Benefits of a Woman-Owned Business Certification

Author: Wendy Washington, Senior Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer 06/03/2021

A woman-owned business certification allows business owners to reap several benefits that can help them grow their business. If your business is at least 51% woman-owned and operated, you may qualify. The goal of the woman-owned business certification is to award women contracts in industries where are they historically underrepresented and underfunded. Government agencies must allot at least 5% of proposals for holders of Women-Owned Small Business or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business certifications. Below are some of the benefits of receiving these certifications.

Increase Visibility of Your Business

More and more women are becoming entrepreneurs, and there are now more than 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States. A Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) or Economically Disadvantaged WOSB (EDWOSB) certification can help your business by increasing exposure and strengthening your business’ reputation.

You may also apply for a Women’s Business Enterprise National Certification (WBENC) that gives holders the ability to use the Women Owned logo and Women’s Business Enterprise seal as a marketing tool to promote your business and increase exposure.

Receive Leads for Bids & Proposals

With a WOSB or EDWOSB certification, business owners can participate in the SBA WOSB Federal Contracting Program which provides a level playing field for women businesses. The program limits competition for certain contracts to participating businesses.

These contracts are for industries where WOSBs are historically underrepresented, in order to promote diversity, inclusion, and equality within the trade. Competition for a portion of these contracts is even further limited to EDWOSBs. By joining the WOSB Federal Contracting Program, businesses are eligible to compete for federal proposals set aside for program members only.

Access Educational & Networking Opportunities

With a certification, you can apply to the SBA mentor-protégé program. This program gives participants the opportunity to learn from an experienced government contractor. You can build a relationship not only with your mentor, but with others in his professional network as well.

Program skills include:

  • Internal business management systems, accounting, marketing, manufacturing, and strategic planning
  • Financial assistance in the form of equity investments, loans, and bonding
  • Assistance navigating federal contract bidding, acquisition, and the federal procurement process
  • Education about international trade, strategic planning, and finding markets
  • Business development, including strategy and identifying contracting and partnership opportunities
  • General and administrative assistance, like human resource sharing or security clearance support

A WBENC certification gives members access to a large network of support and invitations to networking events, procurement opportunities, mentoring, executive education, and development programs.

Access New Markets

With a WOSB or EDWOSB certification, you can receive bid opportunities in markets outside of your current area. These certifications give you the ability to connect directly with buyers who are working to meet their 5% federal subcontracting goals. The WBENC certification grants members the opportunity to pursue business with government members and hundreds of large U.S. corporations.

A woman-owned business certification could be what gives your business the edge it needs to grow and succeed in today’s business environment. PlainsCapital Bank has a dedicated small business loan team who is ready to help you grow your business. For more information on which business loan is right for you, please visit the Small Business section of our website.

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