WHAT IS THE WOSB CERTIFICATION?
Did you know that Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) are extremely under-represented in the government market? Although women represent 51% of the population and over 41% of all businesses in the US, less than 3.4% of federal contracts are being awarded to them.
As a result, in 2010, numerous initiatives were taken by coalitions of women organizations and government legislators to strengthen the women owned small business in the federal market and in 2011, a new program became effective to better increase their participation in the government market. These new initiatives were governed by 3 new federal certification programs:
- WOSB = Woman Owned Small Business
- EDWOSB = Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business
- 8m = The 8m designation refers to the WOSB Program created through the Small Business Act under Section 8 part (m)
PRIME AWARD OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOSB’s SET AT 5%
The federal goal mandating that agencies award 5% of contract dollars to WOSB/EDWOSB companies remains the same. This 5% mandate alone accounts for nearly $26 billion in annual contract opportunities! Unfortunately, this goal has not been met in over a decade. Today, two years after the revamped WOSB Certification program, women businesses are still not winning 5% of federal contracts. This demonstrates a flaw in the enforcement of agencies meeting this goal, but also presents an opportunity for women business owners who get certified.
SUBCONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOSB’s SET AT A MINIMUM OF 5%
In addition, the WOSB/EDWOSB Certification also requires that when a large prime contractor
wins a contract over $650,000, 5% of the dollars awarded MUST be SUBCONTRACTED to women owned small businesses. This requirement is an additional reason why women should
seek to get their business certified in the WOSB/EDWOSB Certification program. The result of the final rule created a revamped WOSB CERTIFICATION PROGRAM.
The new program has two distinct Certifications:
- WOSB Certification = Woman Owned Small Business Certification
- EDWOSB Certification = Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business Certification
The WOSB Certification is for all small businesses which are owned by one or more women.
The EDWOSB Certification is for one or more women owners who can prove that they are economically disadvantaged. Of these two certifications, the EDWOSB Certification is the strongest.
To learn more about which one your company qualifies for, CLICK ON THIS LINK.
ADVANTAGES and BENEFITS of the WOSB / EDWOSB CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Some of the key advantages of the WOSB and EDWOSB Certification program are:
- Compete in the 5% federal mandated program
- Beat out competitors in a very exclusive market
- Win set-aside federal contracts worth up to $4 million & up to $6.5 million for manufacturing
- Win subcontracting projects with large prime contractors (subcontracting mandate 5%)
- Compete on an equal the playing field with other Federal Programs such as HUBZone, SDVOSB & 8a
- New easier processes and guidelines for contracting officers to award set-aside
contracts to WOSB’s
- No term limit in the program. For as long as you are a small business, you will remain in
- No long approval process. The minute you submit your documents, you’re instantly
- No two year requirement prior to obtaining certification