Business owners are often aware that there are special opportunities available to businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and certain other groups. However, it is sometimes unclear exactly what those opportunities are, who affords them and who is eligible. The answers to these questions can vary. Generally, many government agencies have developed programming aimed at removing marketplace barriers for businesses owned and operated by certain groups that have historically been underrepresented or disadvantaged in business. There are also private sector companies and organizations with similar programs. Taking advantage of one or more of these programs usually requires some form of certification.