The Minority/Disadvantaged Business Certification and Development Program, or 8(a) Business Development Program, is a nine year federal government contracting certification program established to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals develop and grow their businesses. Business development assistance includes one-to-one counseling, training workshops, and other management and technical guidance. Eligible businesses must be a small business by Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards; owned (at least 51 percent) by one or more individuals who qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged, and who are US citizens of good character; controlled, managed, and operated by one or more individuals who qualify as disadvantaged, and; demonstrate potential for success (generally by being in business for at least two full years) before applying. Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual capabilities. The following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged: Black Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. For additional information, visit www.sba.gov/8a.