All About Women Owned Certification for Small Businesses from the WBENCSmall Business Tips and Tools•Oct 21, 2019• 2 min read
The following is a guest post from our friends at WBENC.
Did you know October is National Women’s Small Business Month? Thus, a time to celebrate the growth and accomplishments of women-owned small businesses and the vital role they play in our economy.
But to us, supporting women-owned businesses is more than just a campaign. Rather, it’s the core of what we do year round.
What is the WBENC?
WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) is the nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses. We are a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs.
Notably, WBENC partners with 14 regional partner organizations (RPOs) to provide its world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. Throughout the year, WBENC provides business development opportunities for member corporations, government agencies and more than 15,000 certified women-owned businesses at events and other forums.
What is the Women Owned Certification?
Women Owned is an initiative from WBENC and WEConnect International to create a movement of support for Women Owned businesses. We support female entrepreneurs and those who do business with them by raising awareness for why, where, and how to buy Women Owned.
Additionally, through our certification, women-owned businesses gain access to a vast network of support, including:
- Targeted business opportunities for certified women-owned firms
- Increased visibility in corporate and government supply chains
- Education and development programs to spur growth and increase capacity
- Networking and mentorship opportunities with thousands of women entrepreneurs
Simply speaking, certification opens doors for women-owned businesses and provides the tools and resources to help them grow and succeed.
Women Owned Certification Benefits
If you are a women business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, WBENC Certification allows you to:
- Market yourself as a women-owned business with the Women Owned Logo.
(This is only available for use by certified businesses.)
- Gain access to contacts at hundreds of major corporations and federal, state, and local government entities. WBENC only partners with corporations and government entities that are dedicated to supplier diversity. This means they are specifically looking to increase spending with women-owned suppliers.
- Make meaningful connections with potential clients and fellow entrepreneurs at our national events. Our events feature formal and informal opportunities to meet with and pursue business with corporations and other women-owned businesses.
- Spend time on developing your business and positioning for future growth. We can help with our educational programming, mentoring, capacity development programs, and other business tools and resources.
- Benefit from a vast community of support from other female business owners and like-minded professionals. Our community is dedicated to the growth and success of women-owned businesses.
In sum, our certification provides both greater visibility as a Women Owned business as well as a wealth of opportunities.
How to Get Certified
To get certified as a Women Owned small business, you’ll need to complete the following steps:
- Determine whether you meet our eligibility requirements.
- Compile required documentation such as general business info, financial structure, and governance information.
- Complete an online application and pay a processing fee.
- Wait up to 90 days for our review and comply with a site visit.
For more information, learn more about the certification process here.