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8(a) Certification

Many women owned businesses are also eligible for the 8(a) Certification. Minority woman owned small businesses can qualify using our 8(a) Qualification tool. Caucasian Women should review our narrative guidelines as part of their application process.


Interested? Qualify Yourself in 3-Minutes Using Our Tool

8(a) Package Find out about our 8(a) Certification Package

8(a) Qualifications

1 2 3 4
Step 1

Social Disadvantaged

Pass Issue Fail Incomplete Clarifications

Clarification 1: People with Heritage from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain/Portugal) are considered Hispanic for proving social disadvantage.

Clarification 2: People from the Middle East and North Africa can successfully apply, however they need a solid narrative.

Clarification 3: Native Alaskans, and Hawaiians often overlook their social disadvantage status.

Clarification 4: The Social Disadvantaged Individual or group of individuals needs to own 51% or more of the firm.

Is the 51% owner(s) of the firm U.S. Citizens

Is 25% or more of your blood heritage from a minority group or do you have a tribal card from a state or federally recognized Native American Indian Tribe?


Women who are not members of one of the presumed socially disadvantaged groups but would like to still pursue and 8(a) application may still do so provided they can prove they are socially disadvantaged and can document this in a narrative to the SBA. First, we would like to make the clarification between individual bias and universal bias and how this affects the SBA’s application process.

Individual Bias – 8(a)

In order to obtain 8(a) the bias the person suffers must be on an individual nature, specific to the applicant. The Caucasian female applicant is required to build a narrative that documents a lifetime of suffering from gender bias. The bar the SBA sets for an 8(a) application is high and the applicant is required to “show clear and convincing evidence.” Therefore, the SBA’s expectation is that the narrative will show a life-history of chronic long standing social disadvantage. This is done on an individual case basis and not as part of a case made for women in general. This evidence must build the case that the person would have been more successful had they not suffered from this bias.

Universal Bias – WOSB & EDWOSB

This should not be misconstrued as a universal bias against all women owned businesses, meaning the evidence must apply to the individual female applicant not statistical or generalized information. This type of bias was the SBA’s rational for creating the WOSB and EDWOSB program.

Building the Case for 8(a)

We have been successfully putting forth these applications for over fifteen years. We recommend that Caucasian female review the following list and then call us to discuss and individual plan of action.

Five Criteria that must be proven per Documented Occurrence:

1. Stemmed from the female applicant’s gender and not common to other small businesses.

2. Was rooted in the treatment the applicant experienced in American society and not in other countries.

3. Was chronic and substantial and not fleeting and insignificant.

4. Was personally experienced.

5. Negatively affected the applicant’s entry into and/or advancement in the business world.

Applicants attempting to document their history of gender bias can use the table below as a starting point:

Item # Recommended # of Documented Occurrences Type of Occurrence Sub-Type Occurrence – All occurrences must deal with gender bias, and not simply a denial occurring in a competitive marketplace.
1 1-4 Education High School
Vocational School
2 2-4 Employment History Lack of advancement
Lower wages
Unequal treatment
3 3-5 Business Opportunities Unfair bid denial
Lack of serious consideration in proposals
Forced lower rates than other male owned firms.
Inability to increase firm capabilities due to glass ceiling
4 1-2 Credit or Loan Approval Credit denial or lack of credit from vendors (based upon gender)
Credit denial from a financial institution (based upon gender)
5 0-1 Federal Contracts Denial from obtaining federal contracts based upon gender.
6 0-1 Membership in professional organizations Not granted participation, leadership position, or similar access to group functions as male members.
7 0-1 EEOC – successful claim Any successful EEOC (Equal Opportunity Commission) claim is documents evidence of past gender discrimination
Total 7-17 Note: Evidence needs to be provided to accompany these stories.
8(a) Certification Package : $6,700.00
The SBA has recently changed the Narrative Requirements to be for ALL application. The fee above includes assistance with your narrative process.