Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) has contracts with a wide variety of vendors to purchase the goods and services necessary to ensure that our diverse student body receives the high-quality education they deserve. To that end, DOE casts an exhaustive net searching for talented vendors and qualified suppliers from all parts of the community. The agency encourages Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) participation on DOE contracts and is committed to ensuring that MWBEs fully contribute to the procurement process.

Important Notice to All Prospective Contractors – Please Review


The New York City Department of Education's Office of Supplier Diversity's mission is to foster meaningful participation of diverse suppliers by identifying and creating business opportunities for Minority-/Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) to ensure goods and services needed to provide a quality education, include a vendor pool that is representative of our diverse communities and student population. 

What is Supplier Diversity?

Supplier Diversity: is a proactive business practice that encourages the use of historically underutilized business as suppliers (vendors). This often includes business enterprises owned, operated and controlled by women and/or members of designated minority groups including Black, Hispanic, Asian-Pacific, Asian-Indian, Native American (M/WBE)

Are you eligible for New York City Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise  (M/WBE) Certification?

M/WBE Eligibility Form


Find answers to common questions about MWBEs below.

Procurement Overview

What offices at the DOE should I be familiar with?

The Division of Contracts and Purchasing (DCP) is the procurement arm for the DOE. This office establishes contracts for all goods and services.

The Supplier Diversity MWBE Team is the team committed to enhancing the ability of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) to compete for DOE contracts. The Supplier Diversity Team ensures that MWBEs have an equal opportunity to participate in the procurement process. We can be reached via MWBE@schools.nyc.gov.

Our objectives are to:

  • Encourage MWBEs to compete
  • Inform MWBEs of business opportunities
  • Navigate MWBEs through the solicitation process
  • Submit competitive, successful MWBE bids/proposals
  • Participate meaningfully through two-way feedback

What does the DOE purchase?

Almost everything. Many of the Department of Education's procurements are for educational supplies and programs. Like any large organization, we also purchase staff professional development services, office supplies, and I.T. and facilities support. DOE projects typically include parts, labor, and maintenance. We strongly encourage you to attend one of our monthly “How to Do Business with the DOE” presentations.

For illustrative purposes, please view our current solicitations and consider reviewing our previously awarded solicitations.

What procurement opportunities are currently available?

DOE’s current contracted solicitations are posted on DOE Vendor Portal. Individual schools and program offices directly procure smaller, non-contracted opportunities.

How do I get on the DOE Bidder’s List?

Register with the DOE Vendor Portal. The Vendor Portal allows vendors to view current DOE solicitations and automatically receive notification of new solicitations as they become available. From the Vendor Portal, vendors can download solicitation documents and control which notifications are emailed based on specific product/service categories. DOE Vendor Portal is a different system from the City of New York's payee information portal (PIP) and PASSPort.

Do I need to create a PASSPort account?

DOE strongly encourages bidders to enroll in PASSPort. Similar to DOE’s Vendor Portal, some DOE solicitations may only be advertised on PASSPort. It is also critical to confirm all disclosures are current and complete via PASSPort so that potential contract awards may be registered quickly and vendors can commence work. Find the simple two-step account creation instructions Vendor Account Creation document.

Does the DOE ever utilize other government contracts?

We may make purchases through the NYS Office of General Services (OGS), NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), and NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) contracts. The School Construction Authority (SCA), a separate agency, manages the construction of schools and our larger construction projects. The DOE has contracts for the maintenance of our schools and other smaller construction projects. 

How do I get a DOE Vendor Number?

DOE Vendor Numbers are needed to make any DOE purchase. They are assigned at the request of a school or program office purchaser. A DOE Vendor Number is separate from a city FMS Vendor Number or a DOE Vendor Portal account. A purchaser has to first establish a need for your product or service and may then request a W-9 form from your business. A firm cannot establish its own DOE Vendor Number; only a DOE purchaser can request a DOE Vendor Number.

How can I learn about partnering or subcontracting opportunities?

Please contact the Vendor Hotline at (718) 935-2300 or VendorHotline@schools.nyc.gov and request the awardee’s name, contact number, and any other information they may be able to provide for opportunities within your industry. You may also consider reviewing our previously awarded solicitations.

You are also encouraged to attend the Pre-Bid or Pre-Proposal Conferences to network with potential collaborators. Information regarding these conferences (i.e., the date and time) is shared with the listing for the specific procurement opportunity. Similarly, you may request to view the solicitation’s Vendor Portal Downloaders List by emailing the procurement analyst on the solicitation.

Who do I contact if I have general questions, billing questions, or issues registering on the Vendor Portal?

Please contact the Vendor Hotline at (718) 935-2000 or via email at VendorHotline@schools.nyc.gov. The Vendor Hotline offers a single point of contact for vendors to communicate their questions, concerns, and needs. Acquiring a copy of a purchase order details verifying the status of payment can be directed to the Vendor Hotline. A live representative is available Monday thru Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm. If you need additional support that Vendor Hotline cannot address, please email the Supplier Diversity MWBE Team at MWBE@schools.nyc.gov.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about a specific contract?

Please contact the Procurement Analyst listed in the solicitation.

Why do I need a Purchase Order?

A purchase Order must be obtained before delivering goods or services to the DOE. Only supply goods or services in the amount noted in the Purchase Order.

MWBE Certification

How can a vendor become certified as an MWBE?

MWBEs can become certified by New York City or New York State.

To learn more about MWBE certification, benefits of being certified, or apply for New York City or New York State certification:

New York City MWBE Certification

Information about eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply for certification can be found on the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) website. SBS offers live workshops, resources, and assistance.

New York State MWBE Certification

Information about eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply for certification can be found on the Empire State Development (ESD) website. ESD offers special programs, classes, and networking events.

What are the benefits of being a certified MWBE?

The benefits of MWBE certification are marketing, professional development, networking, and education; this includes a listing in vendor guides used by city agencies and private firms.

Does the DOE have MWBE goals?

The vast majority of DOE procurements are awarded to the lowest, most qualified, and responsive bids and are not subject to specific goals. However, The DOE recognizes the importance of diversity in procurement. As a result, the DOE engages in initiatives to enhance the abilities of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) to compete and meaningfully participate in the DOE procurement process. For example, DOE recently received the legal authority to utilize the MWBE Innovative Procurement Method to solicit City-certified MWBE firms in discretionary solicitations not exceeding $500,000. 

MWBE Procurement and Contract Method

The DOE can utilize a new expedited contract method for City-Certified M/WBE's. For more details, please see the M/WBE Procurement and Contract Method.

Other Resources

What resources are available to help me review my submission to the DOE?

NYC SBS Solutions Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, America’s Small Business Development Centers, and the MWBE Leadership Association can provide a wide range of procurement contract assistance for free. These organizations can assist with MWBE certification, market analysis, securing financing, and completing a DOE bid/proposal before submission.

  • Attend one of our monthly “How to Do Business with the DOE" MWBE seminars.
  • Participate in one of our monthly, industry-specific MWBE Roundtable discussions with purchasing decision-makers.

Visit the NYC Department of Education events page to see upcoming events


Where can I learn more about general procurement (outside of the DOE)?

Information for Vendors

Find out if you are eligible for a New York City Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Certification by answering the eligibility questionnaire.

The full NYC certification details can be found on the M/WBE NYC program page.


  • **New** Find information about DOE's COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for vendors/contractors
  • Vendor Portal View current DOE solicitations and receive notification of new solicitations as they become available. You can also view solicitation requirements and download all necessary documents.
  • View quick overviews of current DOE Solicitations by the type of contract (i.e., RFB, RFP, MTAC).
  • DOE Vendor Hotline at (718) 935-2000 or via email at VendorHotline@schools.nyc.gov
  • Looking for additional resources? The Mayor's Office of MWBEs is the one-stop shop for information regarding MWBE Certification, City Contracts & RFPs, Citywide MWBE Events, training & resources, and financial assistance or mentorship opportunities.
  • We strongly encourage MWBEs to become city and state-certified. Specific opportunities are only available to city or state-certified MWBEs:
  • Key Definitions: Definitions for commonly used terms in the DOE procurement process.
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