Are you ready to make connections with major multi-national corporations?
WEConnect International corporate members use the WEConnect International eNetwork to identify women owned suppliers as potential vendors in their supply chains. WEConnect International offers two ways to assess and build your business capacity:
- Self-Registration offers an opportunity to create a profile in the eNetwork and access to training modules to assess business readiness and build capacity.
- Certification has the same benefits as self-registration but also includes an individual consultation with a WEConnect International assessor that will provide customized feedback on business readiness and, after a review for eligibility, our certification designating your business as a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).
What is Certification?
Our Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification is a formal verification for corporations that they are purchasing goods and/or services from women-owned businesses that meet universal standards for certification. The four criteria considered for WBE certification are ownership, management, control, and independence, and businesses that meet the criteria are determined to be at least 51% owned, as well as, managed and controlled by one or more women.
The Business Readiness and Certification Assessment includes a one-on-one evaluation of your business and whether it meets the universal standards for certification as a Women's Business Enterprise. All applicant businesses that successfully complete our process to determine compliance with our certification criteria will become certified WBEs.
In order to apply for the Seal of Certification, WBEs must meet the following qualifications:
- Have 51% ownership by one or more women
- Day-to-day operations must be managed by one or more women
- Long-term control and management of the business by one or more women
- Contribution of capital and/or expertise by women
- Operated independently from other non-certified businesses (ie. Pass-through companies or sales representatives are not eligible.)
The Benefits of Certification
- Consultation with WEConnect International to evaluate certification eligibility.
- Review of business readiness to identify areas where the WEConnect International network can provide capacity building support.
- Access to WEConnect International’s secure, online eNetwork of corporate members and women-owned businesses.
- Invitations to events presented by corporate members, with overviews of their procurement process and practical tips on responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs).
- Networking opportunities with procurement officers from member corporations.
- Training workshops on how to leverage your certification and access to the WEConnect Academy.
- Opportunities to connect with and learn from other certified businesses on key success factors and strategies.
- Opportunity to attend global and local events, as well as register for the dynamic annual conference of WBENC, our United States certification partner.
- Use of the Women Owned logo.
The Certification Process
- If you are self-registered, log in to your profile on the eNetwork and continue your certification application.
- If you do not have a login and password to the eNetwork, create them here.
- Complete the application and submit it. Once you submit your application, you will make the non-refundable certification payment. Payment amounts vary by country and applicants in Europe, and China have alternative methods of payment. Contact your market representative if you have questions.
- Upload the required documents related to your company to complete your application. A full document list is provided in the application. Contact your market representative if you have questions.
- Once the application is reviewed by WEConnect International and payment is received, a team member will contact the applicant to schedule an interview and assessment based on the submitted application and documents. Some interviews can take place either in-person or virtually. WEConnect International will decide what type of interview is required for your business.
- The assessor will make a recommendation to WEConnect International based on the application, submitted documents, and interview about whether or not the applicant meets the criteria for certification. WEConnect International makes the final decision on all certification applications. If a business meets the criteria WEConnect International will issue a certificate that will be valid for one year.
- Each year, a certified WBE will be required to renew their certification. If there has been no material change to the business that would impact its status, then a new certificate will be issued. If there have been significant changes to the business, WEConnect International reserves the right to require an assessment. There is a yearly fee required to renew a certification.
- A certification interview and assessment is required every four years. If a renewal assessment is not required a renewal application can be completed.
Business Readiness and Certification Assessment
What is Business Readiness?
Corporate members have identified 15 key factors in evaluating a company’s capacity to access their supply chains. Those 15 factors are:
- Up to date governance documents
- Tax returns for three years
- Website-Email address for customers
- Business Plan/ Marketing Plan
- Dun & Bradstreet Number
- Up to date financial statements/ Audited financial statements
- Payment and Invoicing systems
- Documented hiring and firing procedures
- Documentation for the facility where the company operates
- Loans or financing/Line of credit
- Multi-national partners, agents, customers (purchase orders, invoices, etc.)
- Supplier diversity program
- Sustainability or “green” measures
- Social Media Plan/ Has the company revisited the marketing and business plan?
The Business Readiness part of the interview and assessment will provide a customized assessment of how many of these best practices the company has in place. These factors are not part of the certification criteria. They help each business owner understand their own capacity to do business with our corporate members and provide WEConnect International with insight into training and capacity building we should offer.
The Seal of Certification Process is open to businesses based in the following countries:
Other Frequently Asked Questions about Certification
Click here to find answers to:
- Are there size or length-of-time in business requirements to become a certified WBE?
- What if my company is found ineligible for WBE certification?
- Does my company have to meet all of the business readiness criteria in order to become certified?
- And more!
If you are eligible for certification but it is not yet available in your area, please consider self-registration. We will inform you when Certification reaches your region.