March is Women’s History Month, and the U.S. Small Business Administration remains committed to helping women entrepreneurs confidently start, grow, and expand their businesses or recover after a disaster.
Since it was established in 1994, the federal government’s goal is to award at least 5 percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses. SBA is responsible for certifying women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses to be eligible for contracts reserved for award through the WOSB Federal Contracting Program.
The SBA remains committed to ensuring the success of women in federal contracting. Since 2013, the SBA has partnered with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express on the ChallengeHER initiative. ChallengeHER is a free national initiative for participants that connects women-owned businesses with government contractors and educates them on participating in the (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program.
The ChallengeHER events provide matchmaking and networking opportunities between women-owned businesses and government contractors. They also provide insight on how women-owned businesses can register in the System Award Management (SAM) database, the official federal contracting portal for small businesses to register their small business profile in the database to do business with the government. Since its inception, ChallengeHER has educated more than 23,000 women entrepreneurs at 75 workshops across the country and facilitated more than 5,850 meetings between women small business owners and government officials. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SBA, WIPP, and American Express have converted their in-person events to monthly webinars.
Recently, the SBA participated in WIPP’s monthly community connection call and updated small businesses on the WOSB Federal Contracting Program to ensure that they are ready, willing, and able to become WOSB certified to do business with the federal government.
To learn more about the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program, visit sba.gov/wosbready.
The SBA also has 68 district offices and resource partners available to assist women-owned small businesses. You can find your nearest resource partner or Procurement Technical Assistance Center at https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance.