Starting on July 15, 2020, the certification process for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) will begin to change as SBA implements Congress’ changes to the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program (WOSB Federal Contracting Program), as put forth in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
These new regulations make it easier for qualified small businesses to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program by improving the customer experience. At the same time, the SBA is strengthening oversight and maintaining the integrity of the certification process.
The Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program (WOSB) was designed to level the playing field for women business owners, specifically creating contracts set-aside for those industries that are underrepresented by women. Some contracts are restricted further to Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB). The SBA maintains a list of those eligible industries and their NAICS codes.
Check out this Preparation Checklist HERE.
Joining the women’s contracting program makes your business eligible to compete for federal contracts set aside for the program. You can still compete for contract awards under other socio-economic programs you qualify for.
The full eligibility requirements for WOSB and EDWOSB are outlined here: Title 13 Part 127 Subpart B of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The following are the minimum eligibility requirements:
To be eligible as a WOSB, your business must:
- Be a small business as indicated by the NAICS size standard chart
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens
- Women must manage the day-to-day operations and make long-term decisions
To be eligible as an EDWOSB, your business must:
- Meet all requirements of the women-owned contracting program
- Be owned and controlled by one or more women, each with a personal net worth less than $750,000 and adjusted gross income average of $350,000 over the previous three years.
- Applicant(s) must have $6 million or less in personal assets
Two Certification Options:
Third-party certification is offered by the following SBA-approved organizations. Please contact these organizations directly for requirements.
- Women's Business Enterprise National Council
- U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce
- National Women Business Owners Corporation
- El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
You’ll need to have an active profile at SAM.gov before you can use the SBA’s certification website or become registered through an SBA-approved TPA.