Being a small business owner is a full-time (and then some) job. When you add being a woman-owned small business owner to the equation, you are often faced with even more adversity.
Female entrepreneurs can benefit greatly from registering their business as woman-owned. While everyone is subject to the same tax laws, there are several business development opportunities, grants, and loans that are available to women-owned small businesses. So, taking the time to certify your business could provide you with a lot of resources and opportunities for growth.
While the term “women-owned business” is pretty self-explanatory, when it comes to registering as a women-owned small business, there’s a much more characterizing definition. In order to be considered a women-owned small business (WOSB), is it required that a woman-owned business be led by a woman who is a U.S. citizen and owns at least 51 percent of the company. Classification as a WOSB can be completed through a self-certification process with the US Small Business Administration (SBA).
To Qualify as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), your business must:
Meet small business size standard for your business’s primary NAICS code and contract
Be at least 51% owned by women who are U.S. citizens
Be managed day-to-day by women
Have long-term decisions made by women
Have a woman holding the highest officer position in the company
This woman must work at the business full-time during normal working hours
(Although, there’s no minimum amount of time the business must be operational)
Benefits of Registering as a Women-Owned Business
When you register your business as a women-owned small business, you will be provided with considerable opportunities that will help your business thrive. Here are a few of the benefits:
Gives Your Business Visibility
Your certification as a woman-owned business gives you credibility. This in turn can help attract committed employees that want to work for a female entrepreneur. Also, many businesses like to partner with women-owned businesses because there are several federal tax incentives, including reduced tax liabilities, for working with women-owned small businesses. This will help your business gain recognition from other companies and create new opportunities and sources of revenue for your company. Overall, the WOSB certification provides businesses with great networking opportunities to boost their exposure.
WOSB Federal Contracting Program
One of the main advantages of acquiring a women-owned business certification is the potential to compete for profitable government contracts. The federal government sets aside a certain number of contracts every year for qualifying women-owned small businesses. They aim to award a minimum of 5% of all contracting dollars to women-owned businesses each year. The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program was created to provide greater access to federal contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses. These contracts are for specific industries where WOSBs are underrepresented.
Finding New Funding Opportunities
Oftentimes, women-owned businesses experience obstacles when it comes to accessing capital. However, with a WOSB certification, women entrepreneurs will likely have far more funding options available to them. These could range from small loans and grants to government loans and grants. Having these options available would always be beneficial for your business.
Educational and Networking Opportunities
The WOSB certification also provides you with access to lots of educational resources and tools that are exclusive to WOSB. These educational programs may include trainings, seminars, toolkits, networking opportunities, and more. Having a WOSB certification also allows you to connect with business owners through the Mentor-Protégé Program. This program offers some great advantages for WOSB’s such as business development and strategy training. It can also lead to potential financial assistance in the form of investments, loans, and bonds.
Private Grants for Women-Owned Businesses
InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge
This business challenge is sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership. The challenge awards three winners $30,000 in prize money for businesses that have an impact on the lives of women.
Small Business Innovation Research
This research-based program incentivizes small businesses to explore technological advancement. It’s run by 11 different federal agencies and gives numerous awards that vary by industry and project.
The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program
Eileen Fisher offers five grants annually to women-owned businesses focused on creating environmental and social change. Your business must be majority-owned and led by women (51% or greater), be beyond the startup phase, and have revenues of under $1,000,000.
Girl Boss Foundation Grants
The Girlboss Foundation grants are typically issued to female entrepreneurs in the design, fashion, music, and arts industries. Awarded on a quarterly basis with the goal of empowering women business owners, the grants range between $500 and $15,000, and females 18 years or older are eligible to apply.
Are you a small women-owned business handling payroll on your own? PayWow’s got your back! PayWow is an all-in-one payroll and compliance solution. PayWow handles everything from issuing payroll and payments to ensuring tax compliance.
We specialize in providing industry-specific solutions because we know each business is unique. Start using PayWow today and meet the payroll needs of your small business with ease.
This September PayWow is celebrating “Working Women Wednesday,” where we will be honoring the hard-working women we work with. Follow along on our social media sites!