Building Your Business
One strategy for business growth is to expand and diversify your client base. Women (as well as minorities and veterans) who become certified diverse enterprises can leverage this designation to win business with local, state and federal government entities. Many large companies also require (or prefer) their diverse suppliers to become certified as part of a commitment to expand and diversify their pool of qualified vendors.
Why You Should Be WBE Certified
- Certification as a woman business enterprise - and also as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), for firms that qualify for both designations - can open doors to lucrative government contracts for women business owners.
- Many large corporations are also requiring suppliers and consultants to be certified.
- The educational and networking forums offered to Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and MBEs can be extremely valuable to the development and growth of your business.
If your company is privately held and at least 51% owned by a woman or women who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, you can apply for Women Business Enterprise certification.
- Hundreds of major U.S. corporations accept third-party certification by the Womens Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) or National Women's Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC). The typical process involves a paper application and follow-up site visit, and takes between 60 and 90 days. There is an application and annual renewal fee.
- Extensive documentation is required to verify the ownership and authenticity of your business for WBE certification. Gathering the materials before you begin to complete the application will make the process faster and easier.
Visit these websites for more information about WBE Certification:
Women's Business Enterprise National Council: www.wbenc.org
National Women's Business Owners Corporation: www.nwboc.org