Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Certification Program Overview

At the conclusion of 2021, there were over 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States generating an astounding $1.8 trillion dollars in revenue. A deeper look shows that 21% of all businesses operating in the country are women-owned. While these numbers are impressive, there’s still so much work to do in order to level the proverbial business playing field with regards to women business owners and their male counterparts. The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), a division of the SBA, was developed with the goal of closing the gender gap and putting women in a position to better compete. Private and government contracts that in years past were considered unattainable for women become available once this certification is secured.

If you’re a female business owner, understanding how to obtain the WOSB certification and the benefits it brings can help open doors to lucrative business opportunities.

What is WOSB Certification?

The WOSB certification affords women-owned businesses the opportunity to work with municipalities, the federal government, or the private sector. Under the WOSB certification umbrella, there are three levels:

  • Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB)
  • Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)
  • Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)

To secure the certification, your business must have over 50% female ownership. If you’re looking to participate in federal programs as a woman-owned business, the WOSB or EDWOSB certification is the one you’ll need to secure. For opportunities with private organizations, the WBE certification will be needed.

WOSB Certification Requirements

In order to qualify for the WOSB certification, there are certain criteria your business must meet. As previously mentioned, over 50% of the business must be owned by a female. This person must be in charge of managing the day-to-day operations and be charged with making the long-term decisions for the operation.

If the EDWOSB designation is what you seek, the requirements listed above must be adhered to in addition to the following.

  • The net worth of the owner must not exceed $750,000
  • The owner cannot have personal assets in excess of $6 million
  • During each of the prior three years, the business must have averaged no more than $350,000 in adjusted gross income

WOSB Certification Benefits

The WOSB certification brings with it a number of benefits including the following.

  1. You’ll have a better chance of getting noticed: When it comes to the types of opportunities businesses that secure these certifications are targeting, visibility is a must. These opportunities are ultra-competitive and the more visibility you’re able to secure, the better your chances of winning. With a WSOB certification in hand, you’ll be eligible to compete for set-aside contracts through the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Large companies looking for diverse partners and tax breaks frequent this system and being certified puts your business in the mix.
  2. A great networking tool: The WOSB program puts you in front of movers, shakers, and key decision-makers. From conferences to workshops, business fairs, and marketing events, this certification opens the doors to a plethora of networking opportunities that can easily transition into revenues and profits for your business.
  3. Leads, leads, and more leads: With the WOSB certification in your arsenal, you’re now able to compete for prized set-aside contracts that would otherwise be out of your reach. In addition to the set-asides, your business can also compete for lucrative sole-source contracts. If government contracts are not your choice, the WBE certification will allow you to approach Fortune 500 companies that have shown an interest in securing a diverse partnership.

The Coley Group Can Help You Meet the Requirements for WOSB Certification

Women-owned businesses are an integral part of our nation’s economy. With each passing year, their presence continues to gain prominence. In order to leverage their full potential certifications like those offered through the WOSB program must be tapped into. If you’re a business that meets the WOSB requirements and you’re looking to explore certification options, The Coley Group can help.

Our staff of seasoned business plan writers can guide you through the process and set you on a path toward success. For more information on the services, feel free to contact us today for a free quote.