Purchasing & Small Business

Women Owned Small Business

A Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens. The firm must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’s size standards for that industry. In order for a WOSB to be deemed Economically Disadvantaged (ED), its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage.

This program allows contracting officers to set aside Federal contracts (not exceeding $5 million for manufacturing contracts or $3 million for all other contracts) for WOSBs and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs). The Government has a stated goal of awarding five percent of federal contract dollars to WOSBs and EDWOSBs. There have been 83 new industries-according to NAICS codes-where WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented by the SBA.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. At least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women
  2. Meet the conditions for qualification as a WOSB; and
  3. Owned and controlled by one or more women who are economically disadvantaged. A woman will be presumed to be economically disadvantaged if her personal net worth is less than $750,000, her adjusted gross yearly income over the three preceding years is less than $350,000, and the fair market value of her assets does not exceed $6 million.

Registration for the WOSB program:

  1. Read the WOSB Federal Contract program regulations in the Federal Register and the WOSB Compliance Guide.
  2.  Register in Central Contractor Registration (CCR) as WOSB or EDWOSB.
  3. Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS).
  4. Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload/categorize all required documents.
  5. Represent your status in Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA).

Other Disadvantaged Company Types

There are several other types of disadvantaged companies. A few of these are:

  • Small Disadvantaged Business (SBA): SDB status makes a company eligible for bidding and contracting benefit programs involved with federal procurement.
  • HUBZone Business: Helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.
  • Service Disabled Small Business: provides procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 9/26/2022


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