WBENC provides a national standard for the certification of women-owned companies. Our 14 Regional Partner Organizations implement this standard utilizing professional staff and trained volunteer certification committees. The process begins when a woman applies through the WBENCLink2.0 website. After completion of the online application, she must then submit the required documents to complete her file and send it to the designated Regional Partner Organization. A regional Certification Review Committee reviews the file and directs the next step, a site visit, be conducted.
The Certification Review Committee outlines specific questions for the site visit, and the result of the site visit is reported during the next monthly Certification Review Committee meeting. If the file review and site visit have led the committee to determine that the business meets all of WBENC’s criteria, certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) will be issued. While approximately 23% of applications are denied, an appeal process is in place that provides a review at both the regional and, if appropriate, the national level.
Corporate Members can track a WBE through the certification process, access, and download a PDF version of the WBE certificate via WBENCLink2.0, the WBENC online database of WBEs. The national Board of Directors’ Certification Committee maintains the standards. WBENC oversees the standards and training for Certification Committee members and Regional Partner Organization program staff. WBENC staff conduct an annual audit of each Regional Partner Organization’s processes to ensure that each is following the WBENC certification standards.