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Women-Owned Small Businesses
August 19, 2013: Updates to the WOSB and EDWOSB eligible NAICS Code listings are now available. Buying agencies should only award contracts in these eligible industries. As a reminder, only companies that represent themselves as EDWOSBs are eligible to receive the award of contracts in EDWOSB industries, but both EDWOSBs and WOSBs are eligible to receive the award of contracts in WOSB industries.
May 7, 2013: Changes to the federal contracting program for women-owned small business (WOSB) concerns and economically disadvantaged women-owned small business (EDWOSB) concerns will go into effect on May 7, 2013. The enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2013 removed the caps on the contract award size for which WOSB and EDWOSB concerns have been able to compete.
Latest News Release: February 1, 2011 – SBA Expands Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses
On October 7, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration published a final rule effective February 4, 2011, aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs). The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible:
Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or
Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs)
To be eligible, a firm must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens. The firm must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’s size standards for that industry. In order for a WOSB to be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final rule.
WOSB Program Third Party Certification – Updated
The SBA has approved four organizations to act as Third Party Certifiers under the WOSB Program. The four organizations and contact information are:
- El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- National Women Business Owners Corporation
- US Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
Women Owned Small Businesses may elect to use the services of a Third Party Certifier to demonstrate eligibility for the program, or they may self-certify using the process outlined here on this website. SBA will only accept third party certification from these entities, and firms are still subject to the same eligibility requirements to participate in the program.
Please note, at the request of WBENC, SBA has approved WBENC only for the certification of WOSBs and not for the certification of Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs.
For a quick overview of the WOSB Program and what businesses need to do to participate, click here to view a short presentation. For detailed information about the WOSB Program, see the “WOSB Program Information” section.
4 Steps to participate in the WOSB program:
Register and represent your status in the System for Award Management (SAM) as WOSB or EDWOSB.**
Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS). *Obtain an account now if you don’t already have one
Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload / categorize all required documents.
WOSB Program Repository
To access the WOSB Program Repository, users must first login to SBA’s General Login System (GLS). If you do not have an account:
Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS)
Click on “Instructions for GLS” for information on how to request an account
Go to “Request SBA User ID” to create an account
Once you are in GLS, click the “Access” button at the top of the screen. Then select “Women-Owned Small Business Program Repository” and press submit. You should then be able to access the repository. Once you are in the repository, you can click the “Help” button at the top of the screen for instructions on how to use the repository.
**A complete list of required documents to upload to the Repository can be found in the Compliance Guide for the WOSB Program. All eligible WOSBs and EDWOSBs who would like to participate in this program must complete and sign the WOSB or EDWOSB certification form below and upload it into the repository.
Questions about the WOSB Program?
SBA Answer Desk
Answer Desk TTY: (704) 344-6640
In addition to our website and the SBA Answer Desk, there are a number of resources available to help answer questions about the WOSB program:
Visit a local resource:
Small Business District Offices
Find your local office at: http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-list/2
Women’s Business Centers
Find your local center at: http://www.sba.gov/content/womens-business-centers
Small Business Development Centers
Find your local center at: http://www.asbdc-us.org/
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
Find your local center at: http://www.aptac-us.org/new/
WOSB Program News
February 1, 2011 – SBA Expands Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses
October 7, 2010 – Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program Final Rule is published in the Federal Register.
October 4, 2010 - SBA Releases Final Women-Owned Small Business Rule to Expand Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities
March 4, 2010 - Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.
March 2, 2010 SBA news release - SBA Proposes Women-Owned Small Business Rule to Expand Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities
To learn more about contracting with the Federal Government, we recommend reading SBA's pages on Small Business Certifications and visiting the SBA Office of Women's Business Ownership.