How long does it take to get WOSB Certification?

WOSB certification is a breakthrough opportunity for women in the U.S. It helps them to step up to their rightful place in the corporate world – and recently, in Q1 of 2020, companies like TRUiC did a lot in order to guide women along the path to successful WOSB benefits. 

First of all, let’s break down what a WOSB certification is: it stands for The Women Of Small Business  It is a federal contract program that offers opportunities to women who are wanting to start their own small businesses.

When this started, in 2015 it was confirmed that the government had provided $17.7 billion dollars in order to help fund federal contracts for women entrepreneurs that wanted to gain a WOSB certificate. But it isn’t just a WOSB certificate available to female entrepreneurs, there is also the EDWOSB certificate that stands for economically disadvantaged women owned business. 

However, it isn’t a straightforward procedure, for it has a lot of steps that you need to consider; such as getting a WOSB certification. There are several resources that you can look at in order to help you through the certification process. However, in order to get a WOSB certification you can either self certify or go through a certification process.

If you wish to self certify, you need to look at getting an SBA (Small Business Association). It is a procedure that you can do by yourself, by uploading your application online and also by uploading supporting documents. There is a fee to do this and you would need to wait for the SBA to check if you meet their requirements, this could take between 15 to 90 days for them to come back with a decision. 

If you need assistance with the application process and you need advice from an agency, you can contact the SBDC (Small Business Development Center). As a female entrepreneur you can take advantage of the free services that they offer, such as business consulting and advice on the best way to get a certification for your business. You can read more about how to book an appointment online for this.

Another business source that helps women is the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC) that specifically helps you get the WOSB certification, as well as other certifications such as the MBE certification and the EDWOSB certification. The general procedure to do this is to submit all the necessary paperwork needed, as well as submitting an online application, a supporting document and pay a fee for all of this. Just like the SBA application process, it can take up to 90 days for you to receive a decision as to whether your business can be certified or not.

You can also choose to go with the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) which offers several certifications such as WOSB, EDWOSB, NWBE and IWBE. The USWCC application starts by setting up an account, paying a fee, completing an online application along with additional documents. This also takes anywhere between 15 to 90 days in order to receive a decision and be certified.

If you are not approved from any of the business resources that you have applied with, you can request the reason why you have been rejected and you can dispute any claims that have been made.

In order to qualify however, you need to meet the requirements such as having the correct size standards for a small business, the amount of the employees and the annual revenue. The company itself must have at least 51% of its ownership by women that are U.S citizens. It is also required for women entrepreneurs to handle all operations and make all decisions for the business and the woman who is highest in power in the business must be able to work on a full time rota.

Handel “Del” Henri, a business leader in Florida who has helped many WOSB candidates with their payment processing needs, says that “…there is a clear uptick on the e-commerce and fashion-related industries, showing that women in business are making real strides…”. 

In order to meet the WOSB certificate requirements, you must be a female entrepreneur who is economically disadvantaged that has a personal net worth less than $750,000, an altered gross annual income with an estimate of $350,000 or less, both with exclusions and have a market value of all assets of $6 million dollars or less. Luigi Wewege, a prominent banker and fintech instructor with multiple universities, says that “I can assure you from the types of clients we handle – that many women who came from the background who qualifies for WOSB certification, are doing well today and this incentive has given them a real boost”. 

Overall, once you have completed whichever procedure you wish to go for and you have gained your WOSB certification, you can then qualify for grants that are designed for women in small businesses or you can look further into getting a federal contract. The reason why it is important to get a WOSB certification is because it is the key to help expand your business and gives you more opportunities. There has been a significant increase in regards to women businesses being approved by federal contracts, even though it is a long but self rewarding process.