How Women Can Get Government Contracts

Women Should Be Aware of Government Opportunities.

In the modern age, women have a unique opportunity to be the masters of their own destinies. Numerous smart and ambitious women are becoming entrepreneurs and running their own companies. However, many women are intimidated by the daunting process of being a government contractor

Women are powerful.

The following statistic supports the power of women:

  • More than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017.
  • Women-owned firms (51% or more) account for 39% of all privately held firms and contribute 8% of employment and 4.2% of revenues.

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.

In order 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
  • No minimum amount of time the business has been operational

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 prior to the certification) less than $350,000. 

What qualifies as a small business?

In order 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 in order to qualify for government contracts is to register with the SAM Directory.

What is the SAM Directory?

SAM stands for System Award Management.

In order 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 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.

You will need a DUNS number.

You’ll also need a D&B D-U-N-S® Number, which is a unique nine-character identification number issued to your business. You can register for your D-U-N-S Number free of charge by calling 1-866-705-5711 or by visiting Dun & Bradstreet’s Government D-U-N-S Number registration page.

Registering in the SAM Directory also gives you access to government 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 for 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.

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 in accordance with 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.

Prove how you stand out from the crowd.

Women shaking hands.
You can do it!

The United States Federal Government is one of the most powerful consumers of goods and services in the world. They are an extremely fantastic client for any business to have.

Be organized.

Have all of your documents in order and ready for inspection. Luckily, there are a lot of software programs out there that can make sure everything is available at the touch of a finger.

Prove your responsibility.

Nothing shows reliability like your business being able to have an excellent credit score. The government is working with taxpayers’ dollars and they want to be secure that you are trustworthy. Make sure all your finances are in good order.

Read Directions!

Sometimes you really did learn all you need to know in elementary school. When a government issues a request for proposals they often have very specific directions for what needs to be submitted. Missing information or not filling out a document properly can be immediate grounds for rejection. You can also use this precision as a business tool to help you determine whether or not your company is equipped to handle the scope of the project.

You have totally got this!

Always remember how amazing you are and how much you have accomplished in your life. You can move mountains if you put your mind to it and being a government contractor is a pathway to business success. Your business also has to help make some of those first crucial steps to access these government contracts. We are on your side and know you have what it takes to go the distance.