On February 1, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that beginning Friday, February 4, women-owned small businesses (WOSB) can begin taking steps to partake in a new federal contracting program. Over the next months, the new WOSB Federal Contracting Program will be implemented, with the first new contracts to be awarded by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011. The Program allows contracting officers to set aside explicit contracts for certified WOSBs and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. February 4, will be the release of the instructions on how to participate in the program and secure an online data repository.
Speaking on the Contracting Program, Administrator Karen Mills noted, “Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. As we continue to look to small businesses to grow, create jobs and lead America into the future, women-owned businesses will play a key role. That’s why providing them with all the tools necessary to compete for and win federal contracts is so important. Federal contracts can provide women-owned small businesses with the oxygen they need to take their business to the next level.”
Any firm that wishes to participate in the new WOSB program needs to either self-certify or attain third party certification. Considering WOSB’s must also upload required documents proving their eligibility to secure an online data repository developed by SBA. The SBA is optimistic that this new program will help create and maintain more jobs.
For more information on the Women-Owned Small Business Program or to access the instructions, applications or database, visit www.sba.gov/wosb.