BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Women-Owned Small Business Survey

Posted by espressodog on April 6, 2010

On March 2, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a Proposed Rule aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses. The proposed rule is available for public comment for 60 days. Click here to tell us what you think about the proposed rule. >>>

Currently, only 3.4% of all government contracts are awarded to women-owned businesses even though federal law mandates a 5% government-wide procurement goal for women-owned small businesses.

The Proposed Rule is aimed at leveling the playing field for women-owned small businesses to compete for and win federal contacts, while also achieving the existing statutory goal that 5% of federal contracting dollars go to women-owned small businesses.

How the Proposed Women-Owned Small Business Rule Works:

  • A firm must be 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.
  • A firm must be in one of 83 industries in which women-owned small businesses are under-represented or substantially under-represented in federal procurement.
  • Applies to contracts under $5 million in the case of manufacturing and under $3 million in the case of other contracts.
  • A firm must be duly certified by a Federal agency, a State government, or an SBA-approved entity as a Women-Owned Small Business.
  • Women-owned small businesses can self-certify as Women-Owned Small Business or can be certified by a third party entity. If you self-certify, you must certify your status as a Women-Owned Small Business using the Online Representations and Certifications Application and submit a core set of eligibility-related documents to an online “document repository” to be maintained by the SBA.

BPW Foundation has been following this issue since its inception and we want your input to inform our comments on the rule. Please fill out the short survey by April 15 and tell us what you think about the new rule.

You may also directly submit your own comments on the Proposed Rule to www.regulations.gov on or before May 3, 2010.  Reference “RIN 3245-AG06” when submitting comments.

Learn more about the Women-Owned Small Business federal contracting program.

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