Power Your Business: WBE Certification | NAWBO


Registration is open for the NAWBO Certification beta phase. The first 100 women business owners who are ready and eligible to certify their businesses will be accepted into this first phase and all others will be added to an interest list. As part of the beta phase, you will become part of our first cohort of certified women’s business enterprises who will help us fine-tune our program for all future women business owners who will apply for NAWBO Certification.



Give your customers confidence that they’re buying from a legitimate woman-owned business. Becoming certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and/or Minority Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) does that, and while the word “certification” often elicits images of piles of paperwork and red tape, that’s not always the case, especially with NAWBO by your side. Through our program, we will walk you step-by-step through the process to certification. Once certified, we’ll continue to guide and educate you on how to harness the power of your certification, and network with businesses to grow your company. Yes, certification takes work and organization to prepare, but the payoff is well worth the effort. The future of certification starts here…let NAWBO help you grow!




“Having just gone through the NAWBO certification process, I would like to give a thumbs-up to NAWBO for having streamlined the process appropriately. NAWBO representatives are available  to help you with the document submission every step of the way. NAWBO certification provides validity to me and my business with a strong message that I stand for women empowerment.”

—Nan McKay, Owner, Nan McKay Connects LLC


“The online portal for NAWBO certification was very convenient. The few times I had difficulty, the staff worked with me and quickly and easily answered my questions. It seems overwhelming to start but most of what you need are things we have at hand for business anyhow! Very excited to see what doors open with the certification and excited to partner with other women in this business journey!"

—Tammy Hey, FNP-C, Revive Skin Clinic of Maine



Certification FAQS

What will the Certification process be?


How long will the Certification process likely take from start to finish?

Our goal is to complete the evaluation process within 60 days from the time all required paperwork has been submitted by the company.

Is there a fee for Certification?

Yes, the fee structure for NAWBO Certification is based on membership status, business size and certification type, and is as follows:

i. WBE/MWBE Certification – member – over $1M revenue - $500 fee
ii. WBE/MWBE Certification – non-member – over $1M revenue - $900 fee
iii. WBE/MWBE Certification – member – under $1M revenue - $350 fee
iv. WBE/MWBE Certification – non-member – under $1M revenue - $750 fee

NOTE: Applicants will have 3 business days following their date of registration to cancel their registration and receive a full refund; after the 3 business days, they will be subject to a nonrefundable application fee of $150. Also, note that that this one application fee applies to multiple businesses owned and operated by the same woman business owner.

When will the program start?

July 2022 is the current plan for launch of NAWBO Certification

Are there minimum requirements?

WBE/MWBE Certification Requirements:
• At least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by women who are U.S. citizens
• The woman must manage the day-to-day operations
• The woman must make the long-term decisions for the business
• The woman must hold the highest officer position in the company
• This woman must work at business full-time during normal working hours
• The business must be operational for 2 years or more

Who will approve the Certification?

We will have examiners complete the review of required paperwork, interviews, and site review (virtually). Once completed and the WBE/MWBE qualifies and meets the requirements, the candidate is approved and a certificate will be issued.

Will there be a virtual interview and/or in-person interview for the applicant?

Interviews will be conducted virtually on camera.

Is NAWBO certifying on a national level or a state level?

NAWBO certification will be a national certification.

What kind of organizations will recognize NAWBO Certification?

NAWBO certification exceeds the integrity and verification of the WBE and/or MWBE requirements as stated by the SBA. We expect any corporation that has a diversity program will accept NAWBO's certification, and are excited to go through the process they have put in place in order for that to happen. We are working on a list of strategic partners who will support and provide education for our certification program. If a corporation needs NAWBO's standards for verification, please contact certification@nawbo.org. We are not currently a 3rd party certifier for the SBA. We look to add this to our program offering by 2023.

Will there be matchmaking ?

Yes, the NAWBO certification program will be a part of the National Women's Business Conference and include a matchmaking opportunity dedicated to women who are certified.

Would a business offering services benefit from this Certification?

Yes, any company who wants to sell their service or products to large corporations would benefit from this certification.

I'm already certified. Does or will NAWBO have information on how to leverage Certification?

We will have exclusive training programs and events for those who are certified under NAWBO's certification program. As a NAWBO member not certified through our certification program, you will have continued access to member benefits and training, which may include certification-related topics.

Will NAWBO have a support group or mentoring program for certified businesses?

Yes, NAWBO's focus is to assist certified businesses in leveraging and utilizing their certification in order to grow their business. We will be rolling out several programs within the next year to support our certified business women.

Will there be annual Recertification?

Yes, WBE/MWBE participants are required to recertify each year to verify no changes have occurred affecting the certification of the business.

More FAQs »

Checklist of Required Documentation for NAWBO Institute Certification »


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October 24, 2023 - 8:30am

Save the Date! More Information To Come!

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