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The Women Owned certification, an initiative by WBENC and WEConnect International, validates businesses that are at least 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. This certification is relevant in various sectors, particularly for consumer-facing physical products, supporting female entrepreneurs and those who do business with them. The certification primarily evaluates who owns, controls, and operates the business, ensuring clear evidence of female management and control in both legal documents and daily operations.
To acquire this certification, businesses undergo a thorough vetting process, including a review of business documentation and a site visit interview with the female owner(s). They must provide general business information, owner eligibility details, information on financial structure, personnel & management information, and governance information. The Certification Committee, a trained and confidential group of volunteers, ensures that the business meets the certification criteria through a comprehensive review of the application.
The certification lasts one year, implying that businesses need to undergo the thorough vetting process annually to maintain their certified status, ensuring continued adherence to the standards and criteria set by WBENC and WEConnect International.
Obtaining the Women Owned certification symbolizes a commitment to fostering vibrant communities and stimulating economic growth. It brings awareness and provides resources for financial, mental, and emotional obstacles, fostering interactions among women business owners and cultivating a community of support and innovation. Members gain access to a variety of resources including networking events, procurement opportunities, mentoring, executive education, capacity development programs, and other essential business tools and resources, all aimed at fostering business growth and development.