Wonderlyn Murphy followed in the Footsteps of Her Father to 8(a) Certification

A picture of Wonda Murphy smiling at the camera.

City Enterprise is a full-service general contractor, specializing in government, municipal and commercial projects. The firm is certified as an Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business with the SBA; as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and as a Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance. 

While working full-time as a Correctional Officer in the evenings, President and CEO Wonderlyn Murphy started City Enterprise in 2004, building houses part-time. 

Following in the footsteps of her father whose firm, “Eastern General Contractors” was also an 8(a) certified contractor, Wonda first learned about the 8(a) certification when her dad mentioned, “You should get your 8(a)” while out at dinner with the family. 

After extensive research and diving into the application process, Wonda realized -- she too had experienced challenges as a black woman in the industry that were worth noting.  However, she learned that she did not meet the criteria for full approval yet, specifically because she held a full-time job and didn’t have enough experience yet since she was building the business part-time at that point.

Waiting a year to reapply – Wonda shored up her resume as a general contractor and began to build relationships with agencies she wanted to do business with once certified.  She reapplied after 2 years (first year application process and 1 year waiting to reapply) and was successful!  

Once certified however, the economy went into a spiral and agencies were not granting many contracts, so it took another few years to really put the 8 (a) program to work for City Enterprise. Wonda took advantage of the that time to utilize the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (now Apex Accelerators) which helped expose her to different resources and educational programs that strengthened her business. 

There was never any doubt that 8 (a) certification was what I needed to propel the business to the next level,” said Murphy. “Through the SBA 8 (a) program, I was availed resources and opportunities that otherwise simply would not have existed for City Enterprise. I am extremely grateful for the support and pathways that the program opened for the company.” 

In 2020, Murphy was recognized by The Urban League of Springfield with the Community Builder Award for her extraordinary accomplishments as a minority business owner and role model.  Murphy has also been a recipient of the Super 60 Revenue Growth Award for eight consecutive years, a recognition that celebrates the success of privately-owned businesses in the region. 

Wonda was also honored as the 8(a) Graduate of the Year for Massachusetts as part of the SBA’s 2023 National Small Business Week Awards,

I would like to recognize and thank the entire City Enterprise team for their hard work and dedication; the City of Springfield for their support of small business; my parents for grounding me to do this work; and my entire family for their continued belief in me,” said President and CEO Wonderlyn Murphy.

Today, City Enterprise, Inc. has 14 employees with plans to grow in 2023, including and renovation and expansion of its home office.

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.