Upcoming certification changes

In summer 2020, the certification process for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) will change as put forth by Congress in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The SBA expects that the regulations enacting the statutory requirement will be published on June 30, 2020, and will be effective 30 days later.

Once the changes go into effect:

You will no longer be able to self-certify as a WOSB or EDWOSB.You will have to either certify through an approved third-party entity or go through SBA’s FREE online certification at

Review the SBA’s latest FAQ and certification options table for more information.

We will provide regular updates on this page and you also can contact your local SBA regional and district office or Women’s Business Center with questions.

Program benefits

To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the women’s contracting program.

These contracts are for industries where women-owned small businesses (WOSB) are underrepresented. Some contracts are restricted further to economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB). The SBA maintains a list of those eligible industries and their NAICS codes.

Joining the women’s contracting program makes your business eligible to compete for federal contracts set aside for the program. You can still compete for contract awards under other socio-economic programs you qualify for.

Women’s contracting program eligibility requirements

To be eligible for the women’s contracting program, your business must:

Be a small businessBe at least 51% owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizensHave women manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions

To qualify as an economically disadvantaged business within the women’s contracting program, your business must:

Meet all the requirements of the women’s contracting programBe owned and controlled by one or more women, each with a personal net worth less than $750,000Be owned and controlled by one or more women, each with $350,000 or less in adjusted gross income averaged over the previous three yearsBe owned and controlled by one or more women, each $6 million or less in personal assets

The eligibility requirements to qualify as a WOSB or an EDWOSB are fully defined in Title 13 Part 127 Subpart B of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). You can also get a preliminary assessment of whether you qualify at the SBA’s Certify website.

Get certified as a women-owned small business

Note: In summer 2020, the WOSB and EDWOSB certification process will change. Self-certification will no longer be an option, and you will have to either certify through an approved third-party entity  or go through SBA’s FREE online certification at Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and certification options table for more information.

Before you can participate in the women’s contracting program, you must be either self-certified or third-party certified. Both methods will require you to use the website. You’ll need to have a profile at before you can use the certification website.

After you provide your certification information through, you should update your business profile at to show contracting officers that your business is in the women’s contracting program. The SBA doesn’t send letters of certification for the women’s contracting program.

You’ll need to update your certification information through both and once a year to maintain your status with the program.


You can self-certify directly at by answering questions and uploading documents. The information you’ll need to provide will vary based on your business structure and whether you’re already participating in other SBA programs. Review the preparation checklist at the certify website.

Is your business SBA certified?

Government agencies reserve contracts for small businesses that are certified in the SBA’s contracting programs.


Third-party certification

There are four organizations approved by the SBA to provide third-party certification. Contact them to find out about their certification process. They are:

El Paso Hispanic Chamber of CommerceNational Women Business Owners CorporationUS Women’s Chamber of CommerceWomen’s Business Enterprise National Council

You’ll need to provide proof of your third-party certification through Read the instructions carefully to make sure you provide all the necessary information.

The SBA also accepts a current, valid 8(a) certification. You must provide your 8(a) certification and annual review letters through

Need help?

Office Government Contracting - Women-Owned Small Business program 409 Third St. SW eighth floor Washington, DC 20416

Ray Dalio Influencer

Co-Chief Investment Officer & Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, L.P.

There are three things an entrepreneur-CEO must do well to be successful: 1) envision a new and better way of doing things, 2) build that out by building and running one’s organization so that it works excellently, and 3) transition that organization to people who can be successful without the entrepreneur-CEO.

To do these things well, having excellent people with shared values on a common mission is most important. They must be independent thinkers who know how to disagree and get past their disagreements well. While I failed to transition well for the first few years of my transition, I learned a lot from those painful failures and I’m thrilled to say I believe that my key partners and I have now succeeded. One day I will pass along the principles of transitioning I learned that helped me succeed. One of them, which I learned from Jim Collins, is that “you only have to do two things to be successful at transitioning the company: 1) pick a great CEO who can be successful without you, and 2) have a great board that will change the CEO if they aren’t great enough to be successful without you.”  

Because I believe in a partnership co-CEO model, when I stepped out of the CEO role in 2017 I wanted to pick two great CEOs. I looked for people who had both great character and great capabilities and who could have and produce meaningful work and meaningful relationships in our idea-meritocratic culture. The CEOs who had those qualities and followed me were Eileen Murray and Dave McCormick. They had worked with me and others at Bridgewater for 10 years so they had the meaningful relationships with each other and with the people at Bridgewater, and they were experienced in operating well in our idea-meritocratic culture. As a result, they stepped up into that role well. We agreed on how they (as CEOs), I (as chairman), and the board should operate together in our roles and we stuck to those agreements. When we disagreed, we disagreed well and got past those disagreements using our idea-meritocratic protocols (as described in my book Principles).

At the same time, the transition is going well on the investment front because the CIOs (Bob Prince, who has worked with me for 35 years, and Greg Jensen, who worked with Bob and I for 25 years) are still leading the investment decision-making effort while knowing that we too are evolving and transitioning and that we have to help those who work with us to build their capabilities so that these great transitions can continue. And we do that in our idea-meritocratic way of having thoughtful disagreements. Since we all evolve and will eventually evolve out, we pay a lot more attention to how to do that well. For example, Eileen will in March evolve to the next phase of her life as I, at 70, am evolving to the next phase of my life. While I plan to remain a co-CIO because I love playing the investment game and they want me to continue to do that with them, I know that the most important thing I can do now is help others be successful without me. Eileen and I will be replaced by those who will evolve up into our seats while others will also evolve into the seats of those who are rising up or perhaps into other seats outside of Bridgewater. It’s all about how to evolve well. To help you see that evolution, here is an article that does a good job conveying what Dave McCormick is like and what this evolutionary process of moving into the CEO role looks like. You can’t imagine what a joy it is for me to watch him and to watch Bridgewater being run well without me. 


Our 2020-2021 Request for Proposal process opens February 10, 2020

Please join us for a funding informational session: Monday, February 10, 2020, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Painters District Council, 605 Sequoia Drive, #2, Aurora, IL  60506

If you are a new applicant, please contact Trish Rooney at 630-896-4636 ext. 108, to discuss your proposal and to ensure that it aligns with our grant funding priorities.

Overview The long-term health and welfare of a community is directly correlated to the health and welfare of its children.  Those who are strong, prepared and ready for kindergarten have a significantly greater chance for success in school and life.  Fox Valley United Way (FVUW) is committing all of its resources to promoting positive early childhood experiences.  The impact of our SPARK program has proven that to advance the common good, we need to ensure that children birth to five years old in the communities we support have equitable access to early childhood resources and education.

We have set a bold goal that All children will be Strong, Prepared And Ready for Kindergarten.  We hope to achieve this goal by focusing on the whole child and the whole family.

Our Approach We believe by incorporating this approach described below, as a community we can achieve equitable and positive outcomes for families and children.

Leverage Resources and support for families and children How can your agency further leverage resources and support families through a collaborative framework?

Build Capacity How can your agency build capacity to reach the shared capacity goal of ensuring that all children birth to 5 have equitable access to early childhood resources, services and education?

Work Collectively How can your agency coordinate efforts with other agencies to support efficiencies and achieve greater impact for families and children?

Impact Strategies & Metrics Applicants have the opportunity to apply under one or more Fox Valley United Way impact strategies. Fox Valley United Way strives to improve and strengthen outcomes for families and their children by collaborating with partner agencies to support the following strategies:

Strategy 1:  Parents and the community are educated and informed about the importance and value of an early childhood education for all of our young children and the impact it has on children’s success in school and life.

Strategy 2:  Support the on-going improvement of the early childhood programs in the Fox Valley area through continued professional development of individuals who work with families and children.

Strategy 3:  Ensure that all children have equitable access to quality early childhood programs and resources.

Strategy 4:  Build an early childhood coordinated system in Fox Valley communities in which the school districts, community based early childhood programs, community agencies, serving families and children, all work as one unit to ensure that Fox Valley’s young children have the resources, knowledge and skills to be Strong, Prepared And Ready for Kindergarten.

Questions on Proposal Content:

Trish Rooney Phone:  630-896-4636, ext. 108Email:

Michael Meyer Phone: 630-896-4636, ext .102 Email:

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