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Becoming certified

Certification programs can help you market your business to both large business and governments.  Many large corporations and governmental entities set-aside a percentage of their purchasing contracts for small businesses, minority and/or women owned businesses. Becoming “certified” as one or more of these types of businesses enables a company to bid on contracting opportunities. offers a description of certification.

Many large corporations accept certification through third parties, such as the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

The SBA recently approved three national organizations to act as Third Party Certifiers under the WOSB Program.  The organizations are:

Women Owned Small Businesses may elect to use the services of a Third Party Certifier to demonstrate eligibility for the program, or they may self-certify using the process outlined on the SBA website.   SBA will only accept third party certification from these entities, and firms are still subject to the same eligibility requirements to participate in the program.   

Most government entities will require a company to at least go through a streamlined or shortened verification process that is specific to that agency. Certification can take from 30-90 days.