Since then WBENC has grown to include fourteen Regional Partner Organizations that certify women owned businesses throughout the United States.
Maybe all of us need to re-learn this lesson periodically so we entrepreneurs can be more proactive about our “customer-ness”. Often times we’re so busy running our businesses, providing services for our own customers that we neglect the fact we are another company’s client and a part of their revenue stream.
The CCR web site is a great resource for information about thousands of small US businesses.
Getting certified is just the first step. Next comes maintenance of that certification. Virtually all certifiers state that they MUST BE notified – usually in writing – within 30 days of any major change in your business.
While holding a diversity certificate does not guarantee the company sales, it is a tool that can be used to open doors to opportunities, increase visibility and build relationships.
A major feature of this program is the ability to participate in federal procurements that are specifically set aside for 8(a) certified businesses. If your company is interested in doing business with federal agencies and it meets the disadvantaged SBA standards, the 8(a) certification program might be a good fit for you.
Don’t be intimidated by or worry about a site visit. We’ve been visited a lot … 14 certifications worth! The visits have been about confirming information and they give the certifying organization an opportunity to explore and understand the business first hand.
Governance boils down to the language in the governing documents of the diverse business. Review your governing documents BEFORE you apply for a diversity certification!
To be a diversity certified business, the diverse owners must control the business. The owner has to have the authority and “power to direct or determine” or influence what will happen in the business, both now and in the future.
Rejection can be quite frustrating, especially when you’ve spent hours filling out forms and locating supporting documents. Here are some things that can cause a certifier to reject your application for diversity certification, in no particular order…