5 Strategies for Women to Develop Their PresenceAugust 6, 2021
Profitable Business Ideas for Women to Start in 2023November 17, 2022
There are many different programs that offer women business owner certification. Certification can help women business owners access new markets, secure financing, and get government contracts.
To be eligible for most women business owner certifications, businesses must be at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The business must also be independently operated, with the women owning the majority of voting stock.
The requirements for certification vary by program, but generally businesses will need to provide documentation such as tax returns, articles of incorporation, and proof of ownership. Most programs also require businesses to meet certain size standards, which may vary depending on the type of business.
Certification can be a lengthy process, but it can be a valuable asset for women business owners. Certification can open up new opportunities and help businesses grow and succeed.
What’s the Importance of Women Business Owner Certification?
Certification as a woman-owned business can open up a world of new opportunities for your business.
Once certified, WBE certification can give you a competitive edge when bidding on certain contracts or access to exclusive networking and mentorship opportunities. Moreover, it can help you build credibility with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders.
Many states have programs that offer assistance specifically to woman-owned businesses. This assistance can take the form of loans, grants, or access to special networking and business development opportunities.
Women Business Owner Certification Criteria
To be eligible for women business owner certification, you typically need to meet certain criteria related to your business size, ownership structure, and/or annual revenue.
- At least 51% majority ownership by one/more women
- Majority owners must have U.S. Citizenship or be Lawful Permanent Residents
- Proof of female-led management in business control, day-to-day operations, and legal documents
- Demonstrated long-term decision making by women business owners
- The highest position must be held by a woman on a full-time basis
- Company must primarily be located and operate in the US
- Industry-specific size requirement may be needed to quality
- The company/owners must never have been suspended/debarred by a federal agency
Your business might also qualify for women business owner certification as an Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) if:
- Majority owner(s) have a have a personal net worth of under $750,000
- Adjusted annual income average of $350,000 or less over the last 36 months
- Owners’ assets market valued at under $6 million
Women Business Owner Certification Organizations
If you fall within the eligibility criteria, you can apply directly through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or through an SBA-approved organization that can certify your business.
SBA – The U.S. Small Business Administration is a government agency that provides support and assistance to small businesses. The SBA offers a variety of programs and services to help women business owners start, grow, and succeed. These programs include training, counseling, technical assistance, and financing.
WBENC – The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the largest third-party certifier of women-owned and operated businesses in the United States. It is the most popular and well-known business owner certification program.
NMSDC – The National Minority Supplier Development Council is a world-wide leader in promoting business opportunities for certified Black, Asian, Hispanic and Native American-owned companies.
WBEC-West – You can work with the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (West) to get certified if your business falls in the Western US states. WBEC-West implements the certification standards of WBENC throughout Arizona, Southern California, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, American Somoa and Guam. Browse FAQs and certification documentation required.
Benefits of Women Business Owner Certification
Some of the benefits of becoming a certified woman-owned business include:
- Access to government contracts: As a certified woman-owned business, you may be eligible for set-aside contracts and other opportunities with the federal government.
- Increased visibility: Being certified as a woman-owned business can help you raise your profile and attract new customers.
- Access to financing: There are a number of programs available to help women-owned businesses access the financing they need to grow and succeed.
- Mentorship and support: As a woman-owned business, you can take advantage of mentorship programs and networking opportunities designed to help you succeed.
If you are a woman who owns a business, or if you are thinking of starting a business, becoming certified as a woman-owned business can give you many advantages in the marketplace.
Take the first step today and learn more about the benefits of becoming a certified woman-owned business.