Earlier this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) announced the publication of a final rule (“Rule”) to implement the federal procurement program for women-owned small businesses (“WOSBs”). In the Rule, the SBA identified 83 industries in which WOSBs are underrepresented in the federal contract marketplace; according to the SBA, the Rule aims to open up more opportunities for WOSBs operating in these industries.
Among the eligibility requirements set forth in the Rule are 51% ownership and control by a woman who is a U.S. Citizen and who is considered “economically disadvantaged.” Further, to participate in the program, a firm must be considered “small” under its primary industry classification.
The SBA stated in a press release issued earlier today that it will be 120 days before the WOSB program becomes effective, as the SBA must build the infrastructure to support the certification process and create vehicles for ongoing oversight. Therefore, the SBA estimates that federal agencies will be able to start setting aside contracts for WOSBs in the first quarter of 2011.