Congress passed legislation that allows government agencies the ability to set aside contracts for Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB). Unlike certification for the 8(a) and HubZone qualifications, certification for WOSB and EDWOSB is may be through self-certification in SAM. IMPORTANT NOTE: However you cannot bid on contracts set aside for a WOSB or EDWOSB until you are certified in the SBA’s WOSB Program Repository.
Certification Process for a Women Owned Small Business
The WOSB and EDWOSB program is called the 8(m) program. To bid on contracts set aside for the 8(m) program you are required to upload certain documents in to the SBA’s WOSB Program Repository in their General Login System (GLS) for verification. Review the full listing of requirements on pages 13-14 of this guide by the SBA. Documents requested include:
- Copy of birth certificate, Naturalization papers, or unexpired passports
- Articles of organization or incorporation
- By-laws, issued stock certificates, stock ledger, etc.
- A copy of the WOSB Program Certification
- Third Party Certification
There are a couple of additional requirements for EDWOSBs,
What is the Third Party Certification?
The Third Party Certification can include a copy of your State/Local Government WOSB certification. As an alternative, there are four organizations that qualify as Third Party Certifiers by the SBA. Please note that these Third Party Certifiers do charge a fee for their certification services:
- El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- National Women Business Owners Corporation
- US Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
Once verified in the system, you will receive an email that your certification is finalized.
Bidding on a Set Aside Contract
After receiving the email confirmation you can now bid on set-aside contracts but there is something to be aware of when bidding. IMPORTANT NOTE: When bidding on a contract set-aside for a WOSB or EDWOSB you are required to log into the GLS and give the Contracting Officer on the bid authorization to view your GLS profile so they can confirm your status. If you forget this step, it could disqualify you from bidding on the set-aside contract.
The 8(m) set-aside program is a great opportunity for WOSB and EDWOSB to grow their Federal Business! Please give us a call at 210-402-6766 if we can be of any assistance while you navigate the certification process.
Vice President for Coley GCS, LLC, a Government Contracts Consulting, Coaching and Training company. Daniel leads the day-to-day operations of Coley’s consulting practice. He has two decades of experience with the acquisition, management, and marketing of Federal, State, and Local government contracts. Daniel specializes in all aspects of GSA Schedules management and marketing and has helped hundreds of Coley clients remain compliant with the terms of their GSA contract while helping them expand their business.