SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM
IT TOOK TEN YEARS and countless revisions, but in 2010, the SBA enacted a program designed to “give ’em five,” that is, ensure that at least 5 percent of federal prime contracting dollars flow to womenowned businesses. Although women are not a minority in American society, the 5 percent goal demonstrates just how underrepresented women-owned businesses are in the federal marketplace. At the time the SBA adopted the final rule, women-owned businesses received less than 3.5 percent of federal prime contracts.
The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program (or as it is occasionally called, the 8(m) Program) provides special contracting preferences to businesses owned and controlled by women. The WOSB program is similar in many respects to the SBA’s other small business programs. However, the program includes several unique aspects, including a special subprogram designed for so-called Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses, or EDWOSBs.
The WOSB Program also differs from the 8(a), SDVO, and HUBZone Programs in two not-so-great respects. First, not all government