Government Contracting Opportunities For Women

How Do I Know That Being A Government Contractor Is Right For My Company?

There is very little certainty in business. Having a powerful client that is known for paying its bills on time, like our Federal Government, is a great asset.

Also, many of your competitors might be dismissing the idea of being a government contractor as being too much trouble. This means that there could be surprisingly little competition in some spaces. Their shortsightedness can be your company’s advantage.

The Government Is Required To Set Aside A Certain Percentage Of Contracts For Women-Owned Small Businesses

  • At least five percent of government contracts have to be awarded to women-owned small businesses.
  • To qualify for these set-asides a business must have the following:
  • Meet small business size standard for primary NAICS code and contract
  • At least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by women who are U.S. citizens*
  • The woman must manage the day-to-day operations
  • The woman must make long-term decisions for the business
  • A woman must hold the highest officer position
  • The woman must work at the business full-time during normal working hours
  • To qualify as economically disadvantaged through the EDWOSB program, a woman must meet these requirements:
  • Have a personal net worth of $750,000 or less.
  • The fair market value of all assets must be $6 million or less.
  • Have an adjusted gross yearly income (averaged over the three years before the certification) less than $350,000. 

Small Businesses Are Given Special Consideration When It Comes To Government Contracts

In many markets, small businesses are often outcompeted by larger organizations that often have access to almost unlimited resources. This set aside actually might increase a small business’s chances of winning a lucrative bid.

The federal government is required to set aside at least 23 percent of its total spending specifically for small businesses. Several small businesses have made a fortune just on federal government contract awards.

What Qualifies As A Small Business?

To be considered a small business, a company has to meet the following requirements:

  • A business must meet small business size standards.
  • Part of a business must be within the U.S.
  • A business must operate mainly within the U.S. or make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through the payment of taxes or the use of American products, materials, or labor.
  • A business must be independently owned and operated.
  • A business cannot be dominant in its field on a national basis.
  • The first thing a small business must do to qualify for government contracts is to register with the SAM Directory.

Make Sure You Receive Certification

To be eligible to compete for woman-owned small business set-asides or receive sole-source awards, you must either be certified by a Small Business Administration (SBA) approved Third-Party Certifier (TPC), OR self-certify following current SBA regulations. There are currently four SBA-approved TPCs. They are:

You can learn more about the requirements for the government’s woman-owned small business certification requirements on the SBA’s website.

Registering With SAM Directory Also Gives You Access To Valuable Grants

Government grants are alike free money from the government that you do not have to pay back. You have to register in SAM before you can apply for Federal Grants.

For example, here is a listing of the best government grants for women:

  • National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants
  • Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program
  • Amber Grant
  • IdeaCafe Grant
  • #GIRLBOSS Foundation Grant
  • Cartier Women’s Initiative Award
  • FedEx Small Business Grant

Read our article, Government Grants, A Guide to Free Money! to find out more about how registering for SAM can help provide great funding opportunities for your business.

Think About Subcontracting

Subcontracting with a prime contractor rather than the government means that you do not have to worry about the strict rules and regulations that are part of working directly with the government. This is because the subcontractor is answerable to the prime contractor, not the government. Luckily, prime contractors are always on the lookout for companies that can help them complete these important government projects. Subcontracting has many advantages for less experienced businesses.

Do Your Research

Once you have selected some agencies that require your goods and services, it is very important to research your customers. Luckily, nowadays you can find out a lot about an organization online.

At the end of the day, the United States government is a customer just like any other. However, this customer has deep pockets and unlimited needs. A small business can cater to the government by following a strategy in which the customer’s needs always come first. Identify what the government agency’s pain points are and then offer them your innovative solutions to their problems. This type of discipline always wins big points with the government. Here are a couple of examples of how you can find the information you need to win lucrative government contracts:

  • Inquire about the vendor Outreach Sessions and when will they be held
  • Inquire how your company’s products/services could help with the agency’s missions
  • Request meetings with Agency Program managers leading the contract requirements you’re pursuing

If you would like to do additional research, you can also check, an online listing of government contracts that detail all contracts with a value exceeding $25,000. Another available resource is, a site that details how government money is spent, what agency is issuing awards, and who the federal government is buying from.

What Is The SAM Directory?

SAM stands for System Award Management.

To do any business with the federal government, you must register your business in the System for Award Management. The government will not hire any type of business that has not registered in the SAM directory.

We have an article on our site, Everything You Need to Know About SAM for Small Businesses, that gives you important information about this process.

Luckily our site takes this headache off your hands. You can leave this important step to the experts at Sam Directory so you can concentrate on more important matters.

The best part is once you register, you will no longer have to keep reentering important information every time you apply for a new government opportunity.