Native-Americans
    • Asian-Pacific Americans
    • Subcontinent Asian-Americans
    • Women
    • Any additional groups found to be socially and economically disadvantaged by the SBA (Small Business Administration) under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.

Get Certified

Minority or woman owners are encouraged to complete the DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) certification process. This will allow you to bid on both Business Diversity Development and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise projects. Begin this certification process by completing the DBE application. You will then be contacted for an on-site interview at your place of business. This process can take up to 90 days, so be sure to get certified well in advance of your desire to bid on goods and services.

If you are only interested in bidding on a concessions contract, please complete this alternative Airport Concession DBE application instead.

See What Goods and Services Are Available for Bid and Submit a Proposal

Once certified, check out our Bid Notification Process to see how you can learn about goods and services up for bid. If your company offers the goods or services requested, we encourage you to submit a proposal according to the guidelines provided in the bid notification.


If you have any questions at all, please email us. We are delighted to assist you in your efforts to do business with Memphis International Airport.

Information Change Requests

If you have previously completed a certification application and have information to change on your application, please click here (PDF).

Additional Resources

DBE Program and Policy Document (PDF)

Airport Concession DBE Program and Policy Document (PDF)

Airport Concession DBE Personal Net Worth Statement (PDF)

Annual Airport Concession DBE Renewal Application (PDF)

DBE Interstate Certification Application (PDF)

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