December 4, 2017
Information Guide for Service-Disabled Veteran and Veteran Disability-Owned Businesses

There are approximately 57 million people with disabilities in the U.S., and they’re nearly twice as likely to be self-employed. With initiatives like the USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP), they also have the ability to achieve greater economic success and independence. The program certifies disability-owned business enterprises (DOBE), including those owned by veterans with service-related disabilities, and connects them with industry leaders and decision makers.

Why Get Certified?

The USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP) is the leading third-party certifier of disability-owned businesses. This nationally recognized program serves in an advocacy and certification capacity, and provides many distinct benefits:

  • It links disability-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with corporate America, government and other buying organizations.
  • It provides exclusive access to educational resources to expand an owner’s understanding of best practices when competing for contracts and procurement processes.
  • It creates networking opportunities – through conferences, teleconferences, and trade fairs – that match leading corporate and government leaders with Disability Supplier Diversity Program participants to help foster business relationships.
  • It provides access to key supplier diversity contacts of Fortune 500 and 1000 corporate partners.
  • It advances a mentoring and business development program, in which corporate partners serve as mentors to certified disability-owned business enterprise mentees.
  • It provides a voice for service-disabled veterans and the disability supplier community at large with government agencies and other prominent organizations.

Alignment with Veteran Affairs

The same qualities that make for effective military personnel – integrity, courage, resilience, teamwork – drive veterans, including service-disabled veterans, to succeed in the private sector, especially as business owners. Veteran Affairs provides many resources for veteran business owners, and the Disability:IN is dedicated to building upon the entrepreneurial tools provided.

  • The Disability:IN certification process requirements align with those of the VA.
  • The Disability:IN requires significantly less certification documentation for veteran and service-disabled veteran business owners already certified with Veteran Affairs, saving time and expediting the certification experience.
  • With the USBLN, veterans who incur a disability outside of service have the ability to reference their veteran status and certify as Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprise (V-DOBE).

Connect with Fortune 500-1000 Companies

Certification by our national organization provides access to Fortune 500 and 1000 corporate partners, which has its own benefits:

  • Key supplier diversity leaders of Fortune 500 and 1000 companies help DSDP certified disability-owned businesses better navigate their supply chain systems.
  • Opportunity to build relationships with Disability:IN corporate partners actively looking for capable, innovative and competitive service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.


The DSDP provides a variety of resources in order to expand disability-owned business owners’ understanding of best practices when competing for contracts and procurement processes, including:

  • Monthly teleconferences with relevant topics such as “How to do business with major corporations.”
  • Information on bidding opportunities and supplier outreach and networking events.
  • Executive education scholarships designed to strengthen management and technical skills, and grow business capacity.
  • Networking events that provide face-to-face interaction with top business leaders, corporate buyers, and other diverse suppliers.
  • A mentoring and business development program that matches partner representatives with certified suppliers to help improve their skills, business process and management acumen.
  • Quarterly webinars, which aim to educate suppliers on specific topics important to their success.

Certification Process

The DSDP offers three different certifications: Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE) Certification, Veteran-DOBE (V-DOBE) Certification, and Service-Disabled Veteran-DOBE (SDV-DOBE) Certification. A Disability-Owned Business Enterprise Certification (DOBE) is available to any business at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by a person with a disability. The Veteran-DOBE Certification (V-DOBE) is available to a business enterprise owned by a veteran with a disability, not related to their time in service. The Service-Disabled Veteran-DOBE Certification (SDV-DOBE) is available to a business enterprise owned by a veteran with a disability, whose disability was caused by their time in service. In order to get certified:

  • Interested disability-owned business owners can submit a confidential application through the Disability:IN fully accessible online system.
  • The USBLN’s National Certification Committee reviews all applications, and conducts site visits.
  • The total certification time takes 90 days or less, much less than other traditional certifications.

The USBLN’s network is spread across the nation, ensuring that all certified disability-owned businesses receive support from coast-to-coast.

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