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Federal contracts made more accessible to WOSBs

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Women-owned small businesses will have greater access to federal contracting opportunities after changes to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) that affect the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.

The NDAA removes the thresholds for the anticipated award price of the contracts for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract.

Prior to the new law, the anticipated award price of a contract for WOSBs and EDWOSBs could not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts.

“As one of the fastest growing sectors of small business owners in the country, opening the door for women to compete for more federal contracts is a win-win,” said Karen Mills of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). “Today, women own 30 percent of all small businesses, up from just 5 percent 40 years ago.”

The Women’s Federal Contract Program allows contracting officers to reserve specific contracts for certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs in order to help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory goal of awarding  at least five percent of federal contracting dollars to WOSBs.

The law also requires the SBA to conduct further studies to identify and report industries under-represented by WOSBs. As a result, more eligible WOSBs may be able to participate in SBA’s Women’s Federal Contract Program to compete for, and win, federal contracts.

For more information on the Women-Owned Small Business Program or to access the instructions, applications or database, please visit sba.gov/wosb

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