Types of Certification - Women Business Enterprise (WBE)

The State of Ohio’s Women Business Enterprise (WBE) program is designed to assist women-owned businesses in obtaining contracts for goods and services, construction, architecture, engineering, information technology, and professional services. The WBE program does not apply a procurement goal or set-aside target for state government contracts. The State of Ohio developed the program because it recognized the need to encourage, nurture and support the growth of women businesses to foster their development and increase the number of qualified competitors in the marketplace.

A WBE certified business must be owned and controlled by a woman who is a U.S. citizen and has an established residency in the state of Ohio or a reciprocal state (if certified pursuant to section 123.154(D) of the Revised Code). In addition, the following criteria must be met:

  • The business must
    • have been in business for at least one year prior to applying; and
    • be at least 51 percent women-owned; and
  • The business owner must
    • possess requisite knowledge of the business and industry in which she is applying;
    • have day-to-day control over the business, exercising final authority over all aspects of daily operations, including but not limited to, operations, financial and business management, human resources and policy decisions; and
    • possess all licenses and permits required by law to perform the scope of work within classifications requested.

Benefits of WBE Certification

Ohio WBE-certified program participants are eligible for contract assistance, management, and technical assistance.
Reciprocal State Certification

  • Ability to utilize Ohio WBE-certification to apply for certification with reciprocal states, doing business in those states as a WBE-certified business

Eligibility for Open-Market Contracts

  • Certified businesses are listed in a searchable database (located in Quick Links)

Management and Technical Assistance

  • Access to Minority Business Assistance Centers and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, which assist business with identifying federal, state and local contracting and subcontracting opportunities
  • Access to free accounting assistance, structuring internal accounting systems, auditing management records, business plan development, technical advisory services, marketing plans and evaluation of company operations/management processes
  • Access to business development organizations that facilitate training, strategic management, networking and mentoring opportunities with major corporations

Ready to Apply for Certification?

If so, follow these steps… If not, call us or fill out the form on the right:

The applicant must complete a Unified Application through the Ohio Business Gateway and provide supporting documentation as required. Only complete applications, including all required supporting documentation, will be reviewed. Applications are subject to on-site review by state compliance officers. Upon application approval, the company receives its certification by email.

The processing time for completed applications may vary. However, we offer assistance to expedite the process through our “fast track” system. While the exact timeframe may differ, this system aims to significantly reduce application processing time. To qualify for “fast track” processing, applicants must submit their application through one of the regional Minority Business Assistance Centers, such as ours, and the applicant must have a pending contract award that requires certification or be a candidate for and in need of financing or bonding where certification is a requirement.

For a tutorial of how to access the WBE application, please review this video.

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Special Thanks to our partners:

  • Ohio MBAC
  • Ohio Department of Development

    Contact Columbus MBAC