You had a dream. You made it become a reality in the form of a business venture. In our recent economy this is no small feat! As a woman there are some opportunities and benefits to certifying your company as “Woman Owned.” Special opportunities and assistance exist for women-owned businesses, which are those with at least 51 percent ownership by a woman or women, including contracts, procurement set-asides and financial and/or business assistance. Not all women-owned businesses choose to pursue these options, but certifying your business as a woman’s business enterprise (WBE) will open certain doors for you. Let’s examine these benefits as well as the certification process.
Two women’s business organizations certify WBEs: the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) and the NWBOC (National Women Business Owners Corporation). To become WBE certified, you must show:
- At least 51 percent ownership, management and control in the hands of women.
- Your company must have been in business for at least six months.
- The owner or owners must be US citizens or legal resident aliens.
- Evidence is required to show that the contribution of capital from the woman business owner is real and in proportion to her ownership interest in the business.
- The woman business owner must direct or cause direction of the management, business decisions, and fiscal direction and decisions of the business.
- The woman business owner must also demonstrate the ability to perform in the area of expertise without reliance on financing or resources from a firm that is not woman-owned.
For specific certification process follow this link to the application of National Women Business Owners Corporation.
Benefits of being certified as Woman Owned
One of the biggest benefits is getting connected with companies looking for women-owned suppliers thus boosting your sales and growth opportunity. They also offer training and other business resources. Other benefits include:
- Access – Access to a current list of supplier diversity and procurement executives at hundreds of major U.S. corporations and federal, state and local government entities that accept WBENC certification.
- Development Capacity – Access to mentoring, education, and capacity development.
- Recognition through various awards and recognition sites.
- Promotion of your business with marketing materials with women in business logo and promotional sponsorship events.
- Community support through social media and local chapters.