Women Business Owners: Why certification matters

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Women business owners are on the rise. According to Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), there were 12.3 million women owned businesses in 2018. This number reflects a 58 percent growth in the last 12 years, and the WBENC also reported that women own 4 out of every 10 businesses in the U.S.  
Why are women ranks on the rise? The one primary reason that comes to mind is the desire to create the work-life balance that is often talked about by other corporations but seldom found. Women can have it all – family, business success, and down time– but stepping into the role of business owner seems to be the magic key that makes it happen. 

As women-owned businesses increase, it is important to make sure we continue to bridge those gaps and stay focused on success. One way to do this is through certification. 

Certification is offered through several different agencies, such as the Small Business Administration, WBENC, and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. There is a vetting process, of course, but the payoff makes the paperwork and lengthy process so worth it. Being certified as a women-owned business not only helps increase your visibility but can also allow you access to grants and bid opportunities that other non-certified businesses may not be able to apply for. 

If you are a female business owner, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to become certified. First, you will want to check with your Small Business Administration to fill out required paperwork. The SBA is a great source of information and can help point you in the right direction (visit https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/find/?type=Women%27s%20Business%20Center to find your local office). The SBA is where you will need to start.  Other pointers to help you on the path to getting certified include:

  1. Being at least 51 percent owned by a woman; a woman needs to be the majority holder of the company in order to qualify for the certification. This ensures that the business is truly a woman-owned business and not just one with the façade of being owned by a woman. 

  2. Women handle the day-to-day operations. 

  3. Women make long-term plans for the company.

These are just a few pointers for fellow women business owners and those aspiring to be entrepreneurs so you will know where to start! Of course, if you need any help working on the paperwork, or building your business, make sure to contact TPO to see how we can help.





Tyra Johnson Brown