How Can Certifications Help You?
The United States government is the largest purchaser of products and services in the world, with companies of all sizes included within its vendor lists. It is easier than you may realize for small businesses to compete for — and win — a share of the $500 billion in annual government contracts.
To qualify for government contracts, small businesses must prove to the contracting agency that they are ready, willing, and most importantly, able to perform on government contracts by obtaining the necessary certification. It is not an easy process, but there are a variety of certifications that small business can apply for and obtain:
New Certification Process
Establishing a business with the purpose of obtaining certifications and contracts will require a thorough assessment of the current state of the business and the potential opportunities within the government. The following feasibility assessment is designed to identify some of the key critical factors that will determine the potential success of your business.
Certification Types (Otherwise Known As – Government Set-Aside Programs)
8-A Certification: 8-A is available to businesses that are owned and controlled by socially disadvantaged individuals. This includes people who belong to groups who have suffered racial, ethnic, or cultural prejudices through no fault of their own. The SBA program considers African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Pacific Americans socially disadvantaged. It may include other groups in this category as well.
Women Owned Small Business (WOSB): The WOSB certification is a program coordinated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) with the goal of giving women-owned businesses easier access to the resources they need to grow their business. This certification offers the chance to compete fairly for federal contracts and gain access to resources tailored to promoting women in business.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE): The DBE certification is a for-profit small business certification for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own at least a 51% interest and control management and daily business operations.
HUBZone Program: This certification is for small businesses located in distressed urban and rural communities, designed to boost business activity in those areas.
Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) / Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program: VOSB and SDVOSB is a certification exclusive to veterans, including those disabled through their service.
Minority-Owned Small Business Program (MBE): The MBE certification is for small disadvantaged business owners of African American, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian descent resulting in contract preferences and partnering opportunities.
All businesses applying for these programs must be at least 51% owned by United States citizens and qualify as small under their industry classification.
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