Office of Government Contracting, Women-Owned Small Business Program
On October 7, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration published a final rule effective February 4, 2011, aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs).
The Final Rule sets forth procedures authorized by the Small Business Act to help ensure a level playing field on which WOSBs can compete for Federal contracting opportunities, while helping achieve the existing statutory goal that 5 percent of Federal contracting dollars go to women-owned small businesses. The Final Rule sets forth the following:
- Based upon the analysis in a study commissioned by the SBA from the Kauffman-RAND Foundation (referred to as the Rand Report), the proposed rule identifies 83 industries (identified by 4 digit North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS, codes) in which women-owned small businesses are under-represented or substantially under-represented. The Rand Report is available to the public at http://www.Rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR442.
- In accordance with the statute, the Final Rule authorizes a set-aside of Federal contracts for WOSBs or economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) where the anticipated contract price does not exceed $5 million in the case of manufacturing contracts and $3 million in the case of other contracts, if certain other conditions are met.
- The Final Rule removes the requirement, set forth in a prior proposed version, that each Federal agency certify that it had engaged in discrimination against women-owned small businesses in order for the program to apply to contracting by that agency.
- The Final Rule allows WOSBs or EDWOSBs to self-certify their status or to be certified by third-party certifiers, including government entities and private certification groups.
- The Final Rule allows SBA to engage in program examinations to confirm eligibility of individual WOSBs or EDWOSBs.
WOSB Program Information
WOSB Program Guidelines for Contracting Officers (Coming Soon)
WOSB Program Repository
Information about the WOSB Program Repository will be released in the coming months. The repository continues to undergo system and technical evaluation prior to the February 4, 2011 program effective date. Once available, a link to the respository will be available here.
WOSB Program Third-Party Certification
SBA is currently developing the process by which entities can become approved to certify businesses as WOSBs and/or EDWOSBs. No Third-Party Certifiers have been approved by SBA at this time. SBA will update this website with a list of Approved Third-Party Certifiers.
Questions about the WOSB Program?
SBA Answer Desk
Answer Desk TTY: (704) 344-6640
WOSB Program News
October 7, 2010 – Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program Final Rule is published in the Federal Register.
March 4, 2010 – Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.
March 2, 2010 SBA news release — SBA Proposes Women-Owned Small Business Rule to Expand Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities