Federal Contract Set Aside Opportunities for Women Owned Small Business (WOSB)
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Federal Contract Set Aside Opportunities for Women Owned Small Business (WOSB)

Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) certifications and eligibility to participate in the Federal Contract Program.

Increasing the opportunities for success of women owned small business (WOSB) to compete and win federal contracts is the topic of conversation these days, especially if you are a women owned small business.   The Small Business Administration Office (SBA) in conjunction with the Federal government is ensuring that companies who meet the prerequisites have the opportunity to participate in the Federal WOSB set aside contract opportunities.

Set Aside Contracts

What are set aside contracts?  A set aside contract is a restricted competition for the assigned opportunities that may fall under certifications such as WOSB, 8(a) or a Veteran owned.   Its intent is to limit the level and size of companies competing for the contract.  In order for a contract to fall under the WOSB category, a contracting officer must be sure that several WOSB or EDWOSB are ready, willing and able to submit a qualified offer of equally qualified bidders. 

Fair practices and evaluations of review, capability and performance remain major considerations for WOSB companies who propose their services under this category.  Guidelines for the contracting officer will be issued from the Federal government under the Final Rule.


Keep in mind that qualifying as a WOSB does not automatically qualify you as an EDWOSB.  Each status has its own requirements to receive and maintain the certification.  Under some circumstances, your company may also qualify for multiple certifications that the SBA and the Federal government assign to small businesses.  WOSB may be the primary certification in a set aside contract opportunity and with women now serving in the military, be sure to include additional certifications for minority, heritage and military services, as they are applicable. 

These three sites are mandatory for self-certification registrations of your company:

  • Central Contractor Registration (CCR); entering your company information, status and type of small business.  In this case a WOSB or an EDWOSB.
  • On-Line Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) is part of the process for federal government solicitations and contract proposal submissions.
  • WOSB Repository is a document holding port for the SBA; access is allowed to government agencies for review of current information for WOSBs.


The SBA conducts reviews to ensure that status as a WOSB and EDWOSB are accurate and current according to Federal government guidelines.  The purpose of the examinations is to verify that the system is working on both sides; your company is operating according to the WOSB Program and Federal contracting opportunities are being presented for solicitation.

Source: Small Business Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau: Statistics of U.S. Businesses and Business Dynamics Statistics

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Comments (1)

Good tips for entrepreneurial women! Buzzing!