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The Woman Owned Small Business Certification (WOSB) is designed to authorize government contracting officers to set aside specific contracts for competition solely amongst WOSBs or Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs). The main difference between these types of businesses is that EDWOSBs are owned by Economically Disadvantaged women. The Small Business Administration defines “Economic Disadvantage” as having a personal net worth of less than $750,000 adjusted gross yearly income averaged over the three years not exceeding $350,000, and the fair market value of all assets not exceeding $6 million. Businesses certified as EDWOSBs qualify for extra funding and may be selected in smaller set-aside solicitations pools than businesses certified as WOSBs. Contracting Officers must meet annual contracting goals by specifically limiting or setting aside certain solicitations for WOSBs or EDWOSBs.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Federal Government must award 5% (roughly $25 billion) of it’s Prime and Subcontracting dollars to WOSBs and EDWOSBs. In 2012, a little over $9 billion was awarded to WOSBs over nearly 180,000 Federal Contracts. The “National Defense Authorization Act of 2013”, WOSBs now have uncapped contracting potential allowing Government Contracting Officers to award contracting dollars above the original “Small Business Act” limitations. These uncapped contracts are valid to any and all Certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs that are currently registered in the System for Award Management (SAM).

Benefits of a Woman Owned Certification (WOSB)

  • Federal Spending Mandate:5% of all Federal funds annually are allocated to Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certified businesses.
  • Enhanced Contracting Opportunities:WOSB Certification opens significant opportunities for women entrepreneurs, with Government Contracting Officers required to meet federally mandated quotas
  • Subcontracting Advantages: Certification enables subcontracting opportunities with businesses that require WOSB certification for bid proposals.
  • Direct Contracting Access: Facilitates direct interactions and contract opportunities with Prime Contracting Officers.
  • Exclusive Database Listing: WOSB certifications are listed in the sole database used by vendors to advertise their certification and by the government to locate such vendors, crucial for “No-Bid Contracts”.
  • Increased Profit Margins: WOSB Set-Aside Contracts typically see up to an 8% higher net profit compared to most contracts.
  • Large firms bidding on government contracts in excess of $750,000 must provide an allocation for Certified WOSB firms participation as part of the contract. Therefore, having a WOBS Certification will allow for these subcontracting opportunities

Get Started On Your Certification Now

If you would like to get started on your WOSB or EDWOSB, reach out to our Help Desk at 1-888-646-9998 (M-F 9am-5pm EST). USBRI handles a majority of the certification process for you, only pulling you in where absolutely necessary. This includes updating your SAM Registration, SBA Profile and DSBS Profile after your certification goes active (including 12 months of support on the SAM Registration, Certification itself and the additional SBA/DSBS Profiles). WOSB & EDWOSB Certifications are good for 3 years once approved.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Businesses must be 51% or greater owned by a woman; the woman must be a US Citizen
  • Daily operations management must be by a woman
  • The highest officer position must be held by a woman
  • The woman must manage the business full-time & must devote full-time hours to the management of the business
  • The woman has ultimate and supervisory control
  • Primary NAICS Codes selection must fall within 1 of the 217 WOSB set-aside NAICs