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Thank you for your interest in woman business enterprise. You have reached the NWBOC website; click here to go to our main page.

Policy and Woman Business Enterprise Certification
Woman Business Enterprise Certification is the tool created by the government so that women business owners' participation can be tracked.

The history is this: Once the woman business enterprise program provided the tool, tracking provided hard evidence that the federal procurement dollars were virtually bypassing women-owned businesses. Remedies were sought in the form of affirmative action programs. These programs have had varying degrees us success across the nation, and while no program is perfect most agree that having a women business enterprise program is better than no program at all!

Over time, attempts to level the playing field have been enacted via legislation, and it all began in the1960s with the Commission on the Status of Women, the Civil Rights Act. In the 1970s women-owned businesses were added to the Economic Census, and The President's Interagency Task Force on Women's Business Ownership was organized. At this time, woman business enterprises ('business' another word for 'enterprise') were less than 10% of all businesses.

The 1980s and 1990s brought seven policy actions affecting small business, some with a focus on women. During these decades, companies owned and controlled by a woman (also called a woman business enterprise) rose dramatically, to over 33% of all businesses are now owned and controlled by women.

Woman Business Enterprise: Where We Are Today
NWBOC is the nation's first third-party certifier for women business enterprise certifications. NWBOC is highly regarded for providing professional and consistent review of WBE applications. NWBOC has enlisted only the highest qualified, independent individuals to serve on our Review Committees across the nation to assess your application and to make site visits to your place of business. Committee members include current and former business owners, CPAs, bankers, and business consultants. We have been fully vetted by corporations as well as government entities that accept our woman business enterprise process and final certification.

The Woman Business Enterprise Application Process

  • Compile the application (found on this NWBOC website) information in order and organize in a notebook with dividers.
  • Check and recheck for completeness.
  • Make a copy for yourself and send original to NWBOC with confirmation receipt. You may send FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL or any carrier of your choice.

Woman Business Enterprise Renewals
Your Woman Business Enterprise Certification is valid for one year. Thereafter you will need to renew it annually. Unless there have been significant changes to your business, the renewal is very simple. You will receive notification for renewal via email and postal mail.

About 8(a), Small Disadvantaged Business, Disabled Veteran, Woman Business Enterprise, and Minority Business Enterprise
The first three are administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA.) The 8(a) designation is actually a business development / mentoring program for a company that has been disadvantaged, and 8(a) certification is part of that program.

  • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) certification is for businesses that are disadvantaged but are not participating in the 8(a) development program.
  • Disabled Veteran (DV) certification is for the business owner who is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and who has been disabled in action.
  • Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) certification is gender-based for woman-owned businesses.
  • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification is race-based for minority-owned businesses.