Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Women Owned Small Business in the Government Market

You may have heard that the Federal Government has really put an effort into getting contracts into the hands of women-owned small businesses. In February of this year, they formalized their certifications so that women-owned businesses are now required to go through a certification process. You can qualify as a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) or an Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). The difference is not money, but whether or not your NAICS code (code that the government uses to identify your business type) is underrepresented or significantly underrepresented. Meeting Planning Services are significantly underrepresented so we qualify as an EDWOSB.

If you are registered with the government as a contractor, then go to the SBA login. If you are not registered, go to and set up an account. It is populated with the information from your Federal registration with CCR and ORCA. It is on this site that you get the information regarding what is required to qualify as a WOSB. You can upload the required information, or if you are already certified by one of the very few approved certifying organizations, (ours was WBENC) you can upload the certificate. You also have a form to complete. Once you have completed your paperwork, then go to CCR/ORCA and update your status.

I have not seen much in the way of Federal agencies doing set-asides for WOSB, but I keep hearing it will be happening in this next fiscal year. We certainly are hoping that we benefit from this new program. If you have any questions about how we got our certification and/or I can direct you to where you need to go to get started, please feel free to email me at

~ Linda Begbie • Executive Director, RDL enterprises