To level the playing field for women business owners, the Federal Government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses participating in SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (“WOSB”) Federal Contracting Program. Ideally, those contracts are for specific industries where WOSBs are historically underrepresented. And in fact, the Government even has certain WOSB contracting goals to encourage such set-asides. So, its easy to see why the WOSB Program can be a great opportunity for small businesses to get a leg up in the federal contracting world. But don’t let the name fool you, it takes more than just woman-ownership to get in–and stay in. Let’s take a closer look at SBA’s requirements for becoming certified under the WOSB Program.
There have been a few changes recently to the WOSB and EDWOSB certification process–so now is as good a time as any to walk through the requirements for EDWOSB (or Economically-Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business) status. In this video, I provide an overview of the benefits of and requirements for EDWOSB status:
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With changes coming next week to the WOSB program certification process for women-owned small businesses (which we have discussed recently here and here), we thought we’d take a step back to look at the basics of program benefits and eligibility requirements. In this video, I lay out the reasons why women-owned businesses should consider participating in the program and discuss the three primary eligibility requirements:
Need assistance determining whether you’re eligible? Call us!
On July 15th, big changes are coming to the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business program certification process! We’ve discussed the changes in depth here, here, and here, but if you’re looking for the highlight reel, this video is for you:
If you have questions about WOSB certification, please give us a call at 785-200-8919.
Update 5/14/2020: Since this post was originally published, SBA’s website has clarified when SBA Certification will be available and when Self-Certification will end. The post has been updated to reflect this information.
On Monday, the Small Business Administration will publish a Final Rule updating the certification methods for businesses applying for and participating in the Women-Owned Small Business program. The new Rule will also impose new thresholds for demonstrating economic disadvantage, impacting applicants not only for the WOSB program, but also the 8(a) Business Development program.
Flash forward almost four years, and the SBA has not yet implemented a WOSB certification program. In fact, the SBA hasn’t even proposed rules to implement such a program. Instead, although the SBA continues to license a few third-party certifiers, the SBA also continues to say that WOSBs “can self-certify directly at certify.sba.gov by answering questions and uploading documents.”
So where the heck is the mysteriously missing SBA WOSB certification program? And is it even legal for the SBA to continue allowing WOSB self-certification?