A goal was set by President Clinton in 1994 to award women-owned companies with at least a 4% of available government contracts. The number granted to businesses with female leadership hasn’t risen much beyond that in over a decade. The biggest challenge facing women business owners is gaining access to decision-makers in charge of awarding contracts.
What is the WBENC?
Corporations and government entities look to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) when looking to bring more female-owned businesses into their sphere. The WBENC verifies that companies receiving their certification are at least 51% owned and operated by female leadership.
The WBENC works to help businesses owned by women gain a more significant foothold in the marketplace. They show them ways to tackle the barriers stopping them from succeeding in traditionally non-female industries like construction and robotics.
The organization accomplishes this through networking events and educational opportunities held throughout the year. They unite women leaders with decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies and within different levels of government, allowing them access to contacts leading to the awarding of lucrative contracts.
What Can Certification Do for Me?
Many businesses and government entities hesitate to get involved with new contractors and subcontractors. They want to be sure they’re accomplishing their mandate to build bonds with women-owned companies.
Gaining certification from the WBENC means being recognized as a company steered by female leadership. Government contractors and corporations will be more willing to sit down with your business and consider you for contracts vital to the growth of your company.
Certification gives you access to many of WBENC’s premiere events, including:
• One-on-one matchmaking sessions with high-level WBENC member and business partners
• Having a showcase exhibit at their annual National Conference & Business Fair
• Opportunities to partner with other WBENC-certified companies
• The chance to look through WBENC’s extensive database of WBE companies
• Education and development sessions
You’ll always have access to valuable contacts and new avenues to promote your company. WBENC provides different webinars throughout the year. They’re a great way to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in your marketplace. You also gain new insight into expansion opportunities for your company.
How Do I Get Started?
Make sure your company meets all of the following criteria before starting the process.
1. It must be 51% owned and run by women who are U.S. citizens or qualify as permanent legal residents. Any publicly held companies must have women owning at least 51% equity in the business who meet the same residency requirements.
2. One or more women must be in charge of daily operations and management.
3. The company must be able to provide all requested documentation to WBENC.
WBENC’s certification process includes a site visit and verification of any paperwork submitted to us. You can contact one of our regional organizations for any further questions you still have.
Why not gain assistance helping your breaking down barriers? WBENC certification gives you a path to achieving the goals you envisioned for your business.