A new federal program to help small contractors owned by women is drawing criticism from lawmakers and business advocates who say it has provided too little assistance to too few firms.
The WOSB Program became effective on February 4, 2011. Small businesses may now begin taking steps to participate in the Program. The WOSB rule in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), is going through the final review, and is expected to be issued by April. The goal is for WOSBs and EDWOSBs to be ready to compete for contracts awarded in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, which is when the largest percent of small business contracts are awarded.
Eleven years after President Clinton signed the new law, SBA has finally released guidelines for the new Woman Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program providing equal access to federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB). The program allows contracting officers to set aside specific federal contracts for certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs and includes a relatively easy self-certification process and specific instructions on how to take advantage of the program.
Enrollment & Certification
- Register in Central Contractor Registration (CCR) as WOSB or EDWOSB.
- Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS).
- Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload / categorize all required documents. Certification
- Represent your status in Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA).
In February, 2011 SBA finally published the final regulations implementing a law passed by Congress in 2000 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Dubbed the WOSB 8m Program, this power point presentation by WCOE Advocate Ann Sullivan, provides an overview of the program and its implementation.