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omb -- Non-Regulatory Business Opportunity for Women Owned Small Businesses

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 09:25:41
SBA Announces Changes to Contracting Program for Women-Owned
Small Businesses. 
WASHINGTON – Women-owned small businesses will have greater
access to federal contracting opportunities as a result of
changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act of
2013 (NDAA) to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s
Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program. 
“This new law is a prime example of how the Obama Administration
is embracing a more inclusive view of entrepreneurship, helping
small businesses and America succeed,” said SBA Administrator
Karen Mills.  “Today, women own 30 percent of all small
businesses up from just 5 percent 40 years ago.  As one of the
fastest growing sectors of small business owners in the country,
opening the door for women to compete for more federal contracts
is a win-win.” 
The NDAA removes the anticipated award price of the contract
thresholds for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and
economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB)
to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities
without limitations to the size of the contract.  

Prior to the new law, the anticipated award price of the contract
for women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small
businesses could not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing
contracts and $4 million for all other contracts. 
The Women’s Federal Contract Program allows contracting officers
to set aside specific contracts for certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs
and will help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory
goal of five percent of federal contracting dollars being awarded
to WOSBs. 
The law also requires the SBA to conduct another study to
identify and report industries underrepresented by women-owned
small businesses.  As a result, more eligible women-owned
businesses may be able to participate in SBA’s Women’s Federal
Contract Program and compete for and win federal contracts. 

The SBA is working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy
under the President’s Office of Management and Budget on the
implementation including changes to the Federal Acquisition

Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must
meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or
obtain third party certification.  There are four approved
third-party certifiers that perform eligibility exams: El Paso
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners
Corporation, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s
Business Enterprise National Council. Additional information and
links about approved third-party certifiers are available at

To qualify as a WOSB, a firm must be at least fifty-one percent
owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed
by one or more women.  The women must be U.S. citizens and the
firm must be considered small according to SBA size standards. 
To be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” a firm’s owners must
meet specific financial requirements set forth in the program

The WOSB Program identifies eighty-three four-digit North
American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes where
WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented.  
Contracting officers may set aside contracts in these industries
if the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price and
the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or
more WOSBs or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract. 

For more information on the Women-Owned Small Business Program or
to access the instructions, applications or database, please
visit www.sba.gov/wosb.  

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