The Concept and History of WBE Certification
WBE Certification goes hand-in-hand with any procurement discussion. To ensure that the businesses claiming to be woman-owned in fact were woman-owned, a certification program was devised by the SBA. Having WBE certification the only way to confirm ownership and track utilization in both government and private purchasing forums.
Policy and Women Entrepreneurs
Currently, the 5% federal goal was established in 2000 with the Women's Equity in Contracting Act that gave the contracting office the ability to restrict competition for women-owned firms, up to 5% of all contracts. The Small Business Administration confirms that it is possible for this to have the effect of being a set-aside, but is not expressly one. The intent of this program is to encourage procurement officers to utilize women-owned firms at a higher level in both the number of firms awarded contracts and the dollar amounts awarded to them.
Many large corporations now understand that it makes good business sense to spend dollars with women-owned vendor firms. Corporate management knows it is good for the public relations and for their local communities, but most importantly for the value they get from the dollars spent with women-owned companies.