WBEC-East is proud to offer the national WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification.
Not Sure Where to Start?
Tune in to our monthly webinars!
“How to Get Certified” – Overview of the eligibility, requirements, process, and fees, plus a Q&A with certification officers.
“Maximizing Your Certification” – Perfect for those newly certified or looking to use their certification to grow their business. Intended for those who are already familiar with the certification.
Is WBE Certification Right for Me?
The WBENC certification is extremely beneficial to businesses looking to work with large corporations and government agencies. While it doesn’t guarantee you business, it does open up a network of decision makers in supplier diversity and procurement offices across the country. Many corporations require that you be WBENC-certified before providing access to their supplier diversity programs.
Benefits to your business:
As a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, or WBE, you will be entitled to:
|A WBE certificate that can be used to pursue procurement opportunities posted by corporations and government agencies with supplier diversity programs*|
|List your business profile in WBENCLink, an internet database that is accessed by hundreds of corporations throughout the United States seeking to work with women-owned businesses|
|Have access to a national directory of corporations accepting WBENC certification|
|Use a special WBENC seal on your letterhead, business cards, and other marketing materials|
|Participate in national and local networking events, matchmaker meetings and trade shows with other WBEs and corporate and government buyers|
Is My Business Eligible?
For full eligibility requirements by legal structure, please see page 9 of WBENC’s Standards & Procedures.
1. At least fifty-one percent ownership by a woman or women
2. Woman owner(s) hold U.S. Citizenship or Legal Resident Alien status
3. The woman owner or another woman holds the highest title
4. The woman owner demonstrates daily operation, management and control of the business
5. The woman owner has the expertise to run their business
6. The business is for-profit and operates independently of any other business
WBEC-East maintains a stringent screening process under the guidelines of WBENC’s Standards & Procedures, which ensures that all firms are legitimately owned, managed, and controlled by women.
How Long is the Process?
Expect the entire new application process to take at least 3-4 months, depending on the complexity of your business and your response time to questions from staff.
Required supporting documentation
All documents must be submitted online through our secure encrypted portal. No hard copy or emailed documents will be accepted.
Tip from the Staff: 7 Frequent Document Mistakes
What to expect after you apply:
Fear not, as annual recertification is must less arduous than the initial first-year application.
Phase 1: Documentation & Q&A Period (30-60 days)
After submitting your application, staff will begin reviewing your documentation. You will generally hear back in approximately 2-3 weeks as we read through all of the documents you sent. Your certification officer will ask clarifying questions and may request additional documentation. The timing of this phase is largely dependent on the complexity of your business and your response time. Whitelist the email firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure you receive any messages from your certification officer.
Phase 2: Staff and Committee Review (30-60 days)
Once we have received all additional documentation and questions have been answered, your application will go into review by our staff and volunteer committee. You will receive an email stating that your application is complete and the review period has begun. Our committee generally meets twice a month and reviews applications in the order that the previous step was complete. You will receive an email once this review period is complete.
Phase 3: In-person Site Visit (30 days)
After your application has been reviewed, we will arrange for one of our staff or volunteer site visitors to visit you at your office for a 1-hour meeting. All female owners totaling 51% or more must be present at this meeting. Home offices are acceptable if you do not have a commercial space.
Once all three phases have been complete, you should generally hear back with a final decision in 1-2 weeks.
Tip from the Staff: 5 Tips to Help Speed Up the Certification Process
Please note that this fee does not guarantee certification and will not be refunded should you be denied or choose to withdraw. This fee pays for staff time in processing your application and guarantees a fair review.
The application fee for Certification and Recertification is determined by your company’s annual gross receipts:
|Under 1 Million||$350|
|1 Million to 5 Million||$500|
|5 Million to 10 Million||$750|
|10 Million to 50 Million||$1,000|
|50 Million and above||$1,250|
Annual Recertification Quick Facts
- Annual recertification is required to maintain the certificate.
- Your annual expiration date will never change whether you apply late or early, so always apply early!
- You can recertify up to 120 days before you expire.
- Certification fees remain the same each year.
- Site visits are conducted generally every 3 years.
- Businesses who let their certification lapse for 6 months must reapply as a new applicant.
Tip from the Staff: 4 Questions We Always Get About Recertification
For questions about certification, please contact:
New Applications Coordinator