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SBA introduces new women business program

Women‐Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program for 2010 helps eligible women-owned businesses apply for federal contracts.

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On February 4th, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will launch a program aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs). The change follows a rule adopted by the SBA in the fall.

The SBA intends to issue a Small Business Compliance Guide that will provide more detailed information about the program.

To participate in the program, a business must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and the women must be U.S. Citizens. The firm must also meet the SBA's small size standards for its industry. If a firm wishes to be certified as an economically disadvantaged women-owned small business (EDWOSB), the owner must meet certain net worth and income requirements.

The SBA has yet to announce how eligible businesses can be certified through third-party certifiers, though it says it will provide an approved list on its Web site soon. However, eligible businesses will be able to self-certify their status through the Central Contractor Registration and the Online Representations and Certifications Application.

Eligible companies already with disadvantaged business enterprise certification from the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or as an 8(a) participant with the SBA will have their certifications accepted as WOSBs.

The rule also authorizes set-asides for WOSBs and EDWOSBs on federal contracts that meet certain criteria.

The list of NAICS codes that are underrepresented and substantially underrepresented provided as a link from the SBA article is interesting -- but not surprising. It seems that MOST NAICS categories having to do with manufacturing and construction are underrepresented by women-owned businesses!

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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