Replay, Q and A and Resources to Women in Business Seminar Series #1

Mar 24, 2021

Over 280 woman and minority owned small business owners joined the March 24 webinar, “Getting SBA Certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business: Opening New Doors of Opportunity.” You can now watch the replay here:

Resource Handout – list of links related to all the resources mentioned during the webcast, plus more.

Slide deck – packed with details, including contact for further assistance.

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Q & A

Q: Do you need to be US resident to apply ?

A: Yes. The WOSB/EDWOSB certification requires 51 percent owned (controlled) by women who are U.S. citizens

Q: How long must I be in business before I can apply for this certification? I started my business last year, so no taxes yet.

A: There are no time in business rules for WOSB/EDWOSB certification.

Q: I started my business in 2018, but in 2019 I added my husband as a 50% owner because it made the taxes easier and to apply for a loan. Is it possible to be certified as women owned the way we are or do I have to adjust ownership? He is a minority and I am not. Thank you!

A: The requirement for either woman-owned or minority-owned is 51% ownership so an adjustment will be needed to claim either. It is not only about the 51% ownership BUT it must be that the person holding that 51% is the one controlling the company and making the decisions. You may want to contact MEDB to help you decide what is the better direction for your situation.

Q: Is the certification program only for businesses in Hawaii? Versus the program content and webinars.

A: No, this is a federal SBA program….but the panelist will serve Hawaii businesses only with their services, however later in the presentation we show a list of federal similar resources. The “certification” is sponsored by the SBA primarily to take advantage in federal government procurement as Congress has mandated that at least 5% of government contracts are either set aside for or gives preference to certifed businesses such as WOSB/EDWOSB

Q: I was a sole proprietor and formed a LLC in 2020. Can the years I was a sole proprietor count towards my two years.

A: Depends, generally yes if you can show that the mission and what you’ve done is essentially the same.

Q: In the WOB application, they ask for our employee count. We are an LLC with three equal share women owners who are considered members–not employees. So how do we respond on the application? To date, we have said no employees–but am wondering if we are correct in responding that way?

A: There is no specific requirement for a number of employees.

Q: I have just started the WOSB process. I have not completed it because I got a message on the screen saying my type of business is not eligible for certification. I am organized as an LLC. As of now, I am the only employ. Not sure why any of this would make me illegible.

A: Not all NAICS codes are authorized for use under the WOSB Program. Check the SBA website at available NAICS codes.

Q: What does CAGE stand for?

A: Cage Code= Commercial and Government Entity Code

Q: How much does the Cage Code cost?

A: It is free via there are business that might try to charge you for getting this.

Q: How do I verify what percentage my ownership is in my business?

A: You can check your percentage in your legal documents (which vary by state and type of business entity).

Q: I am interested in finding out more information about your financial and business counseling courses. I am also interested in participating in your next cohort.

A: To learn more about our counseling and cohorts with MBDA Enterprising Women of Color, please check out The intake form is here:

Q: What is SCORE?

A: SCORE is a small business advisor group providing technical assistance in business. Sponsored by SBA, there are local chapters all over the US. You can request, no cost, assistance/advise by going to…
Acronym used to represent Service Corps of Retired Executives but today the advisors include professionals that are still active so the name remains but is no longer an acronym.

Q: What grant programs are available to assist with farm ownership for existing women farmers? Hawaii farm ownership is a financial challenge. Thank you!

A: Check out Department of Agriculture:,2,3,4,7,11,16

Q: Do the WOSB certification and 8a certification online applications communicate with each other? Since the qualifications for both programs are virtually the same.

A: Yes, the difference is WOSB is ‘just a certification process’ while the 8a program is a multi-year ‘course’ ad resource.

Q: Do the certifications apply to non-profits?

A: No person or group of individuals owns a non-profit — that is what differentiates a non-profit from a for-profit business.  The “control” of a non-profit organization may be vested in a board, voting members or a combination of both, but the regulations governing that control varies from state to state. Thus, 8a and other programs for women-owned for-profit businesses would by definition exclude non-profits.