Women and Minority Owned Businesses

City Light actively supports opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses. We provide networking opportunities, conduct outreach, facilitate technical assistance, and encourage businesses to register using the Online Business Directory so they are supported in consulting and purchasing contract opportunities with the City of Seattle.

The City's women-owned and minority-owned business enterprise (WMBE) program defines WMBE as state-certified or self-identified firms at least 51% owned by women and/or minorities. The WMBE program was created to break down long-standing historical barriers impacting women and minority businesses. In return, it strengthens our economy and our community, drives social change, and supports small businesses.

Program Overview

Networking among consultants and contractors is one of the most successful methods for securing work on City Light projects. City Light promotes relationship-building among our project managers, consultants, and contractors through attendance at contracting forums and trade shows, networking time at pre-submittal meetings, and meet-and-greet events that focus on consultant specialties.

Upcoming Networking Events:

Regional Contracting Forum

  • Date: September 22, 2021
  • Location: Tabor 100, 7100 Fort Dent Way, Suite 100, Tukwila, WA 98188 (virtual attendance is also available)
  • Contact: Tabor 100 at (206) 368-4042 

We also attend and host events, meet with WMBEs and faciliate meetings with City Light decision-makers upon request.

Contact us to schedule a meeting.

Review our list of upcoming and planned project and contract opportunities with City Light, and contact our WMBE specialist for more information. Please do not contact project managers directly.

Review opportunities

University of Washington - Foster School of Business - Seattle City Light partners with the University of Washington Foster School of Business to provide technical assistance and business development to WMBE firms.  To be considered for Seattle City Light sponsorship for the UW Technical Assistance Opportunities please contact the City Light WMBE Program Manager.

Ascend Seattle Program - Ascend Seattle is a business education program that accelerates business growth through management education, access to contracting and business development opportunities with large corporations and government agencies, and connections to lenders and investors.

University of Washington - Minority Business Executive Program (MBEP)- is a one week program that takes place each Fall.  Participants learn to utilize financial tools, make better business decisions, develop strategic plans for growth/sustainability, identify new technologies to scale operations, marketing strategies to access global markets, and develop their leadership acumen. Learn more about MBEP.

University of Washington - Student Consulting Program - Through the Consulting & Business Development Center's Foster Consulting Program, students are matched with business owners for six-week consulting projects to help with a specific business need. Past projects include: launching a new product line, developing a marketing plan, market research, pricing strategy, and improving operating efficiencies. 

Seattle City Light Mentor Protégé - Technical Assistance Program - This program is managed by The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. Through our strategic partners, MBDA-Tacoma Business Center, the program provides technical, strategic, marketing and planning services, and business consulting to established minority-owned firms, and strategically recruits City Light prime contractors to participate in this program and grow their participation with City Light.  Learn more about MBDA.

Next Steps

  1. Register Your Business with the City of Seattle today using the single registration system.
  2. Contact the City Light WMBE Manager to learn about our WMBE resources and discuss potential City Light contracting opportunities.
  3. Find more City of Seattle contracting opportunities by regularly checking the Daily Journal of Commerce and City of Seattle Procurement website. Please note to follow all solicitation rules for these listings.