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WOSB Program Expansion: Does your business qualify?

Monday, March 14, 2016  
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WOSB Program Expansion: Does your business qualify?

On the heels of the government’s achievement of reaching the WOSB contracting goal, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced a substantial expansion of the WOSB program. With this announcement, over 1/3 of all industries – 113 total – will now qualify for the program. Previously, 83 industries were eligible for the WOSB program.


This update occurs as a result of a new study, The Utilization of Women-Owned Businesses in Federal Prime Contracting, conducted by the Department of Commerce earlier this year. WIPP worked with the Congress and the SBA to require completion of a new study by early 2016. The last study on which the WOSB procurement program was based was conducted in 2007.


As a result of updated contracting data, the study found that women were underrepresented in 113 industries and those corresponding NAICS codes are now eligible for the program. While the expansion of the program is a big win for women-owned businesses, the study discovered two alarming facts. First, women are 21% less likely to get a government contract – even after accounting for factors such as age and size of the business. Second, the industries in which WOSBs are less likely to win contracts account for about 85% of all dollars awarded.


Find out whether or not your business is eligible for participation in the WOSB procurement program by checking your NAICS codes. Even though the program has quadrupled since 2011, expansion of the NAICS codes will result in even greater gains for women-owned businesses to participate in the federal sector.


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