The federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. In 2019 this amount totaled in 7.5 billion dollars (estimated sum awarded to civilian women-owned small businesses in government contracting).
View SBA's FAQs for WOSBs/EDWOSBs
The Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) is a certification available for qualified woman owned small businesses through the Small Business Administration's (SBA), Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program. The WOSB certification 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 eligible industries and their NAICS codes and provides a Checklist of documents and info needed. See eligibility requirements below. All firms certify in the new, free online certification process at beta.certify.sba.gov, including uploading third party consultants (TPC) certified documentation for processing.
You’ll need to have an active profile at Beta.SAM.gov before you can use the SBA’s certification website or become registered through an SBA-approved TPC. Firms will need to update their certification information through both Beta.SAM.gov and beta.certify.sba.gov once a year to maintain their status with the WOSB Federal Contracting Program.
Visit www.sba.gov/wosbready for more information
Browse Knowledge Base for additional resources.
Starting on July 15, 2020, the certification process for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) began 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 updated 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, SBA is strengthening oversight and maintaining the integrity of the certification process.
Read more and find other resources in our July article: WOSB Certification Upcoming Changes
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
1] SBA Certification - Free
2] Third-Party Certification - Paid Service
Third-party certification is offered by four SBA-approved organizations. This option requires payment 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