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Women Entrepreneurs Can Win Larger Contracts Through SBA Set-Aside Program

The Small Business Administration removed the cap on government contracts set aside for women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses.

Before this week, federal government contracts were capped at $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts under the Women-Owned Small-Business Program. According to a rule change published Tuesday in the government’s official journal, the Federal Register, the thresholds placed on those programs have been lifted, effective immediately.

Related: SBA Budget Whacked $92 Million By Sequestration

The rule change aims to help the federal government meet its mandate of 5 percent of contracts going to women-owned small businesses. In 2011, the most recent year for which the data has been compiled, women-owned small businesses received 3.98 percent of distributed contracts, falling short of the mandate.

To be considered a woman-owned small business and be eligible for the contracts under that designation, a company has to be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by at least one woman and has to be primarily managed by at least one woman. To be considered economically disadvantaged, a business has to meet financial requirements and be considered socially disadvantaged according to rules set out by the SBA.

Related: How to Set Your Business Up to Bid on Federal Government Contracts

Will this change in procurement caps affect your business? If so, leave a note and tell us what kind of contracts you will now have access to that you didn’t before.
 

Catherine Clifford is a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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