About 39 percent of all privately held companies are owned by female entrepreneurs. The
U.S. Small Business Administration has announced a federal contracting program that may make it even easier for women owned businesses and female entrepreneurs to thrive.
What Is the WOSB Federal Contracting Program?
The WOSB Federal Contracting Program allows contracting officers to set aside certain contracting opportunities for women owned small businesses or economically disadvantaged women owned small businesses, or WOSB.
This gives women owned businesses better opportunities to participate in lucrative projects even though they represent a minority of the business world, especially in certain industries. The goal of the program has always been to allocate 5 percent of the federal government’s prime and subcontract funds to women owned small businesses.
The WOSB Federal Contracting Program is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
How Is the WOSB Federal Contracting Program Changing Life for Entrepreneurs?
In the summer of 2020, it will be easier for women owned small businesses and entrepreneurs to apply for certification through the program. Some of the changes include:
- Access to free, user-friendly online interface on the Small Business Administration website for certifying women owned small businesses
- Businesses that are certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Verification and Evaluations and those that use approved Third-party Certification companies to get their certification can apply if they meet eligibility requirements
- The current self-certification option on the Small Business Administration website will no longer be available, but a new, free online self-certification option will be ready
Benefits of the New WOSB Federal Contracting Program for Entrepreneurs
This program promotes equal opportunity among businesses. Women owned small businesses are underrepresented in many industries. Those industries are eligible for certification under the Small Business Administration WOSB Federal Contracting Program.
Some of the WOSB eligible industries include:
- Sewage treatment facilities
- Residential remodelers
- Industrial building construction
- Plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors
The WOSB program allows entrepreneurs that may have been squeezed out of the running the opportunity to secure federal contracts.
Women owned small businesses and entrepreneurs can visit the Small Business Administration website for more information or to obtain certification. Until October 15, 2020, they may perform self-certification using the current website. After October 15, they will be redirected to a new online portal. Companies can also get certification through a Third-Party Certifier for a fee.
To be eligible for certification, firms must be small businesses, have 51 percent ownership or control by women who are citizens of the U.S. and include women in daily operations and long-term decision-making. Businesses must update their certification information yearly on the Small Business Administration website to stay up to date.