What is Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification and what advantages does it give your small business?
As a woman-owned business, you may have been directed to certification by your clients. If you are a woman-owned business that is in the transportation industry, for instance, then you may have a client is looking for a woman-owned company to perform a certain percentage of their work. Since they already know, like and trust you, they may encourage you to get the certification so they can “check the box” so to speak. In other cases, a woman-owned business will seek out certifications with the hope that it will yield opportunities. Depending on where you go to gain the certification will determine what types of opportunities you can expect to get.
There are usually WBE certifications available at the State, County or City level. These certifications are particularly useful if your company is looking for contracts with those agencies. WBE certifications can also be obtained on a National level by various certifying agencies. The main national certifying agencies are the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the National Women’s Business Owners Council (NWBOC) and the United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC).
Certification from the aforementioned agencies will oftentimes, allow you to streamline the process with other agencies. The SBA’s Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program, for instance, allows WBE certification from one of these companies to be considered 3rd party verification. This 3rd party verification greatly reduces the amount of documentation that is required to certify a business entity as a WOSB.
Another great benefit of certification from these agencies is their extensive corporate memberships. These agencies have relationships with major corporations that are looking to procure goods and services from women-owned businesses. A lot of the Fortune 500 companies will participate in some form of diversity procurement efforts because it’s a Win-Win proposition for the company. It is good for the small business community when contracts are awarded to small local business. The benefits to the company are several; the corporation will often get tax incentives if thresholds are met with their procurement needs, the company gets the positive public perception by buying from small business, and the shareholders benefit from the positive public image by increasing stock prices
So not only can certification assist you in obtaining Federal, State County and city contracts, but also in the commercial sector.Gaining your WBE certification is not nearly as arduous and in depth as some of the others. So, if you think it could provide you with a competitive advantage, then educate yourself on the process or Certification Consultants LLC to see if we can assist you.