Advances in technology have changed the face of the women-owned small business (WOSB) landscape. Having the ability to access virtually every corner of the global marketplace is both a benefit and a challenge. Today’s small business owners have access to a wealth of information and resources that were previously inaccessible, however those same technological advances have created a competitive landscape like no other. Finding an edge over the competition is increasingly challenging. Even tougher are the barriers to entry for disadvantaged businesses such as a WOSB.
To level the playing field, the Federal Government has developed a variety of programs designed to minimize competition and offer opportunities to disadvantaged businesses; such as Women Owned Small Businesses.
Federal set-aside contracts are just that – set aside for bidding to WOSB and other disadvantaged entities with restrictions in place to increase the presence of WOSB’s in under-represented industries.
Below is a summary of the overall requirements and benefits of a WOSB Certification; for a detailed list, click here for our WOSB Requirements and Benefits reference sheet.
Benefits of a WOSB Certification
There are tangible benefits to participating in the WOSB Program. The obvious benefit of becoming a certified Women-Owned Small Business is access to a procurement pipeline that would otherwise not be achievable.
Couple that with dedicated resources for education, mentoring, and networking and it’s easy to see the value in pursuing a WOSB certification.
And it doesn’t stop there.
The Federal Government has established a requirement of awarding 5% of federal contracts to WOSB’s. This makes it not only attractive to them, but also to larger contractors who are required to allocate a portion of their work to disadvantaged businesses.
The end result? Opens up even more opportunity channels in the procurement chain.
The requirements for a WOSB certification may seem daunting but there is no question the results are worth it.
Requirements of a WOSB Certification
First, you must qualify as a certified small business. The SBA defines this as “one that is independently owned and operated, is organized for profit, and is not dominant in its field.” Depending on the industry, size standard eligibility is based on the average number of employees for the preceding 12 months; or on sales volume averaged over a 3-year period.
For details on a specific industry’s size standard eligibility, please visit www.ecfr.gov.
Once you’ve determined you qualify for SBA status, to become a certified WOSB, a few additional key stipulations apply:
- Business must be 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens
- The woman or women owners must manage day-to-day operations and make any long-term decisions for the business
WOSB certification can be the catalyst that takes your business opportunities to the next level. And while some businesses attempt to complete the qualification process on their own, having expert assistance navigating the complex world of government contracting can help your company achieve its certification the first time around and put you on the path to that procurement pipeline as quickly as possible.
A note from Select GCR:
Select GCR is a consulting firm committed to helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve growth through government contracting. We identify the best path to success for each individual business and assist in the completion of all necessary registrations and certifications. Our strategic involvement simplifies the overall process and allows business owners to focus efforts on their principle business activities.
We proudly maintain a 97% approval rate with applications and registrations submitted on behalf of our clients. For more information or assistance, please contact us here!