Although women-owned businesses are growing in numbers nationwide, they still lag behind their male-owned counterparts in terms of revenue and business growth.

In a recent article in The Business Journal it stated that:

According to a report released last year by the National Women’s Business Council, the number of women-owned firms jumped 26 percent between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 numbers are the most recent available and showed more than 9.8 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. that year.

The overwhelming majority of the studied firms — 89.5 percent — employed no individuals other than the female owner, however, and reported total receipts of just over $182.2 billion.

There are several organizations established to specifically address the trend of slow growth and help WBEs grow their business footprint. Two Federal entities include the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) certifications.

The programs require businesses to demonstrate a minimum of 51 percent ownership by one or more woman and that she be actively involved in the company’s management.

Especially when it comes to EDWOSB the criteria is as follows:

To qualify for the EDWOSB certification, businesses must demonstrate that the owner’s net worth is less than $750,000, her adjusted gross yearly income average from the three years prior to applying did not exceed $350,000 and the fair market value of all her assets does not exceed $6 million.

Stating the importance of WBEs getting certified, Dawn Golik, deputy director and public affairs officer with the SBA’s Fresno District Office stated that, ““It gives them a competitive edge and opens the door to new contracts that might otherwise have been out of reach.”

Benefits of WBENC Certification through WBEC-WEST

Once you are certified through WBEC-West you become a member of the WBEC-West Community, which allows you the ability to communicate with  other certified WBE to share best practices and to grow WBE to WBE connections and corporate relationships.

You will also be able to attend WBEC-West hosted corporate workshops including the coveted Platinum, Supplier Program, watch  videos, broadcasts and podcast that provide insider information on how to  successfully engage corporations and increase your exposure and opportunities.