If you’re a female entrepreneur with big plans for success, don’t think twice. Woman-owned business certification gives you access to various benefits, such as government contracts and lucrative networking opportunities. Keep reading to learn about the best certifications for woman-owned businesses and how they could be the key to accelerating your company’s continuous growth.
Woman-Owned Business Certifications eligibility requirements
Although eligibility terms vary, most Woman-Owned Business Certifications require at least 51% female ownership and management in a company. There are not one but several Woman-Owned certifications that will help you access benefits from the federal, local, and private sectors. But if your primary concern is to qualify for federal programs and contracts, you will first need to be certified either as a:
If you’re looking for additional guidance and benefits, you can also receive certification from a third-party certifier (TPC) from the Small Business Administration. Below are three SBA-approved TPCs and their official sites for membership requirements and fees:
There are also other federal minority-owned business certifications that you might be able to qualify for. Learn about them in The benefits of being a minority-owned business.
Five benefits of Woman-Owned Business Certification
Great! You already covered the basics about winning certifications for successful women entrepreneurs. But are you still having second thoughts because of the paperwork needed to prequalify or eligibility requirements? Getting your business certified as a women's business owner offers the following benefits:
1. Access to federal funds and contracts
The Small Business Administration must set aside at least 5% of all contracting dollars for women-owned businesses each year. Suppose your business is already certified as a Women Owned Small Business or an Economically Disadvantaged WOSB. In that case, you can apply and possibly get funding from the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program. And this is only one of the billions of local, state, and federal dollars of opportunities available at local, state, and federal levels for women entrepreneurs with government certification.
2. Networking and educational opportunities
These certified organizations allow you to connect with inspiring businesswomen from diverse backgrounds. They also provide many other membership benefits, such as invitations to educational events, mentoring, and training opportunities.
Suppose you’re looking to raise your business reputation or validate your success. In that case, there are also a variety of federal and private grants and awards at your disposal as a woman entrepreneur. Find out about them in Women in business awards you should know about.
3. New clients and profitable business partners
Working with women-certified businesses is a win-win situation. According to a recent study by Hackett Group, it can increase a business return on investment by as much as 130%. Another reason is that once you are certified, your business will be recognized as a preferred supplier in diversity programs. And guess what? 75% of companies prefer supplier diversity programs, often found through certification agencies.
4. Possible tax benefits
There are several tax benefits that women-certified businesses, allied businesses, and investors could get access to. First, your business could get reduced tax liabilities for projects funded with federal or state grants or receive tax incentives. The federal government is also prone to offer tax incentives to those businesses and states that work with minority or women-owned businesses. Finally, some local and national agencies will also give investors tax credits and tax waiver inducements if they choose to buy into your minority-certified business. Supporting women-certified businesses is a win-win situation for everyone.
5. Access to new funding opportunities
Women still have to endure many hurdles when accessing working capital. Statistically, women are less likely to obtain loans or equity financing than men. But certification can be a particular plus in enabling funding opportunities ranging from your traditional bank loan to an alternative working capital provider.
If you faced rejection from traditional funding sources like banks or were asked for large amounts of personal collateral to move forward. There are many other funding alternatives at your disposal. You can find the complete list at How to get small business funding for women with bad credit.
Women-owned businesses with a diverse workforce are the most innovative and agile in generating new and profitable growth opportunities. At One Park Financial, we want to empower women entrepreneurs by giving them quick and easy access to working capital to help them expand their operations. If you’ve been in business for at least three months and are already generating more than $7,500, you can check if you prequalify for working capital in only minutes.
Disclaimer: The content of this post has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult with your tax, legal, and accounting advisor before engaging in any transaction.