Article 3 of 3 Series
Even today, with more than 10 million companies being owned by women, employing more than 13 million people and generating more than $1.9 trillion in sales as of 2008, women continually fight for equality as entrepreneurs in a male dominated marketplace. This is especially true in the business to business sector. In order to increase the competitive advantage of women, there are organizations that specialize in the certification of women owned businesses.
In the last two articles, we discussed 5 Important Steps to Position Your Business for Federal Contracting as well as How to Obtain Federal SBA 8(a)/SDB or HUBZone Certification. In addition to being certified for Federal, State and local contracting, women business owners are eligible to apply for a national certification for women owned businesses. Most large corporations require either national or state/city certifications. There are two reputable national agencies that I am familiar with that certify women owned businesses:
- National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC): NWBOC’s certification program were created for women-owned and controlled businesses as an alternative to the multiple state and local certifications required by many public and private-sector agencies or prime contractors. The agency has partnered with more than 100 major corporations, agencies, and organizations who accept their certification.
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): WBENC offers certification for women-owned businesses. They are a third-party certifier for businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC’s goal is to foster diversity by offering programs and policies designed to expand opportunities and eliminate barriers in the marketplace for women business owners. WBENC’s certification program is administered through fourteen regional affiliates. My organization, the Women’s Business Center, is in partnership with Women’s Business Enterprise Council South, a regional affiliate. I’ve conducted several site visits for their clients in Southern, AL.
Why certify as a woman owned business?
- Access to market: this can open doors to your women businesses by gaining certification accreditation as a woman owned business; it also puts you in front of corporate purchasing agents, thus, gaining access to lucrative supplier contract opportunities.
- Apart of a large network: as women, we naturally like to network. The certifying agencies provide great opportunities to join a network of successful women entrepreneurs to form alliances, partnerships and lasting friendships.
Do you qualify?
If the following describes YOUR business, you might be a good candidate for certification:
- Your business is at least 51% woman-owned and is managed on an ongoing basis by a woman or women.
- You sell business-to-business rather than to individual consumers.
- You target multimillion-dollar companies and can service them regionally or nationally.
- You are ready to grow your business and capable of handling growth.
- You’re willing to invest the time and effort to complete the certification process.
- You must be a US citizen or a legal resident
- Small Business Administration, Office of Women Business Ownership Entrepreneurial Development: http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/onlinewbc/index.html
- Association Women’s Business Center: http://www.awbc.biz/
- US Women’s Chamber of Commerce: http://www.uswcc.org/nwbe-certification/
- Center for Women’s Business Research: http://www.nfwbo.org/
- National Association Women Business Owners: http://www.nawbo.org/
Subscribe today to get your ‘Hot off the Press’ articles at Sylvia Browder’s , Article’s 1, 2 and 3.
In Article 1:
Hey Small Businesses, the Federal Government wants to Do Business with You! 5 Steps to Position Your Business for Federal Contracting
- Important Step #1: Apply for your SIC and NAICS Codes
- Important Step #2: (SBA)
- Important Step #3: Obtain a DUNS number
- Important Step #4:
- Important Step #5:
In Article 2:
Hey Small Businesses, the Federal Government wants to Do Business with You! How to Obtain Federal SBA 8(a)/SDB or HUBZone Certification
- Are you a small business and want to understand the Federal 8(a), SDB or HUB Zone certification process?
- And more!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women’s Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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