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Think Big

Yes, you can win big contracts-with a bit of help.

This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Companies can grow significantly when they land large contracts. So how can you hook up with a major corporation as a subcontractor? We spoke with several women entrepreneurs about cultivating a corporate clientele, doing the big deals and being certified as a Women's Business Enterprise-a designation accepted by over 700 major corporations and several government agencies.

"When I got certified, it was a gateway to major corporations," says Mercedes LaPorta, president and CEO of Miami-based Mercedes Electric Supply Inc., which has been a certified WBE for four years through the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. "I got involved with [the WBENC] on the national level and joined their forum to have meetings with major corporations such as UPS, Office Depot and PepsiCo."

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