Industry Word

Blogs.Industry Word


Women owned businesses get more government opportunity

Women owned businesses get more government opportunity

Published: June 22, 2011 Updated: August 31, 2016

<p>&nbsp;</p><p>Women-owned businesses have always had a place in the world of government contracting.&nbsp; Earlier this year, however, the Small Business Administration (SBA) implemented a new program that is designed to provide more contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses.&nbsp;</p><p>As of April 1, 2011, agencies may now set aside contracts specifically for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically&nbsp;disadvantaged women-owned small businesses.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>According to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) amendment, contracting officers are now allowed to:</p><ul><li>Restrict competition to WOSB or Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSB) in industries where women-owned businesses are substantially underrepresented.&nbsp;</li><li>Restrict competition to EDWOSBs in industries where women-owned businesses are underrepresented.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>Agencies can set aside these contracts on acquisitions where the anticipated contract award price (including options) is less than $6.5 million in manufacturing industries, or $4 million in all other acquisitoins.&nbsp;</p><p>SBA has determined that women-owned small businesses are underrepresented (or substantially underrepresented) in more than 300 industries represented through the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).&nbsp; You can view those NAICS codes here: <a href=" " > </a> </p> <p> &nbsp; </p> <p> <strong> Who is Eligible? </strong></p><p>There may be people reading this right now with companies that are eligible for additional contracts under this new ruling&mdash;and that is very exciting! It is important, however, to be sure you&rsquo;re able to meet the women-owned small business requirements.</p><p>To be eligible to benefit from a set-aside, a business must be:</p><ul><li>At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens Considered &ldquo;Small&rdquo; in its primary industry in accordance with SBA&rsquo;s size standards for that industry</li></ul><p>There are two primary ways to certify as a women-owned small business: A firm can self certify its status or obtain third party certification.</p><p>In order for a WOSB to be deemed &ldquo;economically disadvantaged,&rdquo; the company owners must also satisfy certain criteria. Specifically, a woman is presumed economically disadvantaged if she has a personal net worth of less than $750,000, her adjusted gross yearly income averaged over the preceding three years is less than $350,000, and the fair market value of all her assets is less than $6 million.</p><p><strong>Getting ready</strong></p><p>New clauses implementing these new rules should be showing up soon in contract solicitations that fit the criteria.&nbsp; SBA&#39;s goal was to have the program ready for competition by women-owned businesses by the fourth quarter of this fiscal year- which ends September 30.&nbsp;</p><p>So, in anticipation of these potential new opportunities, it&#39;s time to make sure you&#39;re ready for government business!&nbsp; If you are a WOSB or EDWOSB, make sure to take the administrative steps necessary to qualify your business for potential set-asides.&nbsp; Start now to gather the information and documentation you&#39;ll need so you are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities whenever they become available.&nbsp;</p><p>Here are three quick to-dos:</p><ol><li>Register in <a href=""><u>Central Contractor Registration</u></a>(CCR) as a WOSB or EDWOSB if you haven&rsquo;t done this already.</li><li>Upload the necessary documents to SBA&rsquo;s WOSB Program repository that verify your eligibility as a WOSB.&nbsp; If your firm chooses to self-certify, you&rsquo;ll be required to provide documentation, such as birth certificates, joint venture agreements, articles of incorporation, etc.&nbsp; Then, a contracting officer will have to ensure complete documentation is uploaded before awarding a set-aside contract under the WOSB program.</li><li>Represent your status as a WOSB or EDWOSM in <a href=""><u>Online Representations and Certifications Application</u></a>(ORCA)</li></ol><p>Good luck!</p><p><strong>Additional Resources</strong></p><ul><li><a href=" title="blocked:: ABCs of Government Contracting: Understanding the Acronyms</u></a></li><li><a href=" for Small Businesses Looking for Government Contracts</u></a></li><li><a href=" Contracting: Explaining the Process in 5 Steps</u></a></li><li><a href=" and Capturing Government Year-end Dollars</u></a></li><li><a href=" 5 Small Business Opportunities in Government for 2011</u></a></li></ul><div><p><em>Bill Gormley is president and CEO of </em><a href=""><u>Washington Management Group</u></a><em>, chairman of the </em><a href=""><u>Coalition for Government Procurement</u></a><em>, and Vice Chair at the </em><a href=""><u>Procurement Round Table</u></a><em>.</em></p></div>

About the Author: