Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification
A Women’s Business Enterprise certification means a business that is wholly owned, controlled and operated by a woman. More commonly known as WBE Certification is a highly valuable marketing tool for your small business enterprise (SBE). It can easily give you certain special considerations when you decide to bid on contracts with your local government agencies.
In fact, many county, city and state level contracts and tenders for duly certified small businesses often go unclaimed. Furthermore this happens because the minority business owners aren’t aware of this. They are not even conscious of the fact that they are actually eligible for certification.
As a general rule, the application in a certification process can be confusing and time-consuming. Especially for those who are not really familiar with its requirements. However, certification can be a uniquely valuable tool if you really want to grow your small business enterprise. As a matter of fact, various local, state and even national corporations regularly search for ‘women certified vendors’ in order to conduct their business.
The Advantages of Being a WBE Certified SBE
Both public and private sector entities purchase a huge variety of goods and services. From agricultural equipment, all the way to waste treatment chemicals. Apart from that, tens of billions of dollars are also spent on many different services. They range from services such as communications, public relations, architecture, design, and so forth.
Both the government and large corporations are now increasingly looking for women-owned small businesses. Of course businesses that are able to meet all of those needs. This is where the WBE certification comes into the picture. Basically, it is a seal of approval that you require to stand out in this absolutely huge market. Some of the core benefits of obtaining the WBE certification include the following:
- Individual and corporate level access to specialized loans
- Access to training and technical assistance and educational seminars
- Introduction to local, state and federal corporations or businesses
Wading through all that bureaucratic red tape is not very easy. You will require highly trained and experienced certification consultants. They will be able to determine if you are qualified for the WBE certification. These consultants will work with you every step of the way. From the beginning of the application all the way to a successful certification. Some of the best consultants will also help to identify any available contracting programs. They will also help you respond to RFPs, tenders and bids until you become well established.
There are generally four different levels of WBE certifications:
- Local – Local government certifying offices, such as a city or a county, provide this certification. It’s if you want to increase your chances of getting business from that particular local agency.
- State – You can obtain this certification in most (not all states have a designated program) states through a state certifying office. This will increase your chances of getting business from one or more state government agencies.
- Federal – These are self-certifying, and allow you to sell to the U.S. federal government. So if you want to sell to the federal government, then you can self-certify that you are a WBE enterprise.
- National – You would consider this if you want to have large corporations (both private and public) as clients. Some large corporations will accept either a national certification or a state certification. So before you rush out and get a national c
ertification, you should check what are the specific requirements to that corporation.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
The WBENC is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. It is a national council that certifies women-owned business throughout the country. There are dozens of benefits of getting a minority business certification through this agency. From gaining useful access to valuable resources to capacity building programs. Even to chances for women-owned business recognition awards and promotional opportunities.
Certification program allows members of the WBENC to access a current list of supplier diversity. Which also gives you access to procurement executives at hundreds of major U.S. corporations. Federal, state and local government entities accept WBENC certification. WBENC certified businesses also have formal and informal opportunities. The purpose is to pursue business deals with National Corporate Members and other WBENC certified businesses. Benefits of access are:
- The opportunity to attend WBENC’s annual Women in Business National Conference and Business Fair,
- Makes them eligible to participate in face-to-face matchmaking sessions.
- Are also automatically included in WBENCLink, WBENC’s Internet database of certified WBEs. Which is accessible by WBENC’s Corporate Members and other certified WBEs across the country.
- Sourcing opportunities through MatchMaker365, WBENC’s new online business matching, scheduling, and tracking portal. Which helps corporate buyers identify and meet the right WBE suppliers and obtain the right products or services.
- WBENC certified businesses are encouraged to partner with other certified WBEs. With a goal to pursue other business opportunities to grow their network and profit.
WBENC certification gives women-owned businesses access to a number of capacity building programs and activities. Some of these include eligibility to:
- Receive a Dorothy B. Brothers Scholarship,
- Participate in the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, workshops, and
- Keynotes at WBENC national events, Webinars, WBENCLink, MatchMaker365, “Just in Time Learning Series” by Susan Bari,
- Access to community of support among WBENC certified WBEs,
- Articles in WBENC’s President’s Report and WBENC News on website.
- Regional representation and national recognition as a Women’s Business Enterprise Star,
- Recognition through WBENC’s Applause Award,
- International Luminary Award,
- Recognition through the William J. Alcorn Leadership Award.
Promotion of the Business
WBENC certified businesses are given use of the WBENC certification WBE seal on their marketing materials. Which identifies the women’s business enterprise as certified through WBENC’s national standards and procedures. Also allows the use of WBENC press release template to announcing the business as newly WBENC certified.
WBENC certified businesses are eligible to promote their business through sponsorship of WBENC national events. Sponsorship packages provide a great number of promotional opportunities. WBE Chair opportunities are available and open to every WBENC certified WBE. Only two WBE Co-Chairs are selected for each national event. This sponsorship opportunity includes year-long promotional and exposure benefits.
WBENC certified businesses are eligible to promote their business in a 60-second video on the Elevator Pitch. Which is located on WBENC’s website and are also eligible to promote their business through site visits on WBENC Social Media profiles.
The WBENC drafts papers and research focused on key women business issues. This data offers opportunities to participate in surveys so that each business’ voice is represented on key issues. Consequently improving the representation of women business issues in key forums.
There are many benefits to becoming a certified member of the WBENC. As reviewed, the WBENC minority business certification can be key to major programs. Programs of access, development, promotional activities and advocacy that is key to ongoing growth and development. If your business is majority owned or controlled by a woman it would definitely be in your businesses best interest to join and begin reaping the benefits of WBENC certification.
Obtaining a Women’s Business Enterprise – or WBE Certification – is a smart business development strategy for female entrepreneurs. It means a woman operates, controls or owns the majority of your business. Consequently it attracts additional attention to your business, increasing its visibility in competitive markets.
At BryteBridge our certification consultants will help you determine if you qualify for a Women’s Business Enterprise certification. We will work with you to complete the application with supporting documents and recommend the best agencies for your certification.
We can help you identify available contracts and respond to bids or RFPs. Once the approval of your certification has been obtained and you are ready to start marketing your company and certification.
If you have any further questions regarding your eligibility for the WBE certification, you can approach us here at BryteBridge. Our highly qualified and experienced professionals are always there to guide you through the highly complicated application process. You can also reach us during business hours at 1(407)857-9002.