NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE:
Have you considered becoming a certified woman-owned business? It’s a time consuming and costly process, so it’s important to determine whether or not becoming WOB certified will offer enough benefits to your business before you start the certification process.
Recently, a LinkedIn member posed the question, “Is woman owned business certification worth it?” in LinkedIn Answers, and a number of small business owners, small business experts, lawyers, and more responded.
The overall consensus was that unless you’re trying to win government contracts where government agencies are required to award a certain percentage of contracts to women-owned and minority-owned businesses each year, then the certification might not be worth it to you. However, even some large companies in the public and private sectors have instituted minority-owned and women-owned business contract quotas in recent years.
A few useful responses from LinkedIn Answers follow:
“I have worked with way over a thousand small businesses, and with the exception of a few that go after government contracts or sub-contracts, none has ever found benefit to the certification. Getting and keeping, the government certification is complicated, and may have to be done through multiple authorities. Time consuming and therefore costly.”
– Mike Van Horn, Advisor on Small Business Growth
“In general, people think of WOB certification as being necessary only for government contracts. However, many large companies have pledged to support women and minority owned businesses and allocate a certain percentage of the budget for that. For example, P&G looks for women and minority owned contractors. I would spend a little time investigating the companies you are interested in working with before making a decision.”
– Judi Cogen, Chief Catalyst for Digital Strategy at GoZapIt
“Whether interested in government programs or not it would behoove you to seek WBE certification. Almost all major and mid-sized corporations have a diversity department and when they seek out companies with capacity to fulfill their needs they often look for MBE and WBE companies that fit what they need. This is due to their corporate community commitments as well as strong goals required by some government agencies such as DOD (Department of Defense) where the large companies get their contracts from, to seek and search for qualified MBE and WBE companies to hire and work on those projects funded by public dollars.
“Diversity departments within these companies have specific individuals with their primary job to link up with WBE and MBE companies and offer opportunities to bid and be considered for work. Unless the company is certified as an MBE or WBE there often are missed opportunities that otherwise could be quite lucrative.”
– Roy Landers Lawyer, Landers Law Group PC
“I’m a woman who’s owned a business for over 25 years and I have no need of government contracts so I have no need of a WOB certificate, it would add nothing to my business nor impress my clients. It’s not worth the effort for most WOB. It’s just a piece of paper that no one cares about. It’s rather the service you provide and your reputation on the street that matter.
“For example, I am a coach and more important is that you are a certified coach with an established organization like the ICF. There are way too many unqualified coaches with little or no training, so if you want to spend time and money wisely, make sure you have some sort of [relevant] credentials or evaluation credentials.”
– Cheryl Roshak, Transition and Career Coach at CatapultMe.biz and President of Cheryl Roshak Associates, Inc.