SBA Announces Changes to Contracting Program For Women-Owned Small Businesses

Release Date: 
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Friday, January 18, 2013
Advisory Number: 
Tiffani Clements

“This is great news for our women-owned small businesses here in Oregon,” said Acting District Director Robert DuCotè. “In FY11, there were $1.4 billion in federal contracting dollars spent in Oregon with $56.7 million going to women-owned small businesses in the state, this law will build upon that and expand opportunities for further growth.” 

“Women-owned businesses are a significant part of our economy and this law will help them continue to grow, succeed and create more jobs for Americans,” said Regional Administrator Calvin Goings.

News Release

The law also requires the SBA to conduct another study to identify and report industries underrepresented by women-owned small businesses.  As a result, more eligible women-owned businesses may be able to participate in SBA’s Women’s Federal Contract Program and compete for and win federal contracts.  

The SBA is working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy under the President’s Office of Management and Budget on the implementation including changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations.  

Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third party certification.  There are four approved third-party certifiers that perform eligibility exams: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners Corporation, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Additional information and links about approved third-party certifiers are available at

To qualify as a WOSB, a firm must be at least fifty-one percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women.  The women must be U.S. citizens and the firm must be considered small according to SBA size standards.  To be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” a firm’s owners must meet specific financial requirements set forth in the program regulations.  

The WOSB Program identifies eighty-three four-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes where WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented.   Contracting officers may set aside contracts in these industries if the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price and the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract.  

For more information on the Women-Owned Small Business Program or to access the instructions, applications or database, please visit