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Certification of Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking input and comments on certification of Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB)  and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB) in connection with the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB Program). SBA is planning to amend its regulations to implement section 825 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year  2015 (2015 NDAA). In the 2015 NDAA, Congress directed SBA to end self-certification for WOSBs and EDWOSBs and implement a certification process. SBA is now soliciting feedback on how to best implement Congress’ directive. Through the advance notice, SBA is providing commenters the ability to suggest what they believe is the most appropriate way to structure the WOSB/EDWOSB certification process before SBA engages in formal rulemaking.  Specifically, SBA seeks comments as to the four possible certification approaches. Although the language of Section 825 of the 2015 NDAA authorizes certification by a federal agency, a State government, SBA, or a national certifying entity approved by SBA, SBA requests commenters to weigh in on whether each of the four types should be pursued. SBA also requests comments on whether there should be a grace period after implementation to give firms that have self-certified the time necessary to complete the new certification process, and what should become of the current WOSB repository and whether or not it should be maintained. Further, SBA is inviting commenters to critique the third party national certifying entities currently approved by SBA, as well as the WOSB certification programs available through the SBA’s 8(a) Program and by states that have certified women to be DBEs for the USDOT’s DBE Program.


Comments to the advance notice must be received on or before February 16, 2016.


Read the advanced notice (Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 243 / Friday, December 18, 2015,Page 78984)

Advocacy contact:  Major L. Clark, email:, telephone, 202-205-7150

Submit comments: identified by RIN 3245-AG75, by Federal eRulemaking Portal:


Wednesday, December 23, 2015