The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) changed the certification process for woman-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged woman-owned small businesses (EDWOSB). Specifically, Section 825 replaces self-certification with a certification program run by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Simultaneously, it beefs up the sole source contracting opportunities by increasing the contract value ceiling. Combined, this gives the WOSB/EDWOSB contracting programs credibility while adding motivation for potential contractors to get involved. These updated regulations make it easier for qualified small businesses to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program by improving the customer experience. At the same time, SBA is strengthening oversight and maintaining the integrity of the certification process.
If you are a WOSB or an EDWOSB and you want to capitalize on set-asides or sole source opportunities to win government contracts, you can no longer rely solely on third party certification or self-certification.
Do not ignore this if the WOSB or EDWOSB set-asides are part of your business strategy. And, if you have not already completed your SBA certification, you are late. The SBA’s old self-certification program died on October 15, 2020. The new certification is free. No need to pay for external certification or consultative support unless those benefit you in other ways.
JetCo Federal is a WBENC-certified, SBA-certified WOSB. The application and approval process with the SBA was seamless and quick. We were in the know about the changes, thanks to strong communication from the SBA and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). From a marketing perspective, we lead with capabilities and allow the WOSB status to be a secondary added value.
There are many resources for WOSBs in the government contracting industry. Here are our favorites:
- The Small Business Administration explains the changes clearly and concisely. Under their contracting assistance programs, they highlight WOSB and EDWOSB certification improvements, program benefits and eligibility requirements, how to get certified, and program assistance.
- Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is a ready resource through links and webinars. Recently, our President, Sue Tellier, moderated a WIPP webinar about Joint Ventures and the WOSB program. View the webinar here.
- You can also find resources on our Industry Resources website page.
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification has been a great for us with corporate audiences.
We discovered the SBA Certification Process through WIPP webinars and interaction with the SBA directly. SBA has it TOGETHER on this program. The program managers and regulation authors have been tireless in the program rollout and the external communication. Kudos to them.