University Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services

Minority and Female Business Enterprise Utilization

Minority and Female Business Enterprise Goals for Professional Service Vendors

The University of Illinois encourages diversity among its vendors, including the participation of firms owned by minorities, females and persons with disabilities. The University strives to meet voluntary contract goals established in the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act (30 ILCS 575 et seq.) as well as subsequent adoption by the Business Enterprise Council.

The current goal established in 30 ILCS 575 et seq is 20 % for utilization of minority and female business enterprise vendors.

The University strives to voluntarily meet these goals for award and spend on a fiscal year reporting cycle.

The University reserves the right to set separate contract goals on specific prime contracts with subconsulting possibilities based on the type of work or services or sub-consultant availability.

Minority and Female Definitions for Program Requirements

The Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act outlines the following definitions for eligible females and minority persons:

  1. "Minority person" shall mean a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is:
    1. African American (a person having origins in any of the black racial groups in Africa);
    2. Hispanic (a person of Spanish or Portuguese culture with origins in Mexico, South or Central America, or the Caribbean Islands, regardless of race);
    3. Asian American (a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent or the Pacific Islands); or
    4. Native American or Alaskan Native (a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America).
  2. "Female" shall mean a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is of the female gender.

Certification Requirements and Eligibility

The University of Illinois utilizes the Illinois Department of Central Management Services Business Enterprise Program (IL CMS BEP) certification as the basis upon which a business is owned by a minority, female and persons with disabilities (MAFBE). The University of Illinois as a state agency is required by state law to report goals and expenditures with all IL CMS BEP certified minority, female and persons with disabilities owned businesses. The University of Illinois therefore seeks to comply with this reporting requirement to the maximum extent through utilization of IL CMS BEP certified vendors.

How to Become an IL CMS BEP Vendor to the University of Illinois

Determine if you qualify:

You may be certified as a MAFBE vendor with IL CMS BEP if you meet the following criteria:

  • At least 51 percent owned and controlled by persons who are minority, women or designated as disabled
  • Must be a United States citizen or resident alien
  • Average annual gross sales over the last three tax years must be under $75 million

Where to Apply for the IL CMS Business Enterprise Program

Go to this web page on the BEP Program website at:

Are You Certified as a MBE, FBE or DBE elsewhere in the State of Illinois or Midwest Region?

If your firm is certified elsewhere in the State of Illinois or in the Midwest as a certified minority, female and persons with disabilities owned business, you may apply for certification to IL CMS BEP through BEPs Recognition Certification Affidavit. If you are currently certified by one of the following agencies:

  • Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
  • Chicago Minority Business Development Council (CMBDC)
  • Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)
  • City of Chicago
  • Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA)
  • PACE
  • Cook County

You are eligible and encouraged to gain IL CMS BEP certification by completing the Recognition Certification Affidavit found at:

Sell 2 Illinois – Registration (see "Step 2" and the Recognition Certification Affidavit pdf file on the web page)

Requirements for Doing Business with the University if you are an Architectural or Engineering Vendor

Opportunity Resources

  • Illinois Public Higher Education Consortium (IPHEC) Bulletin
    Register for a My Bulletin Account: Illinois Public Higher Education Procurement Bulletin
    The Bulletin is a free online resource for vendors wishing to do business with the public universities in Illinois. Participating universities post notices for upcoming bids, requests for proposal, requests for information, solicitation documents, and awards. With a My Bulletin account, you can download documents, sign up for e-mail notifications, perform advanced searches, and save your search criteria for future searches!
  • IL CDB website link for where project advertisements occur
    Illinois Capital Development Board Professional Services Bulletin
    This electronic bulletin is where the Illinois Capital Development Board advertises architectural, engineering and construction opportunities to professional service and construction-related vendors.
  • IL CMS website link for where project advertisements occur
    The Illinois Procurement Bulletin - IllinoisBID
    Lists solicitations for supplies and services needed by the various state agencies overseen by CMS. IL CMS is a state agency that also advertises for construction-related vendors. The IllinoisBid procurement bulletin can be found at:

    Upcoming Procurement Opportunities Report
    This report is intended to provide vendors with notice of upcoming potential opportunities to do business with the State of Illinois specifically under the jurisdiction of the Central Management Services' (CMS) Chief Procurement Officer (CPO). These potential procurement opportunities are identified based on records that provide conceptual approval for Request For Proposals (RFPs) or Invitation For Bids (IFBs) for supplies and/or services, and for which the status indicates the opportunity has not yet been published.

Searching for MAFBE or MBE/FBE Vendors-Search Resources

  • IL CDB Prequal website and links to determine if vendor is prequalified &/or certified
    List of Architects and Engineers Prequalified with the Illinois Capital Development Board
    The CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD is the construction management arm of Illinois' state government. CDB oversees the design and construction of new elementary and high schools, college and university facilities, public safety centers, museums and historic sites, state recreation areas, health centers, office buildings and prisons.
  • Directory and Link to IL CMS Database for checking certification status
    Search for Architects and Engineers certified with IL CMS BEP
    The Business Enterprise Program promotes the economic development of diverse businesses – those owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. This searchable database lists BEP vendors certified through CMS. A tutorial on how to use the directory and obtain a print copy of the database detail is provided.
  • Directory and Link to IL DOT database for vendor search
    ILDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Directory
    The IL Unified Certification Program's five participating agencies maintain this DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Directory to provide a reference source to assist bidders/proposers in meeting DBE contract goals. The Directory lists the firms in alphabetical order and by the industry categories/list and the Illinois Department of Transportation's district(s) in which the firms have indicated they are available.

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