To help level the playing field and create more opportunities for women entrepreneurs, the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) set-aside was established was established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Another women-owned set-aside is the Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). Businesses certified as EDWOSBs qualify for extra funding and may be selected in smaller set-aside solicitations. From the over $500 billion the government allocates for contracts every year, 5% is obligated for WOSBs and EDWOSBs.
New Federal Contracting Program Regulations
New Federal Contracting Program regulations recently issued will provide a free online certification and eligibility process for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB). New changes will begin to be implemented by the SBA (Small Business Administration) beginning July 15, 2020.
Below is the timeline for implementing the program changes:
- The current self certification process will remain available for firms until October 15, 2020, in certify.sba.gov.
- Between now and July 15, 2020, certified WOSBs must download their documentation, currently housed in the WOSB Program Repository, from certify.sba.gov.
- On July 15, 2020, firms can begin submitting applications under the new certification process for initial processing.
- On October 15, 2020, SBA will begin issuing decisions on certification.
Once the new WOSB Federal Contracting Program regulations go into effect:
- SBA will provide a new, free online certification process for WOSBs and EDWOSBs.
- SBA will allow participation from firms certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Verification and Evaluations, provided they meet all eligibility requirements.
- SBA will allow continued participation from businesses that utilize approved Third Party Certifiers (TPC) to obtain WOSB or EDWOSB certification.
- SBA will eliminate the current self certification option from certify.sba.gov, effective October 15, 2020.
The new WOSB Program regulations allows participation from firms certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Verification and Evaluations, provided they meet all eligibility requirements. They also will make it easier and more efficient for contracting officers to set aside and make awards to firms certified as WOSBs and EDWOSBs and will better empower agencies to meet the 5% federal contracting goal for women-owned small businesses.
To learn more about how the SBA supports women entrepreneurs, visit www.sba.gov/wosb.