Why Government Contracting Is A Great Opportunity For Women

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) of 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.

Being an entrepreneur is exciting but also presents its unique challenges. Financing can be a significant obstacle that is often not easy to overcome. However, the more money you have at your disposal, the more options available to make sure your business is on the right path to success.

Unfortunately, many companies never properly explore the field of government grants. Instead, they assume they do not qualify for grants and never even try to apply.

Registering With SAM Directory Also Gives You Access To Valuable Grants

Government grants are similar to free money from the government that you do not have to pay back. However, you have to register in SAM before applying for Federal Grants.

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

  • Grants.gov
  • 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
  • GrantsforWomen.org
  • FedEx Small Business Grant

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

What is a Government Grant?

A government grant is a financial award given by the federal, state, or local government authority for a worthwhile project. It is a gift that does not include technical assistance or other financial assistance, such as a loan or loan guarantee, an interest rate subsidy, direct appropriation, or revenue sharing. The grantee is not expected to repay the money.

Why is the government giving away free money?

Innovation and ingenuity are essential to any society. For any economy to be competitive in the modern world, it must open up avenues to grow and nurture new businesses. To put it simply, the government gives out grants because it serves the greater good to suit the needs of the people.

Grants are a great way to even the playing field.

We have all heard stories about great entrepreneurs with relatively humble beginnings. Grants are in place because few people have the capital to start a business without some assistance. This is particularly true for minorities and women who might have faced discrimination in the past that hindered them from pursuing their business goals.

Here is a listing of the best government grants for women:

  • Grants.gov
  • 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
  • GrantsforWomen.org
  • FedEx Small Business Grant
  • The Halstead Grant

Is it challenging to obtain a Grant?

In truth, grants can be very competitive. It is important to read instructions to understand the application process thoroughly. You do not want your grant application to be thrown out because you did not provide the correct paperwork or information. A small business should also be aware of deadlines. However, please do not let a challenging application dissuade you from trying to qualify for grants. There is nothing more accurate than the saying about never making any of the shots you don’t take. Some websites can help you through the process.

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.