Two key dates for current and potential WOSB / EDWOSB firms.
July 15, 2020 – EDWOSB and WOSB firms can no longer self-certify with the SBA. From this point forward firms applying for the ED/WOSB certification must undergo the SBAs more robust process.
October 15, 2020 – EDWOSB and WOSB firms that utilized the SBA’s self-certification process must submit a new application to the SBA or have it submitted through a third party vendor.
Reason for this Change
The SBA, as a result of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was required to remove the self-certify option for becoming EDWOSB or WOSB for small businesses owned and controlled by women.
More Robust ED/WOSB Process
The current ED/WOSB process has been replaced with a more robust certification process operated directly by the SBA. The changes the SBA has implemented to the procurement program are as follows:
- WOSBs and EDWOSBs no longer have a self-certify option. They must apply using the SBAs more robust certification process or receive a third-party certification.
- The SBA certification process is free process where most third party vendors charge an application fee.
Renewal Process Change
- Every three years the WOSBs and EDWOSBs are must undergo a full program examination as well as attest annually to the SBA that they remain eligible for the programs.
- If a contractor fails or is unable to recertify as a WOSB or EDWOSB by the end of the fifth year of a long-term contract, the agency loses the ability to count awards made pursuant to that contract as EDWOSB or WOSB awards.
The WOSB Certification has remained a powerful method for helping businesses obtain federal sales. With the new more stringent certification processes in place we expect some number of vendors to no longer qualify for ED/WOSB which should increase the opportunities for existing firms.