Sep 30, 2020

How Registering as a Woman-Owned Business Can Help Your Professional Endeavors


Being a woman in the business world comes with its own set of challenges. You could get passed for a promotion you know you earned, spoken over in meetings, and deemed as difficult to work with if you assert your own opinions. Perhaps this is why women-owned businesses make up only 39 percent of all businesses, according to a survey from 2017.

However, it is not all so grim and things are slowly improving. In an effort to move the needle forward, both federal and local governments have put significant programs in place to aid women and minorities in their entrepreneurship. Once you get your certificate, you are eligible for government contracts, new clients, and employees. Here’s how registering as a woman-owned business can help your professional endeavors.

What constitutes a woman-owned business?

Before registering as a woman-owned business, you have to make sure you meet the criteria for the certificate you want. So, what constitutes a woman-owned business? Do you have to be the sole proprietor of the business you are running? Not quite, but you do have to own, manage, and control at least 51 percent of the complete business operations. You also have to be a US citizen in order to be eligible. If you’re starting a business with a partner, make sure to bear this in mind.

There are several different certificates you can go for – Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Economically-Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). Depending on the certificate, there are different criteria you have to meet, like the small business size standard or personal net worth limits.

WBE certification is aimed at businesses that wish to do business with the private sector, nonprofits, and state and local governments. WOSB and EDWOSB are for businesses that want to work with the federal government.

How can registering as a woman-owned business help your professional endeavors?

The benefits of registering as a woman-owned business are plentiful. Once you take a look at the paperwork, it might seem like a whole lot of hassle. This can be particularly tricky to achieve if your business is already going through a transition like an office move. However, you can always find assistance in this process and have professionals take care of your commercial relocation, while you gather everything you need to register.

As you’re settling in your new space after the move, you’ll be able to reap many of the benefits of both finding the new home for your operations and running a certified woman-owned business. Here are some of those perks.

New clients
Federal and state governments offer tax incentives for companies that work with women-owned businesses. Registering as a woman-owned business puts you on their radar as they can benefit from a partnership in great ways. Besides tax incentives, many companies like partnering up with smaller businesses as they are more diverse.This also often makes them more flexible, open to change, and innovative.
Visibility and the appeal to more companies aren’t the only benefits of registering as a woman-owned business. There are also federal contracting programs whose main aim is to expand the opportunities of women-owned businesses when they compete for contracts. There are industries where women-owned businesses are staggeringly underrepresented. It is often near-impossible to get a foot in the door. These kinds of programs aim to remedy that issue, encouraging women to join more fields.

Raising capital can be quite difficult for women entrepreneurs. To put things in perspective, a study published in 1999 found that less than 5 percent of all ventures receiving equity capital had a woman on their team of executives. The researchers believed that this discrepancy was not due to women’s lack of preparation or motivation, but rather their being left out of networks of contacts necessary to get to the finances.

Things are different now, of course, though not entirely equal yet. It can be quite difficult to secure a loan for a woman-owned business. One study in 2019 found that when it comes to the average size loans, women-owned businesses get 31 percent less than male-owned businesses do. However, there are other places to look for financing. Registering as a woman-owned business makes you eligible to apply for both private and government small loans and grants.

The more these huge discrepancies in our society become obvious, the more interest there is in the corporate ethos of any particular business. Being certified as a woman-owned business does two things. First, it makes your company seem solid and credible, making it more likely to get serious inquiries from potential employees. Secondly, you will be able to attract high-quality candidates who want to work with a female entrepreneur. This is particularly true for women in tech, for example.

Training and educational programs
Depending on what certification you get, you’ll also get access to exclusive further training and education opportunities. These tools and resources can also include networking opportunities, different toolkits, and even access to industry research.

Is registering as a woman-owned business worth it?

We have tried to paint you a picture of the ways how registering as a woman-owned business can help your professional endeavors. The main aim of these programs is to make women-owned businesses more visible in their markets and to potential clients. Different kinds of programs on various governmental levels can provide great opportunities for business expansion. Furthermore, getting certified makes your business much more appealing to bigger companies looking to partner up as well as potential new employees.

Once you take a look at the paperwork necessary to get the certificate, you might feel a bit put off. Don’t let this discourage you, as registering as a woman-owned business could really be the leg up you needed in this world. So get cracking and make use of everything that is at your disposal.


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