Economic Inclusion and Upcoming Changes to WOSB Certification Process
Jump to WOSB Certification Upcoming Changes Update
Entrepreneurship is at the heart of the American Dream and small businesses are key to economic vitality. These ventures generate revenue, increase the tax base, provide local employment opportunities, bring innovation, and increase competition.
A 2019 report indicates that women-owned businesses represent 42% of all businesses in the United States, and are the fastest growing segment (twice the rate of all other businesses). This report also points out that women of color account for 50% of all women-owned businesses, with African American/Black women-owned businesses showing the fastest growth. The total 2019 revenue for Minority-Women-Owned Businesses is estimated at $422.5 billion. However that total represents only 23% of total women-owned businesses’ revenue. Projections estimate that if parity with White women is achieved, their total annual revenue will be up to $1.4 Trillion!
Economists agree that minority and women owned businesses have enormous potential and increasing the numbers of these companies will result in a stronger and more sustainable economic growth for the nation. With different perspectives, skills and experiences, women and minorities solve problems in new and innovative ways, bring back community investment, capture untapped markets, and create jobs, mentorships and investment opportunities.
Unfortunately, women and communities of color face many economic barriers, amongst which is access to capital required to start or grow a business. In fact, until about 30 years ago, before the Women’s Business Ownership Act was introduced, women couldn’t take out business loans in their own name. Nevertheless, more and more women owned businesses successfully overcome the odds by exploring alternative sources of capital, fostering good business practices, and incorporating sustainable and talented workforce, creativity, perseverance, and passion into their ventures.
For these reasons many large companies, including federal and state government agencies, embrace supplier diversity and invest in outreach programs to attract and support minority and women owned businesses. The US Small Business Administration offers several programs that help individuals launch new businesses and compete in the marketplace. They also position all small businesses to win at least 23% of all federal contracting dollars each year by allocating set-aside contracts and subcontracting requirements (5% of the total set aside for small businesses is dedicated to women-owned businesses). In 2019 the federal government spent $150 billion with civilian small businesses, and according to the SBA’s 2019 Scorecard, they managed to award 4% of government contracting dollars to Prime WOBS and doubled their 5% WOSB subcontracting goal.
The SBA maintains annual set aside goals for Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB), Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), and Small Businesses located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). Support is also provided to Native American, veteran, and LGBT-owned businesses. Learn more about these programs and opportunities, at the SBA’s upcoming series of webinars focused on different aspects of federal government contracting.
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WOSB Certification Upcoming Changes
View Recording and Slides from the latest SBA webinar on the topic to find more resources, contact and useful links.
Starting July 15, the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) certification process will begin to change.
In a nutshell
The SBA is replacing certify.sba.gov with beta.certify.sba.gov on July 15. All businesses interested in these certifications must register in this new free online platform. The SBA will begin issuing decisions on certification submitted through the new process on October 15. View the timeline below for additional details
Now until July 15
Currently certified businesses will need to download their documentation from the WOSB Program Repository at certify.sba.gov. The Repository will no longer be available after July 15.
Between July 15 and October 15
Small businesses competing for WOSB set-aside contracts must be registered on the new platform (beta.certify.sba.gov). If you downloaded your documents from the certify.sba.gov repository, register in the new system and upload your documents. All previous self-certified WOSBs through certify.sba will only be valid until October 15.
If someone’s self-certification expires on any date after July 15th, they should seek 3rd party certification if they have a pending opportunity, or go ahead and start the new process knowing that applications will not be approved until October 15.
Third Party Certifiers
Companies can choose to use the free certification process through SBA or work with approved third parties (*list of approved Certifiers can be found on www.sba.gov/wosbready). Your Norcal PTAC Procurement Specialist can walk you through the EDWOSB/WOSB certification and any other government certifications.
For more information:
- View webnar recording and slides linked above
- Visit: https://www.sba.gov/wosbready
- Are you WOSB Ready? (Infographic) https://www.sba.gov/brand/assets/sba/resource-partners/WOSB-infographic.jpg
- SBA’s latest FAQs
- SBA’s certification options table
Register your business
Top Article Sources
- American Express | 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report
- National Women’s Council 2019 Annul Report
- Bank of America 2019 Women Business Owner Spotlight
- Score | The State of Women Entrepreneurs
- Bank of America White Paper
- US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
- Forbes | How HR 5050 Changed Entrepreneurship For Women
- Forbes | Supplier Diversity Will Help Businesses Large And Small Recover From Pandemic
- Center for Economic Inclusion | The Benefits of Inclusive Growth
- IMFBlog | The Global Economic Reset—Promoting a More Inclusive Recovery
- Greenlining | 2019 Supplier Diversity Report Card
- SBA | 2019 United States Small Business Economic Profile
- SBA | 2019 California Small Business Economic Profile
- SBA | Fiscal Year 2019 Small Business Procurement Scorecard
- Government Accountability Office | 2019 Gov Con Infographic
Researched and Written by Lilach Assayag, Norcal PTAC Graphics & Marketing Specialist