Small Business First Program for UC Suppliers

Faster, Easier, Simpler...

The Small Business First (SB1st) program calls for non-construction contracts and procurements between $10,000 and $250,000 to be awarded to certified Small Businesses (SBs) and/or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBEs), wherever applicable (see exempted categories below).

No RFPs, only quotes...

SB1st uses a streamlined quotation process to increase procurement opportunities for SBs and DVBEs. Our direct 'quote-to-award' ability speeds up and simplifies the procurement process and opens doors to larger opportunities.

Only one (1) quote is required for purchases below $100,000, and only two (2) quotes are required for purchases between $100,000 – $250,000. (Programs may vary slightly among campuses.)

Most small business opportunities are at the campus level...

Make these connections to get started

Supplier Resources

Get certified as an SB/DVBE

State of California certification is easy, free, and offers multiple benefits!
SupplierOne platform will identify small/DVBE/diverse business to UC buyers

Register with SupplierOne

Supplier search platform that will identify you as a small/DVBE/diverse business to UC buyers
Register to be a Supplier

Register with CalUsource

UC's eSourcing and public bid site allows you to participate in bid events across the UC system
Search for Business Opportunities

Find Opportunities

After registering, search for sourcing events and bidding opportunities
Small Business Officers and Supplier Diversity Contacts

Contact Campus Small Business Officers

Advocates to help raise your visibility and make connections
Outline of the state of California

Visit UC Location Procurement Websites

Connect with local procurement teams to match your offerings with purchasing needs
Remote video URL

There are resources to help.

Familiarize yourself with University of California business policies governing the purchase of goods and services.

Check out UC's SB Vendor/Contractor Insurance option – only $750

Tap into California State resources for more opportunities

Working together, we can help each other thrive!

Want more information about the Small Business First Program?

Tell us a little about your business to receive updates and other helpful information about the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Small Business is an independently owned and operated concern certified, or certifiable, as a small business by the Federal Small Business Administration (SBA), by the State of California Department of General Services Office of Small Business & Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises, and any other recognized certifying agencies or councils.

See this short list of accepted certifying agencies for our Small Business First program.

The University does not maintain its own certification program for small or diverse businesses but there are hundreds of certification programs nationwide. Please refer to the certification resources listed in Question #1.

For starters, please visit: How to Do Business With Us.

To participate in bidding activities with UC, suppliers must register with CalUsource – our sourcing-to-contract e-procurement platform. Registering in CalUsource offers you the opportunity to participate in systemwide, multi-campus or campus-specific bidding activities.

Also, register with SupplierOne - a supplier search platform used by the University.

Please also explore UC's 'Small Business First' program for additional guidance and resources.


To view University of California bidding opportunities, visit our Public Bid Site. All UC systemwide and individual campus bid opportunities are posted here.

Please also reach out to the Supplier Diversity Coordinator or Small Business Officer (pdf) at the UC campus closest to your location.

Also, visit individual UC Campus Procurement websites for specific information about campus procurement operations.


Among the many resources available to small, local and diverse businesses are government outreach programs and coalitions of business leaders, community organizations and other advocate groups. Here are a few to get started:

Please contact your closest Supplier Diversity Coordinator or Small Business Officer.

*Exempted purchase/contract categories:

  • Purchases that are sole source, unique professional services, or emergency in nature
  • Purchases through existing strategically-sourced agreements
  • Federally funded purchases
  • Design and construction (governed by UC Facilities Manual and associated policies)
  • Interagency agreements
  • Federal/local government agreements
  • Research sub-awards
  • Higher education institution agreements
  • Concessions
  • Revenue/reimbursement contracts
  • Medical and patient care contracts
  • Statutorily-exempt, policy-exempt, emergency, proprietary, and/or local assistance/subvention procurements

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