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We receive a lot of calls weekly from Women Owned Businesses if they should apply for the SBA 8a Certification. Our answers to their questions are listed below.

First you need to identify if working with the Government is something you are willing to do and be active at. Obtaining the certification will not bring in business. Marketing your company to Federal Agencies and prime contractors will.

The 8a Federal Contracting program is designed to help minority owned business compete more fairly in the open market against larger firms. Caucasian males and Women are not considered to be minorities, but there are plenty of Caucasians approved in the program, If you are non-minority women owned small business, there are a few questions you need to be able to answer and prove to the SBA in order to qualify aside from the basic qualifications which was mentioned in one of our previous posts.

The SBA requires that you identify specific areas in which you were held back due to your gender and the reasons for being successful in the program,beginning in your schooling days up until today.

The main question is, were you ever denied any opportunities in the following areas due to your gender:

1. Education:

   While you were a student were you ever:

  • denied or neglected to be awarded,
  • admittance,
  • scholarships,
  • training

2. Employment:

  Have you ever been denied:

  •  Employment or have not been promoted
  • Had a lower salary although you were more qualified than others
  • have been neglected to be promoted because you are a Women

3. Business history:

   Have you ever been denied:

  • Mentoring or job training
  • Opportunities although you were the lowest bidder
  • Excluded from participating in business groups
  • Denied access to capital

Another important fact to remember is that the SBA does have a program for just women. The Women Owned Small Business or WOSB is a certification reserved for just Women Owned firms. So the next obvious question is, why do you need to be certified as 8a as well? There are the obvious reasons such as more set-aside funding, but there also needs to be an explanation why the 8a program will help you further grow your business.

Please visit our website at to learn more about our programs and services.

Paul Mazbanian SBC Consultants, Inc. 818-551-9400
Paul Mazbanian
SBC Consultants, Inc.