What is a WBE Certification?
WBE stands for "Woman Business Enterprise." If a WBE is 51% or more "owned, controlled, and operated by" a woman, then you can qualify for what is called a WBE certification. WBE certifications certify that your company is indeed majority owned by a woman.
Why would you want to obtain a WBE certification?
Government agencies and large corporations who receive government money are required to award a certain percentage of their contracts/projects to woman-owned businesses. So by obtaining a WBE certification, you greatly increase your chances of working with these clients. The way they know they are dealing with a woman owned business is through ensuring you have one of the particular certifications.
There are four different levels of WBE certifications:
Local WBE Certifications – These can be obtained by a local government certifying office such as a city. You would want to obtain a local certification if you want to increase your chances of getting business from that particular local agency (such as the city in which your business is located).
State WBE Certifications – These can be obtained in most states through a state certifying office. You would want this type of certification if you want to increase your chances of getting business from one or more state government agencies.
Federal WBE Certifications – These are self-certifying, and allow you to sell to the U.S. federal government.
National WBE Certifications – This is the type of certification you would consider if you want to have large corporations as clients. Some large corporations will accept either a National Certification or a State Certification, so check with the corporations with which you want to do business before you decide to obtain a National Certification.
Although there are numerous agencies who support certifications, below are a few key organizations for your consideration in the Michiana area:
State of Indiana:
WBE Certification for the State of Indiana: Indiana Department of AdministrationWebsite: www.in.gov/idoaDBE Certification for the State of Indiana: Indiana Department of TransportationWebsite: http://www.in.gov/indot/2748.htm
State of Michigan or Indiana:
WBENC Certification: Women's Business Enterprise Council - Great LakesWebsite: www.miceed.org
WBE Certification: National Women Business Owners CorporationContact: 1-800-675-5066Website: www.nwboc.orgEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SBA Certifications - Indiana Representative in the State of IndianaWebsite: www.sba.gov
For more information or guidance, please contact us at: (574) 235-2269.